CSRC Working Paper 46

The Perils of Emerging Statehood: civil war and state reconstruction in Tajikistan
Working Paper No : 46 (series 2)
Author(s) : Anna Matveeva
Date : March 2009


Tajikistan disintegrated into violence and civil war in early 1992, a few months after it gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The reasons for the civil war are attributed to a weakening of political authority, rivalry between regional identities, and the clash between secularist and religious constituencies. The crisis was triggered by presidential elections when the opposition refused to accept defeat, which served to underscore the dangers of running premature elections in polarised polities. Instability in neighbouring Afghanistan with the availability of fighters and weapons also contributed to the crisis. This paper examines how a nation state was established in the course of the war in Tajikistan and became its by-product, reflecting a new consensus among elites.