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Central Asia: migration, early 20th century to present

Migration A–Z

C

  1. Marlíne Laruelle

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm111

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Laruelle, M. 2013. Central Asia: migration, early 20th century to present. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Central Asia, defined as the five post-Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, has a history that is entirely traversed by migrations. Central Asia is made up of a vast flat expanse, comprising desert and steppe, which, unimpeded by any geographical obstacle, links Mongolia and south Siberia to the plains of central Europe. It also includes the mountainous zones of the Pamirs and Tian-Shan, the foothills of the Himalaya, which for several centuries served as a transit zone between the Indian, Chinese, and Persian worlds. Since the ancient era the region has seen a succession of Indo-European populations, including the Scythes, and Turkic-Mongol populations, including Huns, Seljuks, and Mongols. These migrations changed the cultural and linguistic face of the region, intensified its ethnic complexity, and embedded the zone in the great empires of the time.

Keywords:

  • demography and population studies;
  • Asia;
  • empire;
  • imperialism;
  • geopolitics;
  • transnationalism