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Islam beyond Democracy and State in Kyrgyzstan

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image of Central Asian Affairs

Much has been made of the importance of democracy to securing individual rights and the general advancement of a just society. The role of democracy in post-Soviet governance and the strength of the state, however, have been called into question on many counts. Both state and democratic structures have been supported by elites who have used the claims of democracy and state to combat, or at least constrain, governance rooted in Islam. The ideals of democracy and the state, however, are experienced differently by those who are secularists and those for whom religion is a lived category. In this piece, I concern myself with how Muslims experience democracy and the state in Kyrgyzstan and thus how many remain unseduced by the unfulfilled promises of political rhetoricians.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh,


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