Tajikistan: From <i>de facto</i> Colony to Sovereign Dependency

Muriel Atkin

in Sovereignty After Empire

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748643042
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653270 | DOI:
Tajikistan: From de facto Colony to Sovereign Dependency

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People disagree about whether the Soviet Union was an empire and even about the definition of empire. Yet several points are clear. The concepts of empire and colony had negative connotations in Soviet rhetoric. Despite or even because of that in the last years of the Soviet era, advocates of change and even members of the political establishment in various non-Russian republics began to assert what had hitherto been absolutely taboo: that relations between the central government and the non-Russian republics had an imperial-colonial character. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Union republics became sovereign states under international law, but the discussions of colonial grievances retained some utility. At the same time, some measure of dependence on Moscow persisted in the formally independent states. The characteristics of this dependence resembled those of former Western colonies on their imperial metropolis. This chapter presents a case study of Tajikistan, which was at once the poorest periphery in the region but also the most colonially militarized.

Keywords: Soviet Union; empire; imperialism; colonies; dependence

Chapter.  9275 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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