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  • Author or Editor: Rene Provis x

René Provis

Corruption levels increased significantly across the newly independ-ent states of the former Soviet Union.1 The dominant approach to un-derstanding this developmental problem has been informed by neolib-eral models of market-led development2 which tend to under-socialize human action. Critical of this approach, this paper presents a case study from post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, widely perceived to be among the most corrupt of the post-Soviet states. Drawing on ethnographic and interview data collected during 2011 and 2012, I argue that the domi-nant approach has misled attempts to address this problem through paying insufficient attention to different meanings engaged in transac-tions typically deemed petty corruption and the moral discourses ac-companying distribution of this illicit wealth.

Cholpon Turdalieva and Rene Provis

Important life-cycle events in Kyrgyz society are marked by the staging of large, informal feasting celebrations, known collectively as toi. This article discusses continuity and change in the materiality and spirituality of toi making, specifically in urban Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Organized on a larger scale and with more expenses than elsewhere in the country, Bishkek toi demonstrate material and spiritual reciprocities that are crucial in the reproduction of social solidarity and exclusion, as well as poverty, prestige, and power in the post-socialist context.