Institution Building in the Transition following Independence in Kyrgyzstan: International Organizations and Development Agendas

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
1219 International Affairs Building

Nina Bagdasarova, visiting scholar, UC Berkeley

The institutional approach to an exploration of a post-socialist transition points to the importance of the shifts in laws, governmental structures, everyday norms, and attitudes. According Foucault, state-exerted regulative power is a one of the main sources of these shifts. However, in the context of the weak Kyrgyz state, new norms and attitudes have been created by non-state agents like developmental international organizations; furthermore, the continued implementation of these norms required control of external agents. Yet, the power that these agents manifest is different from the power that the state manifests. This presentation will suggest a series of variables that characterize the process of social transformation that is affected by the donors', specifically the UNDP's, intervention in rural Kyrgyz communities in 2001. Using "micro-analysis" for describing institutional building in post-soviet Kyrgyzstan, this paper argues that new local community organizations created by UNDP support altered social relationships, norms and values.