Post-Soviet Chaos: Violence and Dispossession in Kazakhstan by Joma Nazpary

By Joma Nazpary

Within the Nineties the previous states of the Soviet Union underwent dramatic and innovative alterations. due to enforced, neo-liberal reforms the fledgling republics have been uncovered to the commonplace results of globalised capital. targeting Kazakhstan, the place violence and corruption are actually proof of daily life, Joma Nazpary examines the influence of the recent capitalism at the humans of relevant Asia. utilizing in-depth interviews and fabric accrued over greater than a year's fieldwork, Nazpary explores the responses of the dispossessed to their dispossession. He uncovers the development of 'imagined communities', grounded in Soviet nostalgia, which serve to withstand the commercial order, in addition to the more effective survival options, particularly of girls, frequently compelled into prostitution the place they're topic to violence and stigma. by way of revealing the level to which Kazakh society has disintegrated and the cultural responses to it, Nazpary argues that dispossession has been a better unifying strength than even ethnicity or faith. evaluating the results of neo-liberal reforms in Kazakhstan with these in different areas, he concludes that reasons, kinds and outcomes of dispossession in Kazakhstan are specific circumstances of a wider international pattern.

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Extra info for Post-Soviet Chaos: Violence and Dispossession in Kazakhstan (Anthropology, Culture and Society Series)

Sample text

I open my own secret bank account in Switzerland and transfer millions of dollars there and then declare the bank bankrupt. In these ways while the manager and the members of the state racket (reket) have increased their wealth, the ordinary clients are the losers, they will never get back their money. The scenario might be exaggerated, but during my stay local newspapers reported several cases of huge sums of money disappearing without trace. Charles Clover reported: ‘Huge sums have disappeared from government coffers over the past few years, such as $500 m payment by US oil company Mobil, for a share of Tengiz oil field in west Kazakhstan’ (Financial Times, Wednesday 17 June 1998).

When the USSR was dissolved, Kazakhstan hesitated for a while before declaring independence. People and Places 31 Independence led to further Kazakhification of the state by declaring Kazakh as the state language and purging non-Kazakhs from the state insti­ tutions (see chapter 7). Russians reacted to these policies by demanding an equal constitutional status for the Russian language and the right to double citizenship. Another result of the dissolution of the USSR was that the communist party and other Soviet organs were abolished.

The dispossessed seemed to have benefited from the privatisation of apartments. In the neighbourhood where I lived most of the people owned their apartments in 1992. The state had given people coupons in proportion to the numbers of working years (trudovoi stazh) of each individual. People could either sell the coupons or buy their own apartments. Most people in the neighbourhood had chosen to buy. However, although people liked the idea of owning the apartments, all of the families, with the exception of four well-off families, thought privatisation had brought trouble rather than comfort.

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