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Modern Clan Politics

The Power of "Blood" in Kazakhstan and Beyond

By Edward Schatz

Publication Year: 2004

Published by: University of Washington Press


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-xiii

I began to study clan politics because of what I found in the political world: clan divisions continue to animate power relations in a wide array of contexts. This is true not only across the southern tier of the ex-USSR, which is the empirical focus of this book, but also in broad parts of the Middle East, East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. ...

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A Note on Transliteration

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pp. xiv-15

Transliterations from the Russian are based on the Library of Congress standard. Transliterations from Kazakh are based on the standard developed by the Central Eurasian Studies Society (http://cessJas .harvard.edulcesr/CESR_trans_cyr.html), although diacritical marks have been removed to make the English versions less awkward. Many ...

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Introduction: Modern Clan Politics

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pp. xv-xxvi

One way to spot a foreigner visiting ex-Soviet Central Asia is to look at his shoes. Like that of his local counterpart, his footwear may be expensive or cheap, polished or scuffed, fashionable or ordinary. Given worldwide commerce, moreover, it may have been produced anywhere across the globe. What distinguishes his shoes is that he ties his laces ...

Part One: The Reproduction of Clans

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1/ Kinship and Modernity

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pp. 3-20

WHAT IS THE PLACE OF SUBETHNIC IDENTITIES IN MODERN politics? How do lower-aggregate affiliations-to tribe, clan, village, or locale-affect the mechanisms by which the contemporary state exercises power?1 How does this exercise of power in turn shape expressions of these local identities? We rarely ask such questions, but perhaps ...

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2/ Nomads, Diffuse, Authority, and Sovietization

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pp. 21-45

MODERN HISTORY IS A STORY OF STATE EXPANSION - EXPANSION not into empty space but over inhabited territory. The rapid conquest by tsarist Russia into Central Asia has many parallels-notably in the feverish scramble for African colonies-but even in Africa, rare is the case in which a stateless population so radically and so quickly succumbed ...

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3/ Two Face of Soviet Power

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pp. 46-71

AMONG THE CRITICAL IRONIES OF SOVIET RULE WAS THAT A modernization project designed in part to eradicate clan divisions helped to contribute to their ongoing importance. As we will see, by creating a political economy based on endemic shortages, the Soviet state generally promoted tight-knit access networks-whether in Estonia or ...

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4/ Continuity and Change after the Soviet Collapse

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pp. 72-91

THE DOMINANT PARADIGM FOR STUDYING THE TRANSFORMATION of state socialist space in the 1990S came to be known, rather awkwardly, as "transitology." The approach was hopeful and optimistic about the prospects for "transitions" from state socialism to free markets and democratic institutions. Not surprisingly, transitologists harbored strong normative commitments ...

Part Two: The Political Dynamic of Informal Ties

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5/ Clan Conflict

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pp. 95-112

IN THE 1990S THE STRUCTURE OF ACCESS TO POLITICAL AND economic goods was strikingly similar to that of the Soviet period, and this legacy continued to fuel clan politics. Unlike the Soviet period, however, when clan politics remained subordinated to other highstakes struggles, in post-Soviet Central Asia clan conflict flourished. ...

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6/ Clan Metaconflict

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pp. 113-135

CHAPTER 5 DESCRIBED THE CONTOURS OF KIN-BASED NETWORKS and their bearing on state-building outcomes, especially in personnel recruitment. The analysis was predicated on an assumption: that actors have good information about other actors' kin background and therefore may choose to privilege their kin at the expense of nonkin. ...

Part Three: Managing Clans

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7/ A Vicious Cycle? Kinship and Political Change

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pp. 139-162

USUALLY UNDERSTOOD TO BE DEEPLY ROOTED IN FACE-TO-FACE interaction, clan identities in the modern world are in fact constructed, in large part by state action. No longer the paramount wellspring of social and cultural belonging, they were simultaneously transformed and promoted in particular niches by Soviet rule. The shortage economy, which persisted for ordinary ...

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Conclusions: Kinship and Political Change

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pp. 163-173

THIS STUDY BEGAN WITH THE WEBERIAN PROBLÉMATIQUE OF traditional bonds and statehood. Based on the Central Asian experience, it arrives, however, at a different end point. While Weber was correct to observe that clan and other particularistic affiliations may impede the creation of ideal-typical bureaucracies, it is also true that ...

Appendix: Methods

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pp. 175-183


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pp. 185-222


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pp. 223-243


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pp. 245-250

E-ISBN-13: 9780295803494
E-ISBN-10: 0295803495
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295984469
Print-ISBN-10: 0295984465

Publication Year: 2004

OCLC Number: 849928753
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Modern Clan Politics

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Ethnology -- Kazakhstan.
  • Kinship -- Kazakhstan.
  • Clans -- Kazakhstan.
  • Politics and culture -- Kazakhstan.
  • Kazakhstan -- Ethnic relations.
  • Kazakhstan -- Politics and government.
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