Central Asia remains on the periphery, both spatially and in people’s imaginations. When the region does attract international attention, it is often related to security issues, including terrorism, ethnic conflict and drug trafficking. This book brings together leading specialists from a range of disciplines including geography, anthropology, sociology and political science to discuss how citizens and governments within Central Asia think about and practise security.

The authors explore how governments use fears of instability to bolster their rule, and how securitized populations cope with (and resist) being labelled threats through strategies that are rarely associated with security, including marriage and changing their appearance. This collection examines a wide range of security issues including Islamic extremism, small arms, interethnic relations and border regions. While coverage of the region often departs from preconceived notions of the region as dangerous, obscure and volatile, the chapters in this book all place emphasis on the way local people understand security and harmony in their daily lives.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers of Central Asian Studies as well as Security Studies and Political Science. The chapters were originally published in the journal Central Asian Survey.

chapter |14 pages


critical approaches to security in Central Asia
ByEdward Lemon

chapter |15 pages


konfliktologiia and the search for fixity in the Ferghana Valley borderlands
ByMadeleine Reeves

chapter |18 pages

The paradox of peacebuilding

peril, promise, and small arms in Tajikistan
ByJohn Heathershaw

chapter |15 pages

‘Awash with weapons’?

the case of small arms in Kyrgyzstan 1
ByS. Neil MacFarlane, Stina Torjesen

chapter |14 pages

In search of harmony

: repairing infrastructure and social relations in the Ferghana Valley
ByChristine Bichsel

chapter |17 pages

Living dangerously: securityscapes of Lyuli and LGBT people in urban spaces of Kyrgyzstan

ByMarc von Boemcken, Hafiz Boboyorov, Nina Bagdasarova

chapter |24 pages

Counter-extremism, power and authoritarian governance in Tajikistan

ByEdward Lemon, Hélène Thibault