Uzbekistan after Karimov: a EU on the sidelines?
On August 29, news broke of the death of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, at the age of 78. Amid conflicting reports on the status of the president’s health, ranging from ‘full vigor’ to a possible stroke, it soon became clear that there was no succession plan to speak of in place. The country’s Independence Day celebrations scheduled for September 1 were cancelled, causing states which had prepared to send celebratory delegations to scramble to formulate an entirely different diplomatic response. Born in Samarkand in 1938, Karimov joined the Communist Party in 1964. The longest-ruling leader of any state in the post-Soviet space, he has run the Uzbek SSR and then an independent Uzbekistan since 1989, having been reelected in 2000, 2007, and 2015. The fallout after Karimov’s death, who was a skilled power broker between the country’s various clans and ethnic groups — be it an orderly succession, a power struggle among the elites, or even a civil war scenario — will most certainly be closely watched by leaders of neighboring states who are likely crafting strategies for a generational change in leadership themselves.
Modernization and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia: A New Spring?
Executive Summary Until recently, regional cooperation among Central Asian states has left much to be desired. While a number of initiatives have been launched over the past quarter-century, there is […]
Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan
Executive Summary Major political and economic reforms have been initiated since Shavkat Mirziyoyev became the country’s President in fall 2016. The interaction between state and religion has been part and […]
The Economic Modernization of Uzbekistan
Executive Summary When Shavkat Mirziyoyev succeeded Islam Karimov as President of Uzbekistan, many observers expected his tenure to represent continuity rather than change. And while continuity is present in terms […]
Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
Executive Summary At independence, Kazakhstan shared with the successor states to the Soviet Union the challenge of replacing Soviet atheism with new state approaches to religion. Like the rest of […]
Judicial and Governance Reform in Uzbekistan
Executive Summary Since President Mirziyoyev assumed power as interim president in September 2016, a major agenda of reforms has been introduced in Uzbekistan. In this broader agenda, judicial and governance […]
Political Reform in Mirziyoyev’s Uzbekistan: Elections, Political Parties and Civil Society
Executive Summary Since taking over from long-time President Islam Karimov in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has pursued an aggressive policy to transform Uzbekistan’s decision-making processes, invigorate civil society, encourage political […]