Can There Be Democracy in Central Asia?

by Laurence on 3/30/2005 · 1 comment

That’s the question explored by Dr. Ihsan Bal in the Journal of the Turkish Weekly . He’s not completely optimistic:

In conclusion, at the present circumstances it is very difficult to be optimistic in terms of the wave of democracy in Central Asia due to the lack of middle class entrepreneur, free society, intellectual backing and the legacy of communism. Democratic political system can be established and institutionalized only if there is an existing democratic society. This is “democratic society” doesn’t have a strong hold in Central Asia. However there is a ground to be optimistic for the future of democracy in Central Asia as well. This hope lies on the real support of the western world in the taken account of Central Asian publics’ attitude towards the liberal world and the dialog oriented culture. This optimism can turn into the reality if investment in Central Asia explores the middle class and creates job opportunities based on the free market. Then the future of Central Asia will flourish and follow the examples of Eastern European examples.

Radicalism has been fed by the feeling of economical and political injustice as seen in many parts of the world. Middle East is the striking example of this where the people are exasperated with the attitude of their governments and western governments. But there is still a chance to win hearts and minds of the Central Asian people, unless the same mistakes are done. Democratization of Central Asia will be the sincere test of West’s spreading the message of democracy.

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