Mahalla in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines the validity of international reports and policy analyses on Uzbekistan, and possibly on other Central Asian countries, regarding informal economic practices as a social evil that undermines the legitimacy and efficiency of public policies. The research presented is based on three periods of fieldwork between 2009 and 2012 in rural Fergana, Uzbekistan, and uses the case of mahalla institutions. The results show that informal economic practices are not automatically negative; rather, they may serve as equitable and efficient alternatives to the formal economy when the state fails to secure the basic needs of its citizens.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • informal economy, sociology of law, corruption, Central Asia, Uzbekistan, welfare, state-society relations
Original languageEnglish
Journalworking paper
Publication statusSubmitted - 2013
Publication categoryResearch