Could Central Asia See an Arab Spring? Russian Historian Andrei Zubov Thinks So






ValdaiClub.com's interview with Andrei Zubov, Professor of Philosophy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, D.Sc. in History; Director General of Church and International Relations Center, Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Do you think anti-government protests are possible in Central Asian countries similar to those that raged across the Arab world?
 
I believe similar protests are quite possible. I think so because the current unrest in Arab countries in the Middle East is essentially different from the powerful fundamentalist movements of the past. These new protests emerge in the younger middle class – although Muslim believers, they are modern people who use the web and do not want to live in an endless authoritarian regime. These young people have traveled to the West and assumed some Western habits and lifestyles. They wish to have a similar political system controlled by society in their own countries, free from corruption and outrageous favoritism.
 
It is obvious that similar phenomena may materialize in Central Asian countries. The more developed a country is, the more probable this scenario and the sooner it may happen. For example, it is much more realistic in Kazakhstan than in Turkmenistan. Kyrgyzstan in fact went through a similar revolution a year ago, although it has not been recognized by academics as one of the first “new type” revolutions.
 
All the Central Asian countries are in fact heading for such outbreaks, albeit following different paths and with a different pace. South Caucasus countries are moving the same way, primarily Azerbaijan and Armenia....



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