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Informal Welfare and Everyday Acts of Resistance to the State in Post-Soviet Central Asia. An Ethnographic Study of Mahalla Institutions in Rural Fergana, Uzbekistan

Urinboyev, Rustamjon LU (2016) In Festskrift till Karsten Åström p.521-542
Abstract
This paper aims to examine the processes and impact of welfare state retrenchment on state-society relations in post-Soviet Uzbekistan and how community-based welfare structures have evolved to respond to declining social welfare services, acting as an informal welfare structure given the failure of existing regime to address the structural inequalities and market defects during the transition period. It is argued that mahalla, a community-based governance structure originating from Central Asia’s Islamic past and administrative traditions, are now a key welfare structure that makes up for the incapacity of the state, offering alternative (to the state) forms of welfare support to the population. However, these developments have had... (More)
This paper aims to examine the processes and impact of welfare state retrenchment on state-society relations in post-Soviet Uzbekistan and how community-based welfare structures have evolved to respond to declining social welfare services, acting as an informal welfare structure given the failure of existing regime to address the structural inequalities and market defects during the transition period. It is argued that mahalla, a community-based governance structure originating from Central Asia’s Islamic past and administrative traditions, are now a key welfare structure that makes up for the incapacity of the state, offering alternative (to the state) forms of welfare support to the population. However, these developments have had far-reaching repercussions for state-society relations, state legitimacy and the political and social fabric of society in Uzbekistan. As the state retreated from its social welfare obligations, citizens are also retreating from their loyalty to the state by challenging the image, symbols and laws of the state and inventing informal means of ‘getting things done’. This paper suggests that citizens’ collective, mahalla- based informal income-generating activities and pooling of efforts are not only a survival strategy, but also they can be seen as citizens’ ‘everyday acts of the resistance to the state‘ in post-Soviet Uzbekistan. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Central Asian studies, Governance, Welfare, Resistance, Law and Society, mahalla, Informality
in
Festskrift till Karsten Åström
editor
Dahlstrand, Karl and
pages
521 - 542
publisher
Juristförlaget i Lund
ISBN
91-544-0569-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e66a8441-28ff-439a-bc4c-56360b67f9c3
date added to LUP
2017-01-25 23:59:20
date last changed
2017-01-27 15:56:02
@inbook{e66a8441-28ff-439a-bc4c-56360b67f9c3,
  abstract     = {This paper aims to examine the processes and impact of welfare state retrenchment on state-society relations in post-Soviet Uzbekistan and how community-based welfare structures have evolved to respond to declining social welfare services, acting as an informal welfare structure given the failure of existing regime to address the structural inequalities and market defects during the transition period. It is argued that mahalla, a community-based governance structure originating from Central Asia’s Islamic past and administrative traditions, are now a key welfare structure that makes up for the incapacity of the state, offering alternative (to the state) forms of welfare support to the population. However, these developments have had far-reaching repercussions for state-society relations, state legitimacy and the political and social fabric of society in Uzbekistan. As the state retreated from its social welfare obligations, citizens are also retreating from their loyalty to the state by challenging the image, symbols and laws of the state and inventing informal means of ‘getting things done’. This paper suggests that citizens’ collective, mahalla- based informal income-generating activities and pooling of efforts are not only a survival strategy, but also they can be seen as citizens’ ‘everyday acts of the resistance to the state‘ in post-Soviet Uzbekistan.},
  author       = {Urinboyev, Rustamjon},
  editor       = {Dahlstrand, Karl},
  isbn         = {91-544-0569-5},
  keyword      = {Central Asian studies,Governance,Welfare,Resistance,Law and Society,mahalla,Informality},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {521--542},
  publisher    = {Juristförlaget i Lund},
  series       = {Festskrift till Karsten Åström},
  title        = {Informal Welfare and Everyday Acts of Resistance to the State in Post-Soviet Central Asia. An Ethnographic Study of Mahalla Institutions in Rural Fergana, Uzbekistan},
  year         = {2016},
}