This long article, based notably on Russian sources of the late Tsarist period and unspecified archive materials, deals with “traditional” Turkmen beliefs on the role of the institution of violence in government and authority.  In fact, the author tends to explain political violence and coercion in present-day Turkmenistan through references to the Turkmen versions of the destan of Köroğlu, in an ‘Orientalistic’ and essentialist mood that unfortunately remains a characteristic of Soviet and post-Soviet ethnography of Central Asia.  Conversely, the author’s discourse on the techniques of eviction of violence [p. 55 ff.] are more convincing.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, CNRS, Paris
CER: I-7.4.F-661