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Global Perspectives on the United StatesPro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between$
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Virginia R. Domínguez and Jane C. Desmond

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040832

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040832.001.0001

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Understanding Anti-Americanism in Central Asia

Understanding Anti-Americanism in Central Asia

(p.131) Chapter 6 Understanding Anti-Americanism in Central Asia
Global Perspectives on the United States

Edward Schatz

University of Illinois Press

This essay examines post-Soviet Central Asia and suggests that it is an example that belies typical depictions of the Muslim world. It shows that anti-Americanism is not inherent to the region, to the people that inhabit it, or to the belief systems they claim. It also argues that Central Asians are not simply reacting to U.S. policies. The reality of emergent (and still fairly limited) anti-Americanism is more complex and hinges on the particular meanings that Central Asians in the 1990s came to ascribe to the United States as a symbol. More than a focus on U.S. policies or a focus on the properties of a faith system, a focus on the United States as an ambiguous and changeable symbol provides analytic leverage as we seek to understand anti-Americanism in Central Asia.

Keywords:   post-Soviet Central Asia, The United States, anti-Americanism, symbolic politics, popular attitudes toward the United States, Islamic activism

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