World orders in Central Asia
Hayward R. Alker, working in conjunction with Thomas Biersteker, Takashi Inoguchi, and myself, developed the Dialectics of World Orders project, an approach to global studies that is sensitive to the fundamental differences among cultural traditions and that attempts to accommodate contradictory understandings of meaning, cause, and values. In this chapter, I use this broad canvas of simultaneously existing multiple world orders to show how the politics of the Central Asian region are unfolding after the end of the Cold War. Alker defined world orders as “geographically-linked socio-historical entities, identifiable on the basis of patterned regularities discernable among international or world actors, involving their conscious and unconscious relationships with each other and or with their social and natural environments. …World Order boundaries do not have to be absolute and mutually exclusive, so we expect to find overlapping and even interpenetrating orders, and smaller, possibly regional orders within more encompassing, truly global world orders” (Alker et al. 2001: 3). The relevant world orders in the political setting of the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are: the Western Liberal, Russian-Slavic, Sinic, Islamic, and Residual Socialist world orders.