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Repression, political violence and terrorism. The case of Uzbekistan

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Until about a decade ago, terrorism was foreign to the republics of Central Asia. Today, the region is regularly confronted with this deadly phenomenon. In particular Uzbekistan has experienced serious violent incidents in recent years that have been ascribed to Islamist terrorists. This article concentrates on the factors that contribute to the rise of political violence and terrorism in Uzbekistan. It compares the theoretical assumption that repression produces terrorism with findings of experts on Central Asia regarding the case of Uzbekistan. The article focuses on the consequences of increasing political violence and terrorism and a possible collapse of the regime. It investigates the need and ways to replace Tashkent's narrowly defined concept of security with a more comprehensive concept of security to prevent such a collapse. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as the champion of a wide approach to security and as one of the international organizations with a permanent presence in the region, could be of assistance to the authorities to set a new and more sustainable course to fight political violence and terrorism. The article concludes by stressing the need to increase a sense of urgency among the members of the Karimov regime and to show them that they have something to gain from a more liberal and a more comprehensive approach to security.


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