When? April 26th, 2022, 15:15-17:00
What Constitutes Post-Soviet Sovereignty? Tajikistan and the (re)Formation of National Security after the Collapse of the USSR
Isaac McKean Scarborough
As recent events attest, the state of post-Soviet sovereignty is, to put it lightly, contested. Yet this is nothing new: since 1991 the traditional boundaries of sovereignty, from national borders to state security services to control over populations have existed in fluctuating and hybrid forms across the former Soviet Union. This paper argues that the hybridity of post-Soviet sovereignty and the blending of national security structures across national borders in the post-Soviet space is directly related to the collapse and reformation of the Soviet security services in and around 1991. Using the case study of Tajikistan, it demonstrates that the breakdown of state order across the Soviet divide was accompanied by a close and immediate reintegration of security services between Tajikistan and Russia, which over the coming decades would have important consequences both for Tajikistan’s sovereignty and the engagement between the countries’ governments.