The book re-reads what has become a true knowledge on Central Asia. Since the 1990s, the true knowledge on Central Asia has been embedded in the `five stans' - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - spatial discourse. The study argues that this `five stans' spatial discourse determines the conceptual boundaries of Central Asia in International Relations. The book asserts that the `five stans' spatial discourse is territorially trapped; hence it is limited to explain the political and economic processes taking place `on the ground' in the region. Re-reading the `five stans' discourse the study introduces an alternative methodology drawing upon Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory.
Ulugbek Azizov is a researcher affiliated to the University of Erfurt, Germany.