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Hero-making as ontological security practice: Tajikistan's identity politics and relations with Uzbekistan

Baratov, Shuhrat

Description

Remembering national heroes is one of the most important aspects of the politics of national identity. Due to their exemplary lives and deeds, the national heroes get portrayed as the role models for the nation. How do states choose the heroes? What are the ‘selection criteria’? What is the role of commemorating the heroes in defining the relations between the national ‘self’ and ‘other’? Using the case of the ‘Heroes of Tajikistan’ and this nation’s...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBaratov, Shuhrat
dc.date.accessioned2017-11-16T05:31:04Z
dc.identifier.otherb47392253
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/133760
dc.description.abstractRemembering national heroes is one of the most important aspects of the politics of national identity. Due to their exemplary lives and deeds, the national heroes get portrayed as the role models for the nation. How do states choose the heroes? What are the ‘selection criteria’? What is the role of commemorating the heroes in defining the relations between the national ‘self’ and ‘other’? Using the case of the ‘Heroes of Tajikistan’ and this nation’s problematic relations with neighbouring Uzbekistan, this thesis attempts to find the answers to these questions. In doing so, it relies on the poststructuralist theories of IR. The study reveals that the discursive construction of the national ‘self’ and ‘other’ through commemorating the ‘Heroes of Tajikistan’ is a correlative of Uzbekistan’s threatening behaviour in relations with Tajikistan. In other words, remembering the heroes in particular, and the identity politics in general, are not the simple matters of domestic affairs, but rather can be the crucial factors in studying international relations. As this research revealed, the national identity discourses in Tajikistan honour the ‘Heroes’ for their leadership in achieving national independence from Uzbekistan in the 1920s (Makhsum and Shotemur), and defending the Tajik language and literary traditions from the discriminatory attitude of the Uzbek nationalists in the late 1920s (Aini),as well as writing the history of Tajiks throughout the Soviet period in a way that represents Tajiks as the indigenous people of Central Asia and Uzbeks as the occupants (Ghafurov). Uzbekistan’s interference in the Tajik civil war (1992-1997) and its hostile position towards the construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power station in Tajikistan (since 2004) triggered the negative memories about the traditional Uzbek ‘other.’ At the same due to the predominance of the narratives about the traditionally negative image of Uzbeks, the behaviour of Uzbekistan in the post-Soviet period appears as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the light of ever-growing Tajik-Uzbek tension, literary, academic and journalistic discourses in Tajikistan portray the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, another officially recognised ‘Hero of Tajikistan’, as continuing the struggle of the past heroes against Uzbeks.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectInternational Relations
dc.subjectNational Identity Politics
dc.subjectForeign Policy
dc.subjectSelf
dc.subjectOther
dc.subjectOntological Security
dc.subjectNational Heroes
dc.subjectTajikistan
dc.subjectUzbekistan
dc.titleHero-making as ontological security practice: Tajikistan's identity politics and relations with Uzbekistan
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorNourzhanov, Kirill
local.contributor.supervisorcontactkirill.nourzhanov@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2017
local.description.notesthe author deposited 16/11/17
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2017
local.contributor.affiliationCentre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia), College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d70f050d4c3e
local.mintdoimint
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