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Ethnic conflict in post-Soviet Central Asia: exit, voice, and loyalty among Uzbek minorities

Research output: Book/ReportBook


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What role have ethnic minorities carved for themselves in post-Soviet Central Asia? Under what conditions do they opt for contentious politics and when do they remain quiescent or passive? What strategies do they adopt to make their voice heard? How do home and kin states relate to minority groups?
Drawing on extensive field research in Central Asia Fumagalli analyses the form and strategies of ethnic mobilization among Uzbek minorities outside of Uzbekistan, as well as other minority groups in the region. The book uses Hirschman’s framework centered around the concepts of exit, voice and loyalty to captures the dynamics of Uzbek ethnopolitics and the variety of political outcomes that result from it. Fumagalli argues that Uzbeks have traditionally opted for ‘loyalty’ and more recently ‘exit’, whereas ‘voice’ has been a less frequently adopted strategy. Evidence based on a longitudinal and comparative analysis of the entire post-Soviet period including the most recent 2010 Osh conflict, reveals a high degree of variation among and even within the cases, showing that minority groups do not speak with one voice. Kyrgyzstan’s Uzbeks have been more vocal than Tajikistan’s, and those in Jalalabad have resorted to contentious politics more than their fellow kins in Osh.
This book makes a contribution to our understanding of ethnic minority politics in Central Asia and more broadly to the relationship between state and ethnic minority groups.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)9780815391999
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge advances in Central Asian studies

    Research areas

  • Central Asia, Ethnic conflict, Uzbek minorities, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Patronage, Framing, Leadership, Political opportunity structure, Authoritarianism, Osh, Ferghana valley

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