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Secularism at Bay: Uzbekistan at the Turn of the Century

Barun De (Author)
Synopsis Since the 1990s, secularism has been at bay, particularly in Eurasia. It is threatened by neo-conservative imperialism and its regulation of market economy, and by religio-political fanaticism, not only of Islamic purists, but also of born-again Christians and Hindu or Buddhist fundamentalists. This book describes years from 1998 to 2001 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, spent lecturing on modern and contemporary Asian International Relations at its University of Wwrold Economy and Diplomacy. A memoir of daily life, public affairs, academic views, socio-economic trends and political culture in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as of a week in almaty, Kazakhstan spotilights the crisis in civil society. It probes a ‘view from the South’ of Uzbek social motivation in painful transition from protection of labour interests towards bourgeois market economy. Alternative interpretations are presented of the evolution of President Karimov’s rise from nomenklatura socialist vested interests. Religious fundamentalism as a source of discontent and protest has been less significant compared to secular crises in old habits of fear regulated by the state, historical tradition is invented to weld a semi-mythical new Uzbek identity, complete with legendary conquerors, warriors, and innovative Islamic scholars of folklore. Trends in south Asia have been focused where relevant, including desiderata in India’s foreign policy about Central Asia. The threads are then knitted together of this field survey of political economy, sociology, Eurasian geopolitics as a critique of social trends, public affairs, and historiography in modern India, the contemporary Caucasus and the lands of Turco-Iranian civilization. This book is an Indian perspective on world history, Asian sociology and specifically the political economy of modern transition regimes.
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About the author

Barun De

Barun De has taught history at Calcutta, Oxford, Burdwan, Duke and Sydney Universities. Professor of Social and Economic History at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, founder-Director of the Centre for Studies in social Sciences, and of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute. Calcutta, he also served as State Editor of the West Bengal District Gazetteers Office. In 1988, he was President of the Indian History Congress, Dharwar Session. After retirement, he served in Tashkent as India Chair. He has published and edited Freedom Struggle; Perspectives in Social Sciences 1; Essays in Honour of Susobhan Chandra Sarkar, and has numerous articles in journals.

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Bibliographic information

Title Secularism at Bay: Uzbekistan at the Turn of the Century
Author Barun De
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173046069
length 266p., References; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History