“Colonizers with Party Cards”: Soviet Internal Colonialism in Central Asia, 1917–39

  title={“Colonizers with Party Cards”: Soviet Internal Colonialism in Central Asia, 1917–39},
  author={Benjamin H. Loring},
  journal={Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History},
  pages={102 - 77}
  • Benjamin H. Loring
  • Published 2 March 2014
  • Political Science
  • Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History
In November 1929, soon after the November Plenum and the announcement of mass collectivization, Stalin received a letter from a young Kyrgyz official named Iusup Abdrakhmanov. Then 28 years old, Abdrakhmanov was the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). Located just south of Kazakhstan on the Chinese border, the Kyrgyz ASSR was then a small region in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR), having come into existence just… 
Stalinist spatial hierarchies: placing the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in Soviet economic regionalization
ABSTRACT Based on research in Russian and Kazakhstani archives, this article investigates connections between policies of peasant colonization, the sedentarization of pastoral nomadic peoples, and
Internal Colonialism, Alien Rule, and Famine in Ireland and Ukraine
The Irish famine of the mid nineteenth century and the Ukrainian famine of the twentieth century have been the subject of large and quite contentious literatures. Whereas many popular explanations of
Kazakh Nomads and the New Soviet State, 1919-1934
Of all the Tsar’s former subjects, the Kazakh nomad made perhaps the most unlikely communist. Following the Russian Civil War and the consolidation of Soviet power, a majority of Kazakhs still
Soldiers’ Letters to Inobatxon and O’g’ulxon: Gender and Nationality in the Birth of a Soviet Romantic Culture
From the autumn of 1944 to the spring of 1945 thousands of the Red Army's characteristic triangle envelopes arrived in kolkhozes in Uzbekistan's Andijan oblast addressed to two young women, Inobatxon
Was Russia a Colonial Empire?
Starting with a rhetorical question, the chapter outlines Russia’s historical expansion into Siberia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, highlighting the particularities of this continental colonialism
Understanding Stalinism in, from and of Central Asia: beyond failure, peripherality and otherness
Stalin never personally visited Central Asia, yet the region underwent major transformations during the period of his rule. This special issue is not devoted to Stalin’s personal ideas about the
The Oil Deal: Nariman Narimanov and the Sovietization of Azerbaijan
This essay, with a focus on Baku, Azerbaijan, demonstrates that the need to secure and hold energy resources—and the infrastructures that support them—was critical to the formation of the Soviet
Portrait Under Construction: Lotte Jacobi in Soviet Russia and Central Asia∗
Traveling in Russia and Central Asia in 1932–33, the German-Jewish portrait photographer Lotte Jacobi produced an extraordinary archive of several thousand photographs documenting Soviet
After October: Towards a Theory of the Socialist State
ABSTRACT A consequence of the Russian Revolution was the emergence of the theory and practice of a new type of state. While the Soviet Union was not a federation, nation-state, empire or colonising
Colonization with Chinese characteristics: politics of (in)security in Xinjiang and Tibet
  • D. Anand
  • Sociology
    Central Asian Survey
  • 2018
ABSTRACT China as a victim rather than a proponent of modern colonialism is an essential myth that animates Chinese nationalism. The Chinese statist project of occupying, minoritizing and


The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939
The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and
Backwardness and the Quest for Civilization: Early Soviet Central Asia in Comparative Perspective
Much recent scholarship has seen Soviet Central Asia as directly comparable to the overseas colonies of modern European states. In this article, Adeeb Khalid takes issue with this trend. European
Central Asia: Aspects of Transition
1. Turkfront: Frunze and the development of Soviet counter-insurgency in Central Asia 2. The Kokand autonomy, 1917-18: political background, aims and reasons for failure 3. Ethno-territorial claims
The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin's Special Settlements
One of Stalin's most heinous acts was the ruthless repression of millions of peasants in the early 1930s, an act that established the very foundations of the gulag. Solzhenitsyn barely touched upon
Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World
In this study, Bennigsen and Wimbush trace the development of the doctrine of national communism in Central Asia and the Caucasus. At the heart of this doctrine-as elaborated by the Volga Tatar,
Stalinism: A Study of Internal Colonialism
The Stalinist past still shapes Soviet society today, even if no longer defining it. Nowhere is this more evident than in the crises of procurement with which Soviet agriculture recurrently beset the
Stalin's Railroad: Turksib and the Building of Socialism
The Turkestano-Siberian Railroad, or Turksib, was one of the great construction projects of the Soviet Union s First Five-Year Plan. As the major icon to ending the economic "backwardness" of the
Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development
Recent years have seen a resurgence of separatist sentiments among national minorities in many industrial societies, including the United Kingdom. In 1997, the Scottish and Welsh both set up their
The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia
Adeeb Khalid offers the first extended examination of cultural debates in Central Asia during Russian rule. With the Russian conquest in the 1860s and 1870s the region came into contact with
The Economic Origins of Soviet Autarky 1927/28-1934
Forty years ago the USSR was rushing toward a degree of economic isolation unparalleled by any industrial economy at peace.1 The autarkic position reached by the Soviet economy in the mid-1930s