Reviews

The author of this ambitious monograph, a young scholar from Uzbekistan teaching in Tsukuba University, examines the functions of mahalla in contemporary Uzbekistan.  The research is based at the same time on a wide typology of written sources from the Tsarist era to the present, and on fieldwork carried on in 2004-5 in Tashkent, Samarqand, Bukhara, and the Fergana Valley.  Written in a rich interdisciplinary perspective, the book reveals the deep historical background of the mahalla system and its ‘officialising’ in the decades following the independence of Uzbekistan.  As such, this rare diachronic study brings a significant and rather rare contribution to the ongoing research on the relationship between central political authority and local communities in Central Asia, moulding a new image of Central Asian ever changing societies.  Summaries of the author’s postulates, methods and results can be found in his parallel publications in English language; see notably: “The Changing Nature of Mahalla: Outcomes of the Project,” RICAS Newsletter 15 (2006): 5-8.

Noda Jin, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo
CER: I-7.4.G-669