There have always been two major domestic policy directions in Uzbekistan, neither of which is very good for the development of democracy. The first was a form of authoritarian modernization slightly modeled on the ‘Asian tiger’ successes of South East Asia and China. It clearly was the preferred strategy in early-independence Uzbekistan and even today will dominate government press conferences. This policy was dominated by those who served as ‘reformers’ in Uzbekistan – English-speaking technocrats who dominated the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance.1 It was not a coincidence that these were the Uzbek officials that most visiting foreign delegations saw – they provided an acceptable face and exhibited a subtle understanding of the buzzwords and catchphrases the West found crucially important. These talking points included human rights,

pluralism, federalism, and civil society. Of course this represented nothing of substance and reflected no real commitment on the part of Uzbekistan but that seemed to matter little to the Western diplomatic community.