This book considers the applicability and use of civil society, both as a concept and in practice, in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The volume examines whether civil society organisations (CSOs) are a progressive force for change, or a safety net. Various forms of CSOs are investigated: NGOs and community based organisations, trade unions, political parties and religious groups, as well as more long-standing soviet and traditional institutions and practices. The book contains lessons and perspectives about civil society growth across time, and considers future directions.

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