Between 2009 and 2011 Tajikistan experienced one of the worst bouts of political violence since the end of the country’s civil war. The fighting was concentrated in the Rasht Valley, an area traditionally associated with opposition to the regime. As a result, the government attempted to fix the meaning of the conflict around the signifiers “international terrorism” and “radical Islam.” This framing directly reproduced the regime’s hegemony through legitimating the removal of opponents and contrasting the Tajik “self” with the terrorist “other.” The hegemonic narrative was incomplete and contained inconsistencies. As a result, anti-hegemonic actors attempted to undermine its legitimacy. Although these critical articulations destabilized the narrative, due to their dispersed and divergent nature, it ultimately maintained its hegemonic position.
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Bruno De Cordier, “Islamic Faith-Based Development Organizations in Former Soviet Muslim Environments: The Mountain Societies Development Support Programme in the Rasht Valley, Tajikistan,”Central Asian Survey, 27, no. 2, (2008): 169–84; Heathershaw and Roche, “Islam and Political Violence in Tajikistan.”
Kirill Nourzhanov, “Saviors of the Nation or Robber Barons? Warlord Politics in Tajikistan,”Central Asian Survey, 24, no. 2 (2005): 109–130; J. Driscoll, “Exiting Anarchy: Militia Politics after the Post-Soviet Wars,” (PhD diss., Stanford University, 2009).
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R.B.J. Walker, Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); David Campbell, National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity, and Justice in Bosnia (St. Paul: University of Minnesota Press, 1998).
Muriel Atkin, “Islam as Faith, Politics, and Bogeyman in Tajikistan,” in The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, ed. Michael Bordeaux (Armonk, ny: M.E. Sharpe, 1995), 247–271; V.I. Bushkov and D.V. Mikulskii, Istoria Grazhdanskoii Voini v Tadzhikistane (Moscow: Poligraphservis, 1996); H. Blakkisrud and S. Nozimova, “History Writing and Nation Building in Post–Independence Tajikistan,” Nationalities Papers, 28, no. 2 (2010): 173–189.
Barnett Rubin, “Russian Hegemony and State Breakdown at the Periphery: Causes and Consequences of the Tajik Civil War,” in Post-Soviet Political Order: Conflict and State Building, ed. Jack Snyder (London: Routledge, 1998).