Post-Soviet Chaos

Post-Soviet Chaos : Violence and Dispossession in Kazakhstan

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Description

'Essential reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of what capitalist globalization means for ordinary people, the grim social and political realities analysed in this book resonate far beyond the former USSR.' John Gledhill, Manchester University In the 1990s the former states of the Soviet Union underwent dramatic and revolutionary changes. As a result of enforced, neo-liberal reforms the fledgling republics were exposed to the familiar effects of globalised capital. Focusing on Kazakhstan, where violence and corruption are now facts of everyday life, Joma Nazpary examines the impact of the new capitalism on the people of Central Asia. Using in-depth interviews and material gathered over more than a year's fieldwork, Nazpary explores the responses of the dispossessed to their dispossession. He uncovers the construction of 'imagined communities', grounded in Soviet nostalgia, which serve to resist the economic order, as well as the more practical survival strategies, especially of women, often forced into prostitution where they are subject to violence and stigma. By revealing the extent to which Kazakh society has disintegrated and the cultural responses to it, Nazpary argues that dispossession has been a stronger unifying force than even ethnicity or religion. Comparing the effects of neo-liberal reforms in Kazakhstan with those in other regions, he concludes that causes, forms and consequences of dispossession in Kazakhstan are particular instances of a much wider global trend.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 132.1 x 225 x 20.6mm | 435.46g
  • PLUTO PRESS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0745315038
  • 9780745315034

Review quote

'An impressive account of the drama which is happening in one of the biggest post-Soviet republics unnoticed by the rest of the world.' Boris Kagarlitsky, author of Russia Under Yeltsin and Putin 'Nazpary's brilliant analysis of post-Soviet Kazakhstan reflects the author's deep ethnographic immersion in the everyday life-worlds of those inhabitants of Almaty who have been dispossessed rather than enriched by the new order that they describe as 'chaos'. He offers a detailed acco unting of their human costs, especially for women, while also offering new perspectives on ethnic tensions in urban space on the periphery of the former Soviet Empire. Essential reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of what capitalist globalization means for ordinary people, the grim social and political realities analysed in this book resonate far beyond the former USSR.' John Gledhill, Manchester University 'Post-Soviet Chaos has an importance well beyond social anthropology and Central Asian studies. What Rigi describes for Almaty, Kazakhstan is a pattern which is emerging in many parts of the world: a local mafia and their political allies terrorize and dominate a local population while international capital penetrates and consolidates its hold on new open markets. Rigi's account focuses on the strategies adopted by ordinary, but now 'dispossessed', people to survive this ruthless process. People cope through their increased reliance on kin and friendship networks, household economies dependent on barter, theft, sex work and a marriage market dominated by the values and wealth of the new rich. Rigi's attention to the highly gendered aspects of these strategies is one of the many strengths of this work.' Nancy Lindisfarne, SOASshow more

About Joma Nazpary

Joma Nazpary is a Research Associate at the University of London.show more

Table of contents

1. Introduction 2. People And Places 3. Bardak: Elements Of Chaos. 4. Networking As A Response To The Chaos 5. Women And Sexualised Strategies: Violence And Stigma 6. Construction Of The Alien: Imagining A Soviet Community 7. Ethnic Tensions 8. Conclusions: Whose Transition? References Indexshow more

Rating details

18 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 28% (5)
4 50% (9)
3 22% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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