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In: Caucasus Survey
Free access
In: Central Asian Affairs

Abstract

Academic debates on law and society relations in authoritarian regimes continue to revolve around issues of the dysfunctional legal system, corruption and informality, clientelistic legal culture, and how the authoritarian regimes in this region deploy law as a means for suppressing dissent. However, in this article, we argue that the legal landscape of authoritarian regimes should not be viewed from the “black-and-white” perspective. Rather, there is a need for a comprehensive account of how the state law and non-state forms of normative ordering engage in mutually transforming interactions and thereby shape the legal landscape of authoritarian regimes. By examining the law as a social field and legally plural phenomenon, our aim in this paper is to contribute, both empirically and theoretically, to scholarly debates on the role of law in authoritarian regimes by showing that the law is not merely a tool of authoritarian control and repression but various social groups and actors can also harness it for their own purposes depending on the context, time, location, opportunity and situation. These processes will be investigated by presenting ethnographic case studies from Uzbekistan, an archetypal authoritarian regime in Central Asia.

Open Access
In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

The election of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Uzbekistan was initially dismissed as, yet another Central Asian transition of power that would ultimately change very little. In this instance however, analysts were proven quite wrong. Since taking the country’s highest office, Mirziyoyev has liberalized the economy, improved relations with neighbors, increased accountability, and signaled willingness to release some executive powers to the people. However, in analyzing these welcomed reforms, we must ask ourselves whether they are genuine. Is Mirziyoyev a radical reformist willing to sacrifice the political order established by his predecessor for the sake of liberalization or are these changes instead part of a broader political agenda for the sake of legitimacy?

In: Central Asian Affairs
In: COVID-19 “Humanitarianism”
In: COVID-19 “Humanitarianism”
In: COVID-19 “Humanitarianism”