Elmira Nogoybaeva, Expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies under the President of Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Some History

Since 1991, that is, from the very first days of Kyrgyzstans independence, its elites have been following their own paths and developing in ways that do not fit into other models or nation-building projects. This was, in fact, a new stage in the elite-forming process.

Before this time, the local elites developed within larger states and followed the prevailing patterns: partially within the Kokand Khanate, then later within the Russian Empire and the Soviet state. The Kyrgyz elites as a system-forming factor of the Kyrgyz nation mainly adapted themselves to the conditions offered.

There are two sides to the fairly frequent phenomenon whereby one nation develops within another. On the one hand, a nation threatened with assimilation, dispersal, or extermination can save itself by moving into the gravitational field of a stronger entity. This brings security and the chance of self-preservation and, sometimes, modernization. It acquires an elite of its own formed within the new state and may either change itself within the same state to become a system-forming nation, or descend to the lower levels of social development. On the other hand, the nation loses the opportunity to develop its own symbols, traditions, and institutions; it is forced to adapt itself to the dominant subject or, to be more exact, to imitate it.

For nearly a century the political culture of Kyrgyzstan developed as a Soviet political culture characterized by the monopoly of.

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