The Republic of Tajikistan, located in central Asia, is by far the poorest of the former Soviet socialist republics that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2014, 23 years after declaring independence, the country was still among the poorest in the world. The aftermath of the civil war from 1992 to 1997, with about 100,000 deaths, countless refugees, hundreds of devastated villages, and a far-reaching change of the national elites, is still visible. The nightmare of this war strengthens the nation’s present desire for security, but still allows for the acceptance of a poorly performing government with distinct nepotism and endemic corruption.

With a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) estimated at $935 to $950, Tajikistan ranks 189th on a list ...

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