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On transition and revolution in Kyrgyzstan

Pelkmans, Mathijs (2005) On transition and revolution in Kyrgyzstan. Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 2005 (46). pp. 147-157. ISSN 0920-1297

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Identification Number: 10.3167/092012906780786843


This essay reviews the revolutionary situations that recently emerged in the post-Soviet world, focusing on the 'Tulip Revolution' in Kyrgyzstan. Observers were quick to explain this revolution in terms of democratic resistance to authori- tarianism. This view is particularly problematic given that Kyrgyzstan was among the 'fast reformers' in the region and made its name as an 'island of democracy'. Instead of assuming that problems started when the country digressed from the ideals of liberal democracy, this essay argues that democratic reform and market- led development generated both the space and motivations for revolutionary action. Democratic reforms created the possibility of political dissent, while neo-liberal policies resulted in economic decline and social dislocations in which a temporary coalition between rural poor and dissenting political leaders was born.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2005 Berghahn Journals
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 11:37
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:13

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