Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 422 items for :

  • Asian Studies x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Just Published x
  • Access: Open Access x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

Abstract

This article reviews the Soviet legacy in relation to contemporary cotton production in south-western Tajikistan and asks why farmers are still locked in to Soviet cotton production policies and practices despite post-Soviet regulatory, societal and environmental changes. With hindsight on Soviet agricultural production policies in Central Asia, this contribution scrutinises the perception of smallholder dehkhan farmers towards continued cotton production as a primary crop choice, which continues to occupy most of the irrigated land in the Khatlon region. For the analyses of the post-Soviet agricultural developments, the paper applies a path dependence conceptual framework by positing the significance of historical and social contexts in policymaking and socio-economic development in cotton production. Fieldwork data collected in two districts of Khatlon region are used to explain that despite post-independence land reforms and the abolishment of Soviet authority over cotton production, smallholder dehkhan farmers are still cultivating cotton as a primary crop under deteriorating land and irrigation conditions.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

Based on qualitative and ethnographic field research in the Panfilov District of Almaty Region, Kazakhstan, and selected supportive quantitative data, this contribution explores the dynamics of agricultural transformation along the former Sino-Soviet border since the mid-1990s. It particularly scrutinises path dependency, as well as friction, in cultivation patterns navigated by local agricultural actors in the face of changing irrigation water and infrastructural access, commodification schemes and alternative employment opportunities that are produced by emerging transborder (and increasingly globalised) infrastructures. Therefore, how do agricultural actors in Panfilov District make sense of and negotiate past and current agricultural development at the local level? The article aims to provide a reflection of what the analytical ‘post-Soviet’ category might still mean from an everyday life perspective in a borderland context affected by socio-political neglect and newly evolving connections alike.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

Across Central Asia, agricultural and agroforestry practices have been shaped by a high-modernist approach since about the 1950s, with the aim of overcoming ecological limitations. Negative repercussions of this approach still affect local developments, but a shift towards resource-conserving production systems faces constraints—many of which relate to so-called ‘path dependencies’, i.e. historically-evolved institutions constraining the current practices, policies and local imaginaries of (un-)sustainable land use in various ways. Drawing on case studies from agriculture and agroforestry developments in Xinjiang (China), Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the paper explores these mechanisms and reveals a modernisation paradigm as a major source of path dependency. Moreover, the paper highlights aspects that are sometimes overlooked in the path dependency literature on Central Asia: first, path dependency should not be confused with Soviet legacies, and second, not all agricultural policies in the past were environmentally detrimental; in fact, reviving some aspects could actually be beneficial.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

This article examines the rationale behind the United Kingdom’s decision to offer Hongkongers new immigration routes and assess whether Britishness constitutes part of Hong Kong’s identity, influencing this policy choice. It explores the concept of Britishness and how Hong Kong developed a distinct identity through its colonial history and experiences under British rule. Perspectives from the British administration, Hongkongers, and Chinese government on Hong Kong’s Britishness are considered. The article argues the United Kingdom action stems from two factors – perceiving a shared Britishness between Hongkongers and Britons mitigating public backlash, and viewing Hongkongers’ Britishness as crucial to their integration. Ultimately, Britishness remains integral to Hong Kong due to shared social and political values with Britain from over 150 years of colonial rule.

Open Access
In: African and Asian Studies
Author:

Abstract

This article explores the trajectories of the encounter of Soviet state and its ‘modern,’ ‘scientific’ medicine with Islamic tibb in Central Asia, providing an overview of the different facets and manifestations of these pathways throughout the lifespan of the Soviet Union. The survey elucidates how the initial expansion of Soviet medicine followed by a later erosion of the Soviet healthcare system came into play to underline the complex relationships of Soviet health workers and indigenous medical practitioners as well as their rivalry and negotiations for legitimacy and authority across different settings and contexts. It argues that by virtue of castigating tibb as a remnant of the ‘backward past’ as well as demonising and suppressing tabibs, Soviet medical authorities eventually appropriated the traditional medical knowledge of the region and denigrated Central Asian indigenous medicine to the realm of ‘non-traditional’ by the end of the Soviet era.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

