Central Asia: Foundations of Change

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Robert D. McChesney, B.A. 1967, Ph.D. 1973. “Since the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Central Asia has been undergoing considerable political, social, and economic change. In a Leon B. Poullada Memorial Lecture delivered at Princeton University in 1993, R. D. McChesney examined the historical roots of a number of the issues confronting the region today. Here, in a revised version of the lectures, he presents some of Central Asia's enduring realities and the institutions that have been found to best address them. There are four overlapping contexts: geographical/spatial, economic, social, and political. He discusses the way in which problems and issues within these four contexts have been perceived and articulated and how different, particularly "Central Asian," ways of coping with those issues have evolved. TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Region in Transition

Economic Fundamentals

Society and Community

Law, Leadership, and Legitimacy”


"McChesney's analysis would be welcome for its clarity and readability alone. It is doubly important, however, in that it is utterly unlike any of the many recent "introductions" to Central Asia: it asks different questions, uses different sources, and addresses issues that are not only neglected in those other works, but often seem entirely unknown to their authors. Central Asia will serve as a serious and substantive counterweight to the superficial analysis that prevails in publications by the instant experts, and as such it should be required reading for those in government, business, or the general public seriously interested in the region."

—MESA Bulletin

Darwin Press
Princeton, NJ
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