Nationalism in Central Asia: A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary

Nationalism in Central Asia: A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary

by Nick Megoran


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Nick Megoran explores the process of building independent nation-states in post-Soviet Central Asia through the lens of the disputed border territory between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In his rich "biography" of the boundary, he employs a combination of political, cultural, historical, ethnographic, and geographic frames to shed new light on nation-building process in this volatile and geopolitically significant region.
            Megoran draws on twenty years of extensive research in the borderlands via interviews, observations, participation, and newspaper analysis. He considers the problems of nationalist discourse versus local vernacular, elite struggles versus borderland solidarities, boundary delimitation versus everyday experience, border control versus resistance, and mass violence in 2010, all of which have exacerbated territorial anxieties. Megoran also revisits theories of causation, such as the loss of Soviet control, poorly defined boundaries, natural resource disputes, and historic ethnic clashes, to show that while these all contribute to heightened tensions, political actors and their agendas have clearly driven territorial aspirations and are the overriding source of conflict. As this compelling case study shows, the boundaries of the The Ferghana Valley put in succinct focus larger global and moral questions of what defines a good border.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822964421
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 08/25/2017
Series: Central Eurasia in Context Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nick Megoran is lecturer in political geography at Newcastle University, UK.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Note on Place Names and Transliteration xv

Introduction: Making Borders, Making Worlds 3

Chapter 1 Uzbekistan: Building the Nation, Defending the Border 32

Chapter 2 Kyrgyzstan: Contested Visions of the Nation 77

Chapter 3 Caught in the Middle: Life in the "Neutral Zone" 134

Chapter 4 Osh's Borders: A Matter of Life and Death 189

Conclusion: The Destruction of the Ferghana Valley 241

Appendix I Transliteration Tables 261

Appendix II Divergent Spellings 263

Notes 265

Bibliography 305

Index 331

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