Islam as ideology: the politics of the Islamic revival in post-Soviet Central Asia
Brown, Elliott James
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The Islamic Revival in post-Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) offers a rich case study concerning the role of Islamism in international politics. The international relations literature on the region has not explored this phenomenon deeply, due in part to the limited account of ideational factors offered by the predominant approaches to international relations theory. Building on the constructivist argument that a causal account of ideational factors can be supplemented with a constitutive account that locates these factors in their social and historical contexts, the thesis explores ideology as a conceptual framework that may be used to link the different manifestations of political Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia, including Islamist movements (Islamic Renaissance Party, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir), the repression and cooptation of the Islamic revival Central Asian states, and the perception of the Islamic Revival as a threat to regional and international security.