NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Comparison of the Kazakhstan and the Uzbekistan counter-terrorism and counterradicalization strategies
This article compares the measures of two states, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, competing for the position of regional leader. Elimination of radicalization from the lowest levels of the state is a natural concern of authoritarian governments. Mindful of the threat that religious extremism poses to the stability of authoritarian regimes, they condemn terrorism in all its forms and support the international community’s efforts to fight (Islamist) terrorism together. To ensure stability and national security, the governments of both countries have adopted comprehensive national strategies and action plans to counter radicalization and terrorism. Their common feature is the focus on preventive measures in local communities. However, while Kazakhstan concentrates on addressing the root causes of extremism, a strong emphasis on repressive measures can be identified within the Uzbek strategies. The article examines the limits of cooperation between the leading Central Asian countries as declared in the current legislative acts, highlights how the positions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan differ and diverge, and the potential to mitigate the risks associated with extremism in Central Asia by strengthening regional cooperation and understanding.