[PAST EVENT] "Nationalism and the Myth of Turkic-Muslim Unity in Central Asia"

March 13, 2014
Tucker Hall, 127a
350 James Blair Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
This presentation questions the state and inter-regional conditions of political sovereignty in post-Soviet Central Asia. My argument is not one of success or failure, but rather examines the very successes and failures that exist in Central Asia from the standpoint of political integrity and political, economic, and cultural development. Recently, scholars and pundits have meaningfully examined many hyper-nationalist aspects of Central Asian countries politics. Their argument is that nationalism has prevented the kind of inter-regional cooperation that would have fueled greater development and freedom throughout Central Asia. Generally speaking, nationalism may be necessary for independence, but it is rarely considered positive in terms of development and human freedom by most social scientists. Zanca looks to data and analyses going back more than 20 years to compare different visions of independence, areas for national and regional comity and strife, and treaties and agreements that have fostered and retarded individual and regional growth and freedom. The presentation assesses what it means to speak of successes and failures according to both Central Asian and international standards and
norms, and questions whether citizens are motivated or mobilized by nationalist conceptions of Turkic-Muslim unity.