Regionalism and role of the Central Government as a mediator: Swiss and Tajik experiences
1 May 2002 - 31 April 2003
Tajikistan, in its present borders, is a country created by the Soviet Union in 1926. The main historical Tajik cultural and political centres were not included into the newly formed country. The new countrys name - «Tajikistan» was given to a conglomerate of regions separated from each other geographically (by high mountainous ranges) and historically (they used to belong to different political formations). Subsequently, there are major ethnic, linguistic and even religious differences among the population of different regions, which now comprise the Republic of Tajikistan.
Before the disintegration of the USSR the struggle for power between representatives of different regions had only hidden forms due to the strict control conducted by the Soviet Central Government. However, after having gained independence in 1991 representatives of different regions in Tajikistan started a new stage of political struggle for power sharing in the republic. This struggle finally resulted in a civil war, which continued for almost five years. Local and international experts agree that regionalism was one of the main reasons of the Tajik civil war, as well as for the ongoing political and social instability in the country.
Nowadays one of thee main problems for the Tajik political leadership is to create and maintain equilibrium between the different regions. The representation of all the regions in the Central Government is thus central to the future of the country.
Connected to this problem are the following questions:
The project will propose an informal platform for sustaining the debate on statehood and regionalism in Tajikistan and will support the process of transferring the ideas and solutions proposed by the participants to such debate into concrete proposals for action.
Tajik Centre for Citizens Education, Dushanbe
Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg