Anna-Lena Hönig's analysis of civil society in Central Asia is part of the edited volume “Die politischen Systeme Zentralasiens. Interner Wandel, externe Akteure, regionale Kooperation [Central Asia’s Political Systems. Internal Change, External Actors, Regional Cooperation] (eds Jakob Lempp, Alexander Brand, and Sebastian Mayer) published with Springer VS.
The chapter examines civil society’s development in the five Central Asian states at the example of NGOs. It focuses on the variety of organizational structures and frameworks that have been established despite the predominantly autocratic political systems. The author identifies two regional trends: While NGOs’ room for maneuver is diminishing as a result of increasing state repression and more restrictive legal frameworks (“shrinking spaces”), formal cooperation between state institutions and civil society actors is on the rise as well.
The chapter is available here.