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Instructor Class Description

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Mark E Di Virgilio
JSIS A 579
Seattle Campus

Contemporary Central Asian Politics

Examines the politics of contemporary post-Soviet Central Asia. Analyzes issues relevant to the region in comparative perspective, including democratization, religion, terrorism, civil society, economic reform, ethnic identity, and international influences. Uses theory to shed light on current policy debates. Offered: jointly with POL S 579.

Class description

This course is an overview of the politics and society of Central Asia (defined as the post-Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan). It covers pertinent issues in contemporary politics, including democratization, religion, terrorism, civil society, economic reform, ethnic and identity politics, and international influences. Central Asia is a region that is poorly understood and beset by some unfortunate stereotypes. This course is intended to set straight these myths by digging deep beneath the surface of Central Asian politics. It analyzes Central Asia in comparative perspective in order to determine what, if anything, about Central Asia is unique and which characteristics it shares with other regions of the world. To that end, readings include theoretical social science literature addressing developments outside the region, especially in the postcommunist world.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mark E Di Virgilio
Date: 10/25/2012