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216 × 138 × 20 mm
272 pages
01 Sep 2007
Contemporary Worlds
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Oil, Islam and Conflict Central Asia since 1945 Rob Johnson

Central Asia is likely to become a new arena of international interest in the twenty-first century, not least because of its volatile cocktail of abundant oil and gas, Islamic Jihadist groups, dictatorial regimes and the political and economic rivalry of the United States, Russia, China and Iran. Some believe that it could become the ‘new Middle East’ – a battleground for access to precious resources, religious fundamentalism and democratic politics. Narcotics, ethnic tensions and impoverished states with weapons of mass destruction further add to the region’s instability.

Oil, Islam and Conflict is a timely regional perspective that gathers together and analyses a range of issues including terrorism, counter-insurgency and energy security. Rob Johnson covers the Civil Wars in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the conflicts in Chechnya and the Caucasus and terrorism across the region, particularly by the IMT (Islamic Movement of Turkestan). He also examines the policies of Central Asian governments, including their attitudes to democratic reform, human rights, energy and economic development, and how these are related to civil violence. Further consideration is given to Islamist movements such as the IRP (Islamic Renaissance Party) and Hizb ut-Tahrir, and their impact on the peoples of Central Asia, as well as the unrest in China’s Xinjiang province.

This book will be of interest to policy researchers and practitioners, military personnel, oil and gas companies, students and general readers interested in this increasingly turbulent and important region.

‘Johnson is not optimistic about an expeditious resolution to conflict in the region, because poverty, inequality, corruption, and weak political institutions supply ample tinder for the flames of religious extremism. A good introduction for general readers. Recommended.’ — Choice

‘This study is a thorough and updated account of the trials and tribulations encompassing the newly liberated Central Asian states . . . essential reading for policy planners and researchers, as well as those who seek to combat terrorism and secure much-needed oil resources and accessibility to western markets.’ — The Historian

Oil, Islam and Conflict is not a dense research monograph but rather an engaging discussion writtin in a journalistic style. The study represents a comparative survey of the region which is now Central Asia, and as such it deserves some attention.’ — Journal of Shia Islamic Studies

‘an excellent introduction . . . an important contribution to the study of the region.’ — Insight Turkey

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Rob Johnson is a freelance historian and Head of Academic Development at the University of Bath. He is the author of a number of books including British Imperialism (2002), British History, 1870-1918: The Birth of Modern Britain (2002), A Region in Turmoil: South Asian Conflicts since 1947 (Reaktion Books, 2005). And Oil, Islam and Conflict: Central Asia since 1945 (Reaktion Books, 2007).

1. Regional Issues and Contemporary History
2. The Central Asian republics before and after 1991
3. Islam and Islamism
4. The Tajik Civil War and the Islamic Renaissance Party
5. The Afghan Civil War and the Taliban
6. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan/Turkestan and Regional Insurgency
7. The Chechen and Caucasus Wars
8. China and Xinjiang Province
9. Hydrocarbons and the Great Powers
10. Trajectories