» » 4, 2009


The 66th issue of NZ is a thematic one, devoted to Central Asia. The way this region is presented in the issue gives the room for discussion on a wide range of matters - from nation building to the relation to the Asian provinces in their former metropolis, Russia. Accordingly, the 66th issue consists of several thematic sections.

However, we have to start with distressing news: NZ columnist, the well-known economist and remarkable poet Evgeny Saburov died on June 20, 2009. For six years he contributed to his column Humanitarian Economics and its last issue is the obituary written by Ilya Kukulin.

This NZ issue - right after the editorial introduction - starts with a theoretical article of the well-known German-American historian of culture and philosopher Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht under the title Is and Should There Be Anything Irreducible About Nationhood Today?. This text is followed by the Alexander Kustarevs column Political Unconscious where the author in its own way interprets the specified problem (On Countries and Nations).

The following section continues the topic of nation building: sociologist Laura Adams argues on applicability of the postcolonial theory to the Central Asia region; Sergey Abashin (thanks to whose help, the majority of materials for this NZ issue has been collected) considers peculiarities of memory of the imperial past in Uzbekistan; political analyst Slavomir Horák reviews discussions of the Tajik and Uzbek historians on such a sensitive subject for opponents, as the history of Tajikistan; and finally ethnologist Victor Shnirelman offers an essay on Aryan idea in Central Asia. The following Comparative Studies section presents the vivid material for the cross-country analysis - Alek D. Epstein research Between the Walls: An Attempt of a Collective Portrait of the Israeli Nation.

Our next section is devoted to the state building in the Central Asia region. There are three articles considering various aspects of the specified problem. The first one (written by Adeeb Khalid) is about campaigns against terrorism, as a part of the state policy; the second one (by Sergey Markedonov) presents the analysis of the Caucasian direction of the Kazakhstans foreign policy (this article is adjoined by Ochil Zakhidovs text On Geopolitical Priorities of Modern Tajikistan in the Culture of Politics section); and the third one (by Alexander Kazantsev) is a review of how the Kiplings metaphor of the Great Game is used with regard to the great policy in Central Asia (there is also a review on Kazantsevs monograph prepared by Irina Busygina). This rubric is adjoined by the description of the possible ways of modernization for the regional transition economies - on the sample of Kazakhstan (Sergey Afontsev in the Case Study section)

The state building in Central Asia is followed by the development of its culture - the next section is focused on this matter. Gulnara Abikeeva tells us about the role of cinema in Central Asia, and Boris Chukhnovich presents the propagandistic and ideological role of monumental sculpture and painting. Related to this block is experience of interpretation of some art and media events in the West, connected with the so-called East in the way of the well-known concept of Orientalism (Kyrill Kobrin in Events and Comments). And Ilya Kalinin in his Daily Political Economy presents the column On Photo and Orienlalism.

The Central Asia social and economic problems are the key issues of the next sections. They deal with the problems of economic migration from Central Asian agricultural regions to Russia (an article by anthropologist Madeleine Reeves), with ethicality as a component of daily occurrence in some areas of Kazakhstan (Igor Savin), with various aspects of relations between the former Central Asia republics and Russia. Thus, Evgeny Abdullaev tells us about the destiny of Russian language in Uzbekistan, and Natalia Kosmarskaya analyzes the concept of diaspora with reference to the present realities of the former USSR. Alexey Levinson in his Sociological Lyrics comments Russian society attitude to the labor migrants; the same topic but in a slightly different aspect is raised by Svetlana Lolaeva and Andrey Ryabov in the Morals and Mores section.

This NZ issue ends with traditional rubrics: New Books and Intellectual Journals Review (Vyacheslav Morozov and Dmitry Golynko-Volfson). We recommend you to pay attention on Alexander Klinsky review of Elena Osokina research devoted the Soviet Torgsyn - the book is published in the well-known series History of Stalinism.

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