chapter  5
5 Pages


The establishment of Uzbekistan as an independent state at the end of 1991 marked a fundamental change in the political life of Central Asia. Although the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic had been fashioned as an administrative and cultural unit during the Soviet era, the demise of the Soviet state led to a basic shift in the nature and direction of the country’s development and of Uzbekistan’s significance for the rest of world. Since independence, Uzbekistan has become a leading element of Central Asia’s regional political order, while beneath the veneer of stability and continuity there have been critical changes in the domestic order of the country.