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Author: Bekzod Zakirov

Abstract

This paper investigates the nature of Uzbekistan’s political system under President Islam Karimov through the lenses of patronal presidentialism to explain the factors conducive to the durability of the current regime. The paper argues that the longevity of the authoritarian regime in Uzbekistan can be best understood by a methodology that reconciles the propositions of institutional analysis of authoritarian rule with conventional methods of maintaining power such as coercion and patronage. Revealing the limitation of mainstream literature that overemphasizes neopatrimonialism and informality to understand domestic politics, the paper asserts that patronal president Islam Karimov assumed multiple instruments of power at the intersection of state and economy, which ensured regime stability in Uzbekistan until his death in 2016.

In: Central Asian Affairs
Free access
In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of male labor migration upon wives living among their husbands’ extended families in Tajikistan. It studies the risks and choices available to such wives in bargaining for remittances, with a particular focus on the risks that daughters-in-law (kelin in Tajik) undertake when negotiating remittances with their mothers-in-law. This paper explores age and gender-specific norms in Tajik transnational families and their minimal opportunities for kelins to bargain and negotiate the risks associated with making “claims” on remittances by using Deniz Kandiyoti’s “patriarchal bargain” and Bina Agarwal’s household bargain framework, as well as extensive fieldwork conducted in Tajikistan. The study concludes that international migration and remittances have had a complex impact on gender norms in Tajikistan, with emerging new forms of passive negotiation by kelins unlikely to undermine patriarchal gender norms in their favor.

In: Central Asian Affairs
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author: Beate Eschment

Abstract

Almost all minority ethnic groups in Kazakhstan are immigrants. This means that in addition to their current place of residence, Kazakhstan (their “Second Homeland”), they also have a place of origin (their “Historical Homeland”). The leadership of the country has approached this situation, which offers opportunities as well as dangers, by explicitly exhorting the official ethnic representations of minorities to nurture contacts with their Historical Homelands. In this article the examples of the Chechens and Kurds will be used to show how the representations of both ethnicities actively and politically pursued this task. For both groups, representing a nation without an independent state, a fourth actor must be added to the “triangle nexus” familiar from diaspora studies, respectively Russia and Turkey, whose positions the Kazakhstani government cannot simply disregard. What emerges from the study is the strong emotional link of both minorities’ representatives with Kazakhstan as their Second Homeland.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author: Ablet Kamalov

Abstract

This article examines the ethno-national identity of Uyghurs in Kazakhstan, which, during the period of independence, has been undergoing a complex process of transformation from ‘Sovietness’ to ‘Kazakhstanness.’ This transformation is shaped by the ethnic policy of Kazakhstan, aiming for the consolidation of society and formation of a united Kazakhstani nation. Post-Soviet development not only produces threats to the Uyghur ethnic identity, but also creates new perspectives for it. The article focuses on some dimensions of the Uyghur identity determined by cross-border migration from the Xinjiang-Uyghur autonomous region of the neighboring People’s Republic of China and Soviet national policy, such as language, cultural institutions, and existence of the Uyghur district in the Almaty province. Analysis of the discourse of vätän (motherland) shows a shift to a perception of Kazakhstan as a homeland.

In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

The paper examines the production of secondary-school textbooks published between 1992 and 2019 that address the Soviet history of Kazakhstan. It argues that textbook authors exercise agency when discussing Kazakhstan’s participation in the Second World War. While some authors focus squarely on the heroism of Kazakhs and the Kazakh nation’s contribution to the final victory, others build upon this narrative by discussing the human losses incurred and the experiences of ordinary people. This article contributes to studies looking at portrayals of World War II in post-Soviet countries’ history textbooks.

In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

The violent demise of Yugoslavia and the bloody period that marked most of the 1990s in this region have sparked academic interest in the peacebuilding and reconciliation initiatives which emerged after the conflict. Scholarly literature on the subject went in the directions of transitional justice, social psychology and socio-political approaches. However, an unexplored alley of scholarly interest remains in the role of the arts in these processes. By examining the role of arts and memory creation, this introductory article posits these against the background of a problematic reconciliation process in post-conflict areas of the Western Balkans as its core topic. Situated in a post-Yugoslav geographic space, where ethnic conflicts still hinder development, people rest much on the interpretation of the meaning of lived experiences, and the role of images, arts, myths and stories, which are used to either create or dissemble the path to peace between the many ethnic communities that inhabit this area of Europe. The use of several overlapping, yet differently interpreted themes relating to lived experiences and history shows them as symbolic transitional justice policies. They broadly deal with how such knowledges are interpreted through lived moments, such as cinema, museums and public monuments.

Free access
In: Southeastern Europe