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Research Papers

 

Yulia Posakukhina, Visiting Research Fellow, TSPC AUCA

 

Title: Social groups, factions and the politics of resource distribution: a context for aid agents and tax reform in Kyrgyzstan

Abstract: The present literature review is part of a doctorate research which explores how development aid programs working on tax reform in Kyrgyzstan engage with the country’s political economy. This broader research addresses a sequence of questions: How are the politics surrounding tax policy and administration in Kyrgyzstan understood and handled by the institutional assistance programs in this field? What are the implications thereof for the ease and returns of doing business for various social groups? In light of the preceding two questions, how can we understand development aid actors as a constituent part of the evolving social relations at the nexus of business and taxation in Kyrgyzstan? Moving beyond the case study, what does it contribute to the literature on the distinct political economy in ‘competitive clientelist’ societies and on how development organizations should approach it? The present review is primarily focused on this literature.

Email: Y.Poskakukhina@uva.nl

 


 

Maureen Pritchard, Visiting Research Fellow, TSPC AUCA

 

Title: Instruments and Identities: Komus, Kil Kiyak and Constructions of Kyrgyzness

Abstract: The materialization of the ethnonational narrative can be found on many scales. State-sponsored stagings of national culture can be seen on national holidays such as Narus, Kil Kalpak Day and April 7. Such productions are complimented by stagings of international friendship and exchange, such as seen in a night of Kyrgyz and American folk music sponsored by the US embassy. These state sponsored productions are simultaneously complimented and contradicted by the activities of local non-governmental organizations such as Aigine, which propagates a certain view of ‘Kyrgyz’ spirituality or international organizations, such as the Aga Khan Development Network Music Initiative which promotes the restoration and preservation of traditional Kyrgyz music. Ethnonationalism is also reified through small-scale activities such as the appearance of a local politician at a performance-lecture of Manas in which the epic is upheld as the pinnacle of Kyrgyz culture. Although all of these layers of cultural production have a role to play in this research project, rather than try to discuss all of them at once, this paper will focus on yet another layer, the layer of the individual seen through a particular object: the musical instrument.

E-mail: mecpritchard@gmail.com

 


 

Maureen Pritchard, Visiting Research Fellow, TSPC AUCA

 

Title: Fragments of Socialist Realism: explorations of form and content in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. Part I: From International to National

Abstract: Despite the short existence of the Soviet Union, feelings of Soviet citizenship arose, due, not only to forced political and institutional changes, but also through the material and affective experiences that became a part of Soviet life. This can be seen in the memories of any individual for whom the Soviet period corresponds with memories of childhood and young adult life, especially in memories of school, participation in a collective, and holidays such as New Year’s Eve. After the Soviet Union dissolved, the newly independent republics had no choice but to set upon the difficult task of recreating citizenship through the development of a new national narrative that could replace that of the Soviet ’international’.

E-mail: mecpritchard@gmail.com

 


 

Beatrice Mosello, Visting Research Fellow, SRC AUCA

 

Title: New Directions Towards Disaster Risk Management in Kyrgyzstan: The need For Participation

Abstract: The present work will prove that interesting insights from studies on adaptive capacity and adaptive governance can also be drawn from the field of disaster risk management. On this line, the conditions that are required to build the adaptive capacity of institutions dealing with disaster risk management in Kyrgyzstan will be assessed by recurring to qualitative expert interviews. These will be combined with a presentation of some of the initiatives that have been put in place to ensure the participation of the public and civil society in disaster risk management.
In conclusion, and facing the fact that the overall adaptive capacity of the system for disaster risk management is still very low due to a number of institutional barriers, some recommendations on how to best address them in the future will be proposed.

Email: beatrice.mosello@graduateinstitute.ch

  


 

Beatrice Mosello, Visting Research Fellow, SRC AUCA

 

Title: Moving Towards the Local: Barriers to Participation in Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan

Abstract: Water has always been a security concern for Kyrgyzstan, and it is likely to become even more so in the future. It is a matter of international security because of the transboundary nature of Kyrgyz waters when reaching neighboring Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China; but it is also a matter of national security as the Kyrgyz population, as well as the country’s economy and culture, fundamentally rely on this resource for survival. The discourse on water governance at the international level has repeatedly pointed at decentralization and integrated management as potential solutions towards the effective and sustainable use of water resources. In Kyrgyzstan, water sector reform has followed this pattern, but has somehow failed to achieve the expected results.
This paper will try to understand why this is the case on the basis of a number of expert interviews that have been conducted in the country between September and November 2011, coupled with an assessment of the existing policy and legal frameworks that govern the current water system. In other words, this work aims at identifying identify the main barriers to successful water governance in Kyrgyzstan, and hence the challenges that it will increasingly have face in the years to come.

Email: beatrice.mosello@graduateinstitute.ch

 


 

Sarah Hummel, Visting Research Fellows, SRC AUCA

 

Title: International Water and Energy Policy in Post-Soviet Central Asia

Abstract: Since becoming independent in 1991, the ve countries of Central Asia have struggled to redefine their relationships with one another. Nowhere is this more evident than in the highly politicized issue of water and energy management. The interdependent system of water and energy management put in place by the Soviets has proved dicult to maintain with any degree of consistency. Mistrust and recriminations are sadly common, and defections from cooperation often escalate. Given the diculties associated with overcoming the resultant noncooperative cycles, it is perhaps surprising that cooperation ever reemerges. Yet, although the depth of cooperation is inconsistent, it rarely fails entirely. This paper presents some empirical evidence about interstate relationships in the post-Soviet period in the area
of water and energy policy and discusses the lessons we can learn from the patterns that emerge.

Email: shummel@princeton.edu 

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