STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Religious Identity in Central Asia: Global-Local Interplay

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  • October 2004
    Volume: 
    28
    Issue: 
    4
    Articles

    This article covers the problems of religious identities in two Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – and analyses how globalisation and modernisation influenced them. International relations theories as well the sociology of religion presume that religious identity in contemporary Central Asia cannot be exclusively seen as a local product; it is of a twodimensional character and reflects both local and broad external influences. The article argues that while external dimensions are noteworthy, local developments and modernisation need elaboration. The differences in local developments and modernisation during the Soviet and the post-Soviet periods are derived from the basic difference between Kazakh and Uzbek societies as nomadic and settled ones that had various degrees of religious beliefs; more profound among the Uzbeks and less among the Kazak.

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