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Dr Saxena at ICAS 2019, 16-19 July, Leiden

When Jul 17, 2019
from 10:00 AM to 04:30 PM
Where Leiden
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The 11th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS)

The History of Industry in Central Asia: Economic Models and Ideas of Progress

Tue, 17 Jul, 2019
10:00 - 11:45
Location: Kamerlingh Onnes C0.20

Roundtable Convenor(s)

    • Irina Morozova

      University of Regensburg, Germany

Roundtable Chair(s)

    • Irina Morozova

      University of Regensburg, Germany

Participant(s)

  • Siddarth Saxena

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Chokan Laumulin

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Rano Turaeva

    Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Germany

  • Willem Vogelsang

    International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

  • Richard Griffiths

    International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

This roundtable aims to develop connections and interfaces between academic research on the history, anthropology, and present condition of industrial projects in Central Asia and their practical economic and political implementation and impact. Central Asia appears on the contemporary world map not just as a post-Soviet sphere of geopolitical contestation, conflict and social deprivation, but also as a space of multiple and entangled modernities that have their representation in materiality and objects, above all. Paradoxically, despite the overall importance of industry for the societies, economies, and political development of Central Asian states, area specialists have conducted relatively little research on industry, (national) economies, and entrepreneurship following the collapse of the USSR. Scholars in economics and applied social sciences are more accustomed to meeting industry representatives and engaging with companies, while researchers in humanities focus their outreach on civil society organisations. They all, however, face challenges in meeting policymakers and big business in the region of Central Asia, in large part due to the specificities of the countries’ political and economic systems. At this roundtable, we would like to emphasise the role of the nation-states and the remaining centre-periphery relationships in industrial projects in Central Asia (Moscow – Central Asia; Beijing – Central Asia; or the EU – Central Asia) and their implications for the population recruited in the industries and living in industrial areas. This will connect post-colonial and post-socialist problematics of socio-economic transformation in the region and provide a platform from which to analyse geopolitical actors’ interests and performance in the region. Roundtable participants will present aspects of their on-going research related to industries in the contexts of socialist and post-socialist economic models and outcomes in Central Asia, linking the regions current economic development to its modern history and prospects for growth. Importantly, we will include the experiences of practitioners (from international and regional organisations and state and private enterprises) in order to stimulate discussion on the possible development of industry from the perspective of science, technology, or the public sector.

    Central Asia: Lands in Between, or a Developing Power Block?

    Wed, 17 Jul, 2019
    14:45 - 16:30
    Location: Kamerlingh Onnes A1.44

    Roundtable Convenor(s)

      • Willem Vogelsang

        International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

    Roundtable Chair(s)

      • Willem Vogelsang

        International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

    Participant(s)

    • Mehdi Amineh

      University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

    • Richard Griffiths

      International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

    • Irina Morozova

      University of Regensburg, Germany

    • Flora Roberts

      Leiden University, Netherlands

    • Siddarth Saxena

      University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

    This roundtable will focus on the position of Central Asia (defined as the post-Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) within the broader Eurasian context, and in particular in relation to the two neighbouring major powers in the region, Russia and China, but also against the backdrop of the economic or cultural presence in this part of the world of other powers, as for instance Iran, Turkey, Korea, Japan, the European Union and the United States. 

    Central Asia has for many centuries been the land ‘in between’, between China and the Middle East. Between the late 19th century and the late 20th century it was dominated by Russia/the Soviet Union. It is characterized by new nations with mixed ethnicities, a poor democratic development, a volatile border to the south (Afghanistan), environmental problems, and economies often based on one product (oil; gas; cotton), and a shared Soviet heritage. Since independence in the early 1990s, the modern states have been engaged in developing a ‘national’ narrative rooted in the past and/or the promotion of perceived national/ethnic cultural characteristics (e.g. dress). 

    This roundtable will discuss the present situation and future prospects of the Central Asian states, considering their economic and social developments, the energy supply and consumption, and the role of Central Asia within the wider framework of the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative, and its reception in Central Asia. Yet, attention will also focus on the presence of other powers in the region, and the internal economic and social developments that follow on, or affect outside influences. Will the Central Asian states manage to form a separate and united power block to negotiate with neighbouring powers, or will the various new states continue to deal individually with the surrounding world? 

    The roundtable is organised as part of a larger discussion in various panels and roundtables at ICAS of the Belt and Road Initiative and its reception in Eurasia and beyond, and as part of an IIAS-led initiative to discuss the BRI initiative and its reception in Eurasia and beyond. 

     

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