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Making a Living in Uncertainty: Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods and Institutional Transformations in Post-Socialist Rural Kyrgyzstan

Why is rural Kyrgyzstan experiencing widespread poverty and a considerable divide between the wealthy and the poor – despite twenty years of independence and sustained efforts to reform the rural economy? Drawing on an innovative livelihoods perspective with a focus on institutions, the author illustrates how the Kyrgyz agrarian reforms of the 1990s have fundamentally altered rural property relations. Not only have the reforms redefined the economic value and social significance of land and other resources, they have redefined the livelihood prospects of the rural population. Existing disparities between the asset-rich and the asset-poor have been reinforced, and their social relations have increasingly become embedded in a poorly regulated economic system.

The book provides a vivid example of the long-term effects of an agrarian “shock therapy” and shows how the introduction of seemingly “robust” institutions runs the risk of widening the existing gap between the rich and the poor.

Making a Living in Uncertainty: Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods and Institutional Transformations in Post-Socialist Rural Kyrgyzstan

By Bernd Steimann

Publisher: Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2011

Steimann B. 2011. Making a Living in Uncertainty: Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods and Institutional Transformations in Post-Socialist Rural Kyrgyzstan. Human Geography Series, Vol. 26, Zurich, Switzerland: Department of Geography, University of Zurich.
[ISBN: 3-906302-09-1]

Language English

Download book (10.1 MB)

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