This pan-regional analysis of non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) perspectives on the contemporary factors which constrain or repress civil society in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is based on United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) data. It shows that, paradoxically, whilst the majority of ASEAN states have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that upholds civil society’s political role in promoting rights and democracy, this is inimical to the region’s political elites who regard civil society’s primary function as non-political delivery of social welfare and development. This disjuncture results in repression, performativity, and legitimation. The UPR data reveal an ever-shrinking civil space. Civil society, including human rights defenders (HRD s), faces a raft of rights pathologies, including threats, violence and murder—as well as increasing state restrictions on freedom of association and expression. This is compounded by impunity for offenders, corruption, and government inaction following earlier UPR recommendations.

Open Access
In: European Journal of East Asian Studies

Abstract

This article analyses the Italian commercial presence in the Mongol Īl-Khānate in thirteenth-century Persia. Analysing source materials, the study focuses on the experiences of individuals and communities alike, showcasing a dual aspiration to economic gain and political status. The study examines mechanisms that facilitated merchants’ relationship with the Īl-Khānids, leading Italians to occupy significant positions at the Īl-Khānid court. It also explains how just a few individuals were instrumental in fostering diplomatic ties with Europe and enabling treaties that bolstered Genoese and Venetian communities in Tabriz and beyond. A subsequent phase marked a shift as Īl-Khānid rulers embraced Islam, causing relations with Europe to erode, thereby diminishing Italian influence. This intricate interplay between Italian merchants’ trade, diplomatic endeavours, and cultural exchanges highlights the multifaceted nature of historical interactions in this period.

Open Access
In: Crossroads

Abstract

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic brought significant life changes and acted as a point of rupture for many people around the world. Using mixed methods research, this article explores how the pandemic scenario affected the organization and conceptualization of the Chinese New Year Festival in Barcelona, as well as how people participated in the festivities. Having been canceled in 2020, when everything was ready to go in 2021, its transition to a virtual event entailed changes in its format, content, and scope, leading to new synergies and ways of understanding the festival. First, the virtual format enabled the participation of new actors within and beyond the Chinese diaspora, resulting in a shift of visibility. Second, new (non-folkloric) spaces for participation served to diversify the esthetics, aims and scope of the festival, with the global economic crisis and its local impacts as key factors. Finally, while the virtual format limited the festival’s local impact, it stimulated new transnational dynamics and facilitated an increase in the number of global attendees.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Overseas
Author:

Abstract

This paper uses food as a prism to examine society and the impacts of social change at different scales, ranging from the scale of the region, through the scale of the local community, to the scale of the household. It applies an approach that combines materials gained from archival studies, a literature review, and empirical research conducted in the Western Pamirs of Tajikistan to reconstruct socio-historically and spatio-environmentally situated food-related arrangements (foodscapes) in the study region. The main characteristics addressed include rootedness, richness, scarcity, and remoteness. It makes visible both continuities and shifts that have occurred to these arrangements in the course of social transformations. The study joins the canon of ethnographic food studies, and, by presenting a regional focus on the Tajik Pamirs, complements the emerging body of food-related socio-scientific research in and on Central Asia.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

The establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) marked a fundamental reassessment of the African Union’s (AU) approach to security management. Many studies, however, view APSA through the lens of Eurocentric theories that neglect the agency of African actors. In contrast, this article examines how APSA’s design was influenced by collectively-held emotions – defined as moral judgements, based on present expectations and past experiences – amongst African policymakers. Emotional expressions can stabilise security communities by emphasising enmity towards outsiders and amity between insiders, while demanding remorse from individual or sub-groups of members that commit moral trespasses. However, this article theorises that inward-facing shame, when collectively felt by a community as a whole, can fundamentally alter its norms, valued behaviours and identity. This is illustrated by the APSA case study, which highlights the influence of inward-directed shame amongst African leaders over their reactions to humanitarian catastrophes in the 1990s, as well as outward-directed exasperation at the apathy of the international community. In addition to improving understanding of APSA’s establishment and design, this facilitates theory-building based upon African realities, thus making a valuable contribution to the growing field of International Relations scholarship concerned with emotions.

Open Access
In: African and Asian Studies