The State in Eurasia: Performance in Local and Global Arenas

Anita Sengupta and Suchandana Chatterjee

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Since the emergence of post-Soviet states in the Eurasian space there has been considerable reflection on the role that the state has played in the local and global arenas. Transformation from being part of the ‘Soviet’ to independent existence has meant state involvement in the forging of new nations out of disparate identities based on the criteria of national languages, the reinterpretation of historical events, depiction of personality-centric themes, the portrayal of illustrative careers and the rhetoric of development. This volume focuses on some of the aspects of this involvement through studies of the performative role of the Central Asian states in the arena of politics, diplomacy, culture, historical memory, and their interaction within the Eurasian space. It reflects on ways in which the state reacts to society and how discourses in the field of economy, society and culture dovetail with or diverge from the political discourse about state-building. Relations between formal institutions and informal structures; emerging conceptions of democracy in the context of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the disruptive events in western Kazakhstan during the twentieth anniversary of the republic’s independence; the nature of bilateral and multilateral alignments among regional and interregional actors are some of the aspects through which the role of the state has been examined by the authors. The volume seeks to address the question of how the state acts as an agent of influence and control not just on performative traditions but also in the creation of a single community as the basis for a nation.

Anita Sengupta and Suchandana Chatterjee Anita Sengupta is Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata. She works on the Eurasian region with Uzbekistan being her area of special interest. She has published on issues like boundaries and state formation, the question of minorities and minority identity, gender, geopolitics, problems of transitional politics and culture in the Eurasian region.She was awarded her PhD in Political Science from the University of Calcutta on the theme Language, Religion and State Formation in Central Asia - A Case Study of Uzbekistan in 2001. Her e-mail is anitasengupta@hotmail.com.

Suchandana Chatterjee, Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, has been associated with the institute since 1993. Her research interests include regional and connected histories of Eurasia, marginalized identities of Eurasia, representations on Eurasia’s transition, the Buddhist space of Asiatic Russia and Central Asia etc. She is currently working on the project Post-Soviet images of Kazakhstan: a cosmopolitan space with borderland anxieties. A student of history, she was awarded doctorate degree by Calcutta University in 2002 for her thesis Emirate of Bukhara, 1868-1924: Encounters with transition. Her e-mail is suchandanachatterjee@hotmail.com.

 

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