Kyrgyzstan Falls Apart: Can Democracy Work in Central Asia?

Ethnic violence has swept through Kyrgyzstan, and an article in Der Spiegel suggests that the country could follow the path of other former Soviet satellites, abandoning plans for a democratic system of government. “Central Asia faces a dilemma,” write Benjamin Bidder and Matthias Schepp. “Democracy doesn't seem to work there, but the region's autocratic regimes run the risk of oppressing their people for so long that they are swept out of power by popular uprisings or the increasingly popular underground Islamic movements.” Uzbeks flee Kyrgyzstan, and Kyrgyzs flee Uzbekistan even as Russia, the US and China hold interest in the region. People seek security as the government loses control, and any small incident can spark anger and destroy the trust that comes from people of various ethnicities living, studying and working together. – YaleGlobal

Kyrgyzstan Falls Apart: Can Democracy Work in Central Asia?

Kyrgyzstan was once seen as a model of democracy in Central Asia – now it appears to have become ungovernable
Benjamin Bidder, Matthias Schepp
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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