Splitting Up or Joining Together?



In the two preceding chapters I approached the delimitation of Central Asia from the perspective of identity. In this and the following chapters, the focus is on the delimitation process itself, and in this chapter I analyze the delimitation from the point of view of the central Soviet authorities. Why did the Soviet regime adopt a strategy that made ethnicity or nationality the main principle of territorial political organization in Central Asia? Was it, as the divide and rule thesis argues, a strategy primarily aimed at securing political power and control for the center over the non-Russian peripheries, or was it, perhaps, part of a wider strategy of societal change? What role, if any, did the official ideology of national rights play in the formulation of this strategy? Or was this great reorganization primarily a practical measure, aimed at improving and facilitating administration?


Communist Party Central Committee Soviet Regime National Liberation Party Branch 
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© Arne Haugen 2003

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