This collection comprises thirteen essays by prominent Oriental studies experts from the former Soviet Union.
For decades their research was restricted by the ideology of the great socialist experiment and academics were prevented from making objective analyses of Central Asia. Instead the societies of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghiziya, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan could only be used to reconfirm the preconceptions of Marxist economics and sociology.
Now free to exercise their academic independence, many of these researchers are reassessing their material. As a bold first step, these essays compare aspects of the Central Asian republics, as they now are, with their neighbours in the Middle East and Asia who were not subject to Soviet rule. They show clearly that in many respects the Soviet system has significantly hindered development, and that the futures of these new countries will necessarily hold the prospect of difficult transitions in the aftermath of the Soviet experience....Continua