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Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (Central Eurasia in Context) Paperback – September 28, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"One of the most detailed analysis of Central Asian politics to date. . . . The historico-political analysis introduced here is a real tour de force, with McGlinchey examining the long-term structural causes of Central Asia's patronage systems while establishing a direct connection between the politics of perestroika and divergences in post-Soviet authoritarian developments. . . . McGlinchey knows the region very well, and adds a significant degree of analytical sophistication to first-class research."
—International Affairs



“An interesting and noteworthy contribution to the understanding of authoritarian dynamics in Central Asia. It is both fascinating and illustrative of wider patterns and pressures of authoritarian regimes that could be applied to other countries in the post-Soviet states.”
—Europe-Asia Studies



“McGlinchey makes a powerful case for rethinking how social scientists understand politics in authoritarian regimes and how practitioners should be going about promoting reform. Rich with pathbreaking insights into the nature of Central Asian politics and the role of Islam, this book is founded on impressive on-the-ground field work that brings the subject to life for readers.”
—Henry Hale, George Washington University


“Eric McGlinchey’s new book—the product of extensive field research, impressive analytic skills, and a keen mind—represents an excellent contribution to our understanding of state building and regime type in Central Asia. With a clear and engaging writing style that is rare among social scientists, he forwards an argument that is at once complex and analytically rewarding. The book will be crucial for anyone hoping to learn about or conduct research on the Central Asian state.”
—Edward Schatz, University of Toronto

About the Author

Eric McGlinchey is assistant professor of government and politics at George Mason University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Central Eurasia in Context
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822961687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822961680
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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When I started reading this book I could no longer put it down because it is so well written and so interesting that I only wondered "how can someone collect so much field data, in so little time, and assemble it in such a fascinating way?". I found this book on the course syllabus of "GOVT 731 EuroAsian Politics" at GMU. I read it virtually over a weekend. It provides an excellent overview of the politics in three major Central Asian countries, including the corruption, cheating and the stealing by the executives and political elites in these countries. Foreign assistance projects from UNDP, USAID, World Bank and other agencies are put in their proper daylight! Even the overinflated US payments for fuel at a US base (Manas) used to support the War on Terror are making the US Military Brass a laughing stock. This book is not only based on years of field work assembling information through focus groups, interviews and investigative journalism, but also puts forward alternative ways for social scientists to verify and enhance well established political models. A must read for anyone in history, politics and promotion of democracy in a part of the world that so far has largely been flying under the radar!
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Format: Paperback
Obviously a lot of research and time in the field went into making this book. This is not a reiteration of stale thoughts on the impact of Islam and Soviet action in Central Asia. It's a highly digestible text on a region that might be accurately described as a heaping geopolitical tangle. It is a very enjoyable read and presents the issues clearly. Get it!
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