(KU) International media reports have focused on recent reforms in Uzbekistan as a potential opening and thaw of a once repressive regime.
Some international groups and activists have even referred to the developments as an "Uzbek Spring," though a University of Kansas scholar of Central Asian politics says that is an overstatement at this point.
Mariya Omelicheva, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, is available to discuss issues surrounding authoritarian regimes in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia. Her broad research focuses on international relations, security policy, state security and human rights, and Russian foreign policy. She has authored several recent articles and essays on politics in Central Asia.
"I think that characterizing developments in Uzbekistan as a 'spring' would be an overstatement because these are all top-down measures, which do not change the essence of regime in Uzbekistan," Omelicheva said. "While it is important for the international community to welcome every practical step taken by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to improve Uzbekistan's relations with its neighbors or to free political prisoners, it is equally important not to amplify the extent to what this regime is committed to genuine political and economic reforms." […]
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