A virtual event hosted by the Central Asia Program at the George Washington University on November 16, 2021.
This book explains and evaluates today’s economic, political, social and ecological crises through the lens of rentier capitalism and countermovements in Central Asia. Over the last three decades the rich and powerful have increased their wealth and political power to the detriment of social and environmental well-being. But their activities have not gone unchecked. Grassroots activism has resisted the harmful and damaging effects of the neoliberal commodification of things.
Providing a much-needed theorisation of the moral economy and politics of rent, this book offers in-depth case studies on finance, real estate and natural resources in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The authors show the mechanisms of rent extraction, their moral justifications and legitimacy, and social struggles against them.
Balihar Sanghera is a senior lecturer in sociology at University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. His books include Rentier Capitalism and Its Discontents: Power, Morality and Resistance in Central Asia and Theorising Social Change in Post-Soviet Countries: Critical Approaches. His research interests include social theory, political economy and ethics.
Elmira Satybaldieva is a scholar in Eurasian politics and development based at the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent. She is the co-author of Rentier Capitalism and Its Discontents: Power, Morality and Resistance in Central Asia, and has written on class, gender and politics in Central Asia.
David W. Montgomery is a research professor in the Department of Government and Politics and the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the director of program development for CEDAR–Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion. His books include Central Asia: Contexts for Understanding, Practicing Islam: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Navigation in Kyrgyzstan, Living with Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World, and Everyday Life in the Balkans.
Assel Tutumlu (former Rustemova) is an Assistant Professor at Near East University in Northern Cyprus. She received her Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. She mainly specializes in studying authoritarian regimes in Central Asia and beyond, but also writes on democratization, nation-building and foreign policy issues. Her work appeared in Europe-Asia Studies, Central Asian Survey, Journal of Eurasian Studies, Problems of Post-Communism and edited volumes from Routledge, Palgrave, Lexington, and Nomos Press. Before holding academic positions in Turkey, Kazakhstan and the United States she worked at the United Nations, International Foundation for Election Systems, Kennan Institute of Advanced Russian Studies and the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies.
Sebastien Peyrouse, PhD, is a Research Professor at the Central Asia Program in the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (George Washington University) and a Senior Fellow with the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China relations. His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, economic and social issues, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, India and South Asia.