chapter  2
The cases of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in light of theories and explanations of violent conflict
Pages 30

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan share many similarities in terms of history, social and political structure, institutions, and state policies. They share the same legacy of the Soviet past; they lived through the same Soviet institutions and policies. The pre-Soviet histories of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are also similar. Their populations experienced a great amount of intermingling in the past. In contrast to other Central Asian societies, they are traditionally sedentary. They have similar social cleavage structures in terms of the salience of regional identities. They both inherited regional divisions coming from the history of the region before the Soviet era. The development of a feeling of national identity followed the same pattern in both countries. Both had economic structures based on agriculture and a small amount of industrialization. They had similar social structures with large rural societies. They both experienced decolonization and a period of transition after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. So none of these factors can account for the occurrence of civil war in Tajikistan but not in Uzbekistan. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were included in the Soviet Union in the same

period, and the institutions and policies which the Soviet Union established in both countries were very similar. The Party and state apparatus established by the Soviet Union were the same in all the republics. The main administrative parts were composed of autonomous regions, regions, cities, districts, collective farms, village councils, and villages. The Party was more politically powerful than the state apparatus. There was a Central Committee of the Communist Party for each republic. At every administrative level down to the village level there was Party organization. The main state structures were the legislative, executive, and judicial structures. The Supreme Soviet was the most powerful of the government institutions. The policies of the Soviet regime with regard to nation, religion, and region

brought about similar cleavages in both countries. Cadre policies, language, culture, russification, and industrialization policies were quite similar. Their social, economic, and sociocultural structures were practically the same. Their industrialization patterns were the same as well. There was a cotton monoculture

in both republics. Both republics were known to be among the least russified societies in Central Asia. There was widespread literacy, and education levels were quite similar in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (see: Tables 2.1, 2.2). So these factors do not explain the difference in outcome between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.