This essay presents a framework for analyzing political transition in postcommunist Central Asia by examining the legacies of both the traditional model of Central Asian societies in the prerevolutionary period and the political institutions under the Soviet regime. It argues that, although societies and the influences of traditional genealogical and familial identities persisted and the structure of societies remained unchanged under tsarist authority, kinship ties and networks were difficult for the Soviet state to control and firmly adapt to its institutions, despite the Soviet system's attempt to eliminate these traditional social elements. The institutional legacies from both the precommunist and Soviet eras have continually affected nation building and subsequent development since Central Asian states gained their independence. Politics in Central Asia are currently characterized by neopatrimonialism, in which the authoritarian system serves as a formal institution, and behind it an informal, patron-client relationship can be observed. Therefore, regarding political transition in Central Asia, it is difficult to conclude that democratization has developed in Central Asian countries.