Since Soviet collapse, the independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have faced tremendous political, economic, and security challenges. Focusing on these five republics, this textbook analyzes the contending understandings of the politics of the past, present and future transformations of Central Asia, including its place in international security and world politics. Analysing the transformation that independence has brought and tracing the geography, history, culture, identity, institutions and economics of Central Asia, it locates ‘the political’ in the region.

A comprehensive examination of the politics of Central Asia, this insightful book is of interest both to undergraduate and graduate students of Asian Politics, Post-Communist Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations, and to scholars and professionals in the region.

chapter 1|10 pages


chapter 2|23 pages

The region of Central Asia

What's in a name?

chapter 3|23 pages

Empires, Soviet rule and sovereignty

chapter 4|39 pages

Authoritarian alternatives

chapter 6|24 pages

Economics and political transformations

chapter 7|25 pages

Securing Central Asia

chapter 8|11 pages


State of the state in Central Asia