Everyday Life Governance in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan

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The issue of governance has become a fashionable topic of research in the study of post-Soviet societies. The key argument of this article is that there are multiple paradigms and understandings of ‘good governance’, some of which concur with the global (Western) understanding, while others offer alternative criteria. In this article, we explore the specifics of governance system in Uzbekistan and suggest the notion of ‘everyday life governance’ as shorthand for providing contextual understanding of good governance. This local Uzbek governance system consists of two important interrelated components: a government that heavily relies on coercive infrastructure for maintaining political stability and interethnic peace, but at the same time induces its citizens to engage in informal practices and networks as an alternative (to the formal) source of welfare. This article explores how this system emerged in the post-Soviet period and its impact on societal transformation, governance and development processes in Uzbekistan. These issues will be investigated with reference to observations and informal interviews from post-Soviet Uzbekistan. This study is based on three periods of ethnographic field research between 2009 and 2012 in the Ferghana Province of Uzbekistan.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCentral Asia in the Era of Sovereignty. The Return of Tamerlane?
EditorsDaniel Burghart, Theresa Sabonis-Helf
Place of PublicationBoulder, CO
PublisherLexington Books
Number of pages505
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4985-7267-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4985-7266-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Publication series

NameContemporary Central Asia: Societies, Politics, and Cultures
PublisherLexington Books


  • Corruption
  • Governance
  • informality
  • Uzbekistan
  • Political stability
  • Ethnography
  • Living Law


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