Kyrgyzstan beyond

Kyrgyzstan beyond "Democracy Island" and "Failing State": Social and Political Changes in a Post-Soviet Society


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Kyrgyzstan is probably the best known of any central Asian country, the one that has elicited the most academic publications, reports by NG's or advocacy groups, and op-eds in the media. The country opened up massively to Western influence through development aid for civil society and for economic reforms, faced two revolutions in 2005 and 2010, and experienced bloody interethnic conflict in 2010. Kyrgyzstan is therefore commonly studied as a twin case: that of having been, for more than two decades, both an “island of democracy” in Central Asia—and the only country of the region to have made the transition to a parliamentary regime—and the archetypical example of a “failing state,” one marked by endemic corruption, criminalization of the state apparatus, and collapse of public services. This volume goes beyond these two clichés and provides a research-based and unideological narrative on the country. It identifies political dynamics, their powerbrokers, and the role of international organizations; investigates the profound social transformations of both the rural and the urban worlds; and examines the broad feeling, by local actors, that Kyrgyzstan’s fragile state identity should be consolidated. This book gives the floor to the new generation of scholars whose long-term vernacular-language field research made it possible to provide new interpretative prisms for the complex evolution of Kyrgyzstan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498515160
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 12/03/2015
Series: Contemporary Central Asia: Societies, Politics, and Cultures Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marlene Laruelle is research professor, director of the Central Asia Program, and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University.

Johan Engvall is research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and a non-resident research fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Kyrgyzstan and the Trials of Independence, Johan Engvall
Chapter 2: The Evolving Role of Political Parties in Kyrgyz Politics, Shairbek Juraev
Chapter 3: Why Are Public Offices Sold in Kyrgyzstan?, Johan Engvall
Chapter 4: Peripheral Protests as an Opportunity: “Brokers” in Action, Asel Doolotkeldieva
Chapter 5: In Search of Tolerantnost': Preventive Development and Its Limits at the Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan Border, Madeleine Reeves
Chapter 6: Why Class Matters in Kyrgyzstan: Everyday Experiences, Moral Sentiments, and the Politics of the Poor, Elmira Satybaldieva
Chapter 7: Sewing to satisfaction: craft-based entrepreneurs in contemporary Kyrgyzstan, Aisalkyn Botoeva and Regine A. Spector
Chapter 8: Myths and Realities of Bishkek’s Novostroikas, Emil Nasritdinov, Bermet Zhumakadyr kyzy, and Diana Asanalieva
Chapter 9: Kyrgyzstan’s Nationhood: From a Monopoly of Production to a Plural Market, Marlene Laruelle
Chapter 10: The Affective Politics of Sovereignty: Reflecting on the 2010 Conflict in Kyrgyzstan, David Gullette and John Heathershaw
Chapter 11: “We Disputed Every Word”: The Plight of Moderates in Post-Violence Kyrgyzstan, Erica Marat
Chapter 12: Islam beyond Democracy and State in Kyrgyzstan, David W. Montgomery

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