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Book Launch and Presentation: Nick Megoran’s ‘Nationalism in Central Asia: A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary’

When Nov 16, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Contact Name
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'Nationalism in Central Asia: A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary' (Pittsburgh University Press, August 2017, 368 pages)

Author: Nick Megoran
Exclusive 20% discount available – To claim your discount and free shipping please visit and enter MEGORAN20 at checkout.
Registration is mandatory. RSVP to Prajakti Kalra 


Nick Megoran explores the process of building independent
nation-states in post-Soviet Central Asia through the lens of the
disputed border territory between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In his
rich "biography" of the boundary, he employs a combination of
political, cultural, historical, ethnographic, and geographic frames
to shed new light on nation-building process in this volatile and
geopolitically significant region.

Megoran draws on twenty years of extensive research in the borderlands
via interviews, observations, participation, and newspaper analysis.
He considers the problems of nationalist discourse versus local
vernacular, elite struggles versus borderland solidarities, boundary
delimitation versus everyday experience, border control versus
resistance, and mass violence in 2010, all of which have exacerbated
territorial anxieties. Megoran also revisits theories of causation,
such as the loss of Soviet control, poorly defined boundaries, natural
resource disputes, and historic ethnic clashes, to show that while
these all contribute to heightened tensions, political actors and
their agendas have clearly driven territorial aspirations and are the
overriding source of conflict. As this compelling case study shows,
the boundaries of the Ferghana Valley put in succinct focus larger
global and moral questions of what defines a good border.


'"Biographies' of political borders yield fresh insights on
nationalism, argues Megoran in this morally compelling, multi-layered
work. With over two decades of local language fieldwork, he weaves a
thick account of the troubled boundary between two post-Soviet Central
Asian states, showing how 'interethnic conflict' actually results from
particular internal political decisions."—Morgan Y. Liu, The Ohio
State University

"The sharp edges of political geography have always been state
borders. Megoran has written a terrific grounded biography on one of
these sharp edges, a border that has carved interconnected places
apart and destroyed lives as it has remade states and power structures
in the Ferghana Valley and Central Asia more broadly. It is compelling
reading."—Gerard Toal, Virginia Tech University