Uzbekistan bans political science
Uzbekistan has banned the teaching of political science in universities. Officials have explained the decision by stating that political science does not follow the scientific method, that the literature in this field is based exclusively on Western publications, that there is no national scientific tradition in the field, and that the “Uzbek model” of development is not taken into account.
A standard college course that used to be called “Political Science: the Theory and Practice of Building a Democratic Society in Uzbekistan” has been renamed by dropping the first two words from the title.
A dozen political scientists working in Uzbekistan have written an open letter, denouncing the country's Minister of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education, asking the government to reverse the decision.
“There is no such thing as a solely Western or Eastern political science, just like there is not Western or Eastern physics, mathematics, and so on,” [states the open letter].
In 2010, universities across Uzbekistan stopped admitting students to political science majors. Despite this, a departmental division dedicated to political science has continued to function at the National University of Uzbekistan, teaching political science to non-majors. The latest decision will eliminate all taught political science courses.
Uzbekistan is a presidential constitutional republic that has been ruled by the same government for the past 25 years. The government has restricted public assembly, opposition parties, and the media. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Uzbekistan ranks 168th out of 175 countries.