Ferghana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia

My major chapter in this book is about Ferghana Valley during Stalin period of Soviet history (1929-1953). It touches upon the following topics: imposition of Soviet institutions; opposition and acceptance of same; economy, social change, education, and culture under Soviet rule; policies of the 1920s and fate of Jadids; collectivization and communal life; sources and identities of new elites and role of women; developing of transport infrastructure, Stalin repressions, WWII and post-war years; role of leaders; dependence and autonomy; continuity amidst change; elements of local rule; elements of Europeanization and other.

With some twelve million inhabitants, the Ferghana valley is one of the most densely populated places in the world. It is also the most volatile region of formerly Soviet Central Asia. Not only is the area ethnically and linguistically diverse, it is politically divided, with parts ruled by three different states–Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic–whose distant capital cities all relegate Ferghana to their respective peripheries.

These complexities make a comprehensive, multidimensional understanding of the Ferghana region all the more elusive. In order to construct this analysis, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute assembled an international, interdisciplinary team of experts on the region. Their carefully planned, collaboratively authored chapters cover the historical and topical terrain with unmatched depth and breadth and balance.


Selected Contents:


Introduction,S. Frederick Starr

1. The Ferghana Valley: The Pre-colonial Legacy, Abdukakhor Saidov (Tajikistan), with Abdulkhamid Anarbaev (Uzbekistan), and Valentina Goriyacheva (The Kyrgyz Republic)

2. The Rise and Fall of the Kokand Khanate, Victor Dubovitskii (Tajikistan), with Khaydarbek Bababekov (Uzbekistan)

3. Colonial Rule and Indigenous Responses, Ravshan Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), with Namoz Khotamov (Tajikistan), and Tashmanbet Kenensariev (the Kyrgyz Republic)

4. Soviet Rule and the Delineation of Borders in the Ferghana Valley, 1917-1939, Sergey Abashin (Russia), with Kamoludin Abdullaev (Tajikistan), Ravshan Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), and Arslan Koichiev (The Kyrgyz Republic)

5. The Ferghana Valley Under Stalin, 1929-1953, Kamoludin Abdullaev (Tajikistan), with Ravshan Nazarov (Uzbekistan)

6. The Ferghana Valley in the Eras of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Ravshan Nazarov (Uzbekistan), with Pulat Shozimov (Tajikistan)

7. Cultural Life in the Ferghana Valley Under Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Zukhra Madamidzhanova (Tajikistan), with Ildar Mukhtarov (Uzbekistan)

8. The Ferghana Valley During Perestroika, Pulat Shozimov (Tajikistan), with Baktybek Beshimov (The Kyrgyz Republic) and Khurshida Yunusova (Uzbekistan)

9. 1992-2008: A New Phase in the History of the Ferghana Valley, Baktybek Beshimov (The Kyrgyz Republic), with Pulat Shozimov (Tajikistan), and Murat Bakhadyrov (Uzbekistan)

10. Economic Development of the Ferghana Valley Since 1991, Sayidfozil Zokirov (Uzbekistan), with Khodzha Umarov (Tajikistan)

11. Land, Water, and Ecology, Christine Bichsel, with Kholnazar Mukhabbatov (Tajikistan) and Lenzi Sherfedinov (Uzbekistan)

12. Culture in the Ferghana Valley Since 1991: The Issue of Identity, Pulat Shozimov (Tajikistan), with Joomart Sulaimanov (The Kyrgyz Republic) and Shamshad Abdullaev (Uzbekistan)

13. Islam in the Ferghana Valley: Between National Identity and Islamic Alternative, Bakhtiyar Babadjanov (Uzbekistan), with Kamil Malikov (The Kyrgyz Republic), and Aloviddin Nazarov (Tajikistan)

14. The Ferghana Valley and the International Community, Inomjon Bobokulov (Uzbekistan)


Conclusion,S. Frederick Starr

About the Editors, Authors, and Contributing Authors


Comment(s): “Frederick Starr has again performed an invaluable service to the field of Central Asian studies. Bringing together scholars from the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, he has edited a work that reveals the significance of a little-known region, the Ferghana Valley. As Central Asia is restored to the prominence it enjoyed during the era of the Silk Roads, this book becomes even more vital. The area’s natural resources and geopolitical position ensure that it will play an important role in the twenty-first century, and Starr’s work offers a splendid key to understanding of the region.” — Morris Rossabi, City University of New York and Columbia University

” The Ferghana Valley lies at the core of the historical evolution, identity formation and, in the post-Soviet era, interstate challenges of Central Asia. This remarkable volume is the first to offer an integrated scholarly analysis of the importance of the region, drawing on the deep knowledge of local specialists of different backgrounds and disciplines. It brings to life the complex social and national diversity of the valley and its historical dependence on external forces. All those worried about the contemporary stability of Central Asia should read the nuanced arguments of this major study.” — Roy Allison, London School of Economics and Political Science

The book is avaliable for purchase