[PAST EVENT] The Power of Politics and the Politics of Power in Rural Tajikistan

October 24, 2012
4pm - 5pm
Reves Center for International Studies, Reves Room
200 S Boundary St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
This presentation draws on recent "intrusions" of the State in the regional center of the Gorno-Badakhshan region, the city of Khorog, as a frame for exploring the question of what is the nature of the State and more broadly the exercise of political power in post-Soviet Tajikistan.

The role of State is an important question in Tajikistan because of the reach of the Soviet State and how it transformed local values about the proper definition of politics and the proper relationships between different levels of political authority. However, this sense of a distance between different levels of political authority has collapsed, leading to decentralization and a disenchantment with those who exercise political power in local contexts.

While there are continuities with the power structures that existed at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, the new and hybrid arrangements of local power and exercise of authority reflect the shifts in the centers of power as well as a decentralization of political power in the post-Soviet space. We see local leaders emerging who are using multiple means of gaining legitimacy by utilizing the apparatuses of government, connections with non-governmental organizations as well as access to new forms of morality available in the local context.