Why have ethnic, national, and religious identities not led to violent conflict in Central Asia? Why and when are some identities more salient than others? Although identity has been highlighted as a critical variable in postcommunist transitions, few studies have examined the social roots of identity or asked how identity affects transitional stability or conflict. In the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, clan networks both foster social stability and deter ethnonational or religious conflict. However, clans also define the fault lines of instability and conflict.