Central Asia at History’s Crossroads

When discussion turns to Central Asia, one often hears of unmovable structures and immutable institutions. Authoritarian politics are interpreted, not unfairly, as having a longue-durée quality. Whatever change may happen in Central Asia will derive from either elites or external forces. Civil society is rarely part of that analysis.

Whatever validity there may be to these perceptions, infrequently do we learn of the actions and agency of individuals and collectives generating change. It is high time to spotlight those persons and organizations struggling to secure better, fairer, and more equal societies.

No one would deny the uphill climb open society has in Central Asia. Yet we must not discount the diverse efforts by the committed and the passionate to trudge up that hill to make open society a reality some day.

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Bravo to Civil Rights Activists We in West Europe must not forget the past, Eurasia is a géographic reality and Utopia must unite it from Brest to Vladivostok yes Victor Hugo said it Our
Génération must make it

I believe the best thing that can be achieved in the present situation of declining freedom throughout Central Asia is to develop a forum for debate of specific issues critical to the region as well as specific countries.
Such debates should foster Central Asian voices and will ultimately lead to a recognized intellectual depth that will ultimately foster a new generation of broad leadership.

I agree, Peter. For an institutional design that is intended for such function, see the 'People's Forum' which is described in my book: 'Rescuing Democracy', punctum books, Brooklyn NY, 2016. However this may not work well in authoritarian countries as it needs freedom of expression and media. However by setting an example of how democratic governments should function, the use of the People's Forum in democracies may then inspire citizens in authoritarian regimes to demand their installation, together with the necessary freedoms of expression.

This mission would require implementing a new paradigm (if anyone's interested).

I heartily agree that such individuals/collectives/activists should be publicized. Without knowledge of them, it is impossible for them to gain international support, which may draw further attention (hopefully not of the repressive kind!) to their causes.
However, it must be remembered that the nations of Central Asia - the "Stans", and Armenian, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and so on, have never experienced democracy, having been ruled by Tsars and other despots, or living nomadic lives where traditional elders led their clans and rarely clashed with others. So it is not surprising that most have fallen under the rule of thumb of some strong man, like the self-aggrandizing Turkmenbashi, among others.
It can only be hoped that as these nations become more secure and develop their economies, a stronger civil society will emerge and a freer form of government take root.

together w'll make a difference

I support movements and history of indigenous people as I am part of that group in South Africa

Open Society should persuade the governments to look into people's challenges all over the world, the government should not undermine vital issues concerning their subjects especially in the area of economic activities, health and social amenities. with that, crime rate will reduce in the world.

I supported your idea in Eurosia, so freedom of people and movement can be on the top of agenda. Thanks for your open society contribution of these values well done Mr Leonard Bernardo

We want your presence in Africa too in DRC and Republic of Congo please help us to restore democratie and freedom of society

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