Elite Networks and Fear: the June 2010 Ethnic Clashes in Kyrgyzstan

Elite Networks and Fear: the June 2010 Ethnic Clashes in Kyrgyzstan

November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012

David Boire-Schwab, University of Montreal, Canada

Abstract: The presentation examined the involvement of elites in the mobilization of crowds during the 2010 ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan. Businesses as well as political and criminal networks are accused of profiting from the June violence by using it to silence or eliminate rivals. Several influential personalities have indeed acted in ways which increased tensions between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz during the time period preceding the clashes and following the April 2010 ouster of Bakiev. This analysis is based on Scott Radnitz’s description of elite patronage networks as tools for mobilization. It examines if such networks were used to mobilize crowds of people during this violent episode. 

Bio: David completed his bachelor degree with a minor in Political Science and a major in History at the University of Montreal. He is currently undertaking a master degree in Political Science at the same university. He specializes in the study of post-soviet world, specifically the Central Asian countries. He is currently working on ethnic conflict and violence. During his fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan he conducted qualitative interviews on the 2010 clashes between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Southern Kyrgyzstan.

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