Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2007

In Osteuropa 8-9/2007

Renaissance per Decree
Nation Building in Central Asia

Marlène Laruelle

Deutsche Fassung


After attaining independence, the states of Central Asian faced the task of creating a na-tional identity. Unlike the European successor states to the Soviet Union, where broad-based popular movements struggled for national independence, nation building in Central Asia came from above. The authoritarian rulers created for their titular nations symbols aimed at establishing an identity, national heroes and traditions. In order to construe a centuries-old statehood, to glorify their own nation and to legitimise the regime’s rule, those in power are neglecting historical transformations and the problematic recent past. This forced ideological conformity excludes all alternative interpretations of history.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2007, pp. 139–154)