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October 16, 2012

CFP Journal: "Imagined" vs "real" nation-building: language and identity policies between theory and practice in Central Asia, Nationalities Papers

Deadline: November 10, 2012

We are looking for one article to complete a special issue of Nationalities Papers on nation-building in Central Asia coming out in 2014. The paper should focus on an in-depth case study of a single Central Asian former USSR republic or, alternatively, could explore one aspect of nation-building in Central Asia in comparative perspective but must still fit the thematic remit of the special issue (see below). In both cases the paper should be based on empirical research and preferably qualitative case studies, although quantitative analyses with a solid methodology may be considered.

If interested, please read carefully the description below and feel free to contact the guest editors should you have any questions. In order to enjoy full consideration please send your abstract and a short biographical note by 10 November 2012.

Given their lack of modern sovereign statehood prior to Soviet national delimitation in the 1920s there was a degree of urgency to the process of nation-building in post-Soviet Central Asia, tied as it was to issues of sovereignty, identity and elite legitimacy. Initially scholarship focused on the elites (Akbarzadeh, 1996, 1999; Akiner, 1995, 1997; Roy, (Kurzman, 1999). However, the consolidation of the post-Soviet regimes has seen the focus on nation-building shift to an exploration of informal processes of identity, decision-making and behaviour (Jones-Luong, 2002; Collins, 2006, Schatz, 2005; Radnitz,2010). In this special issue we return to the nation-building debate as the process remains inherent to the policies and strategies of the timely given the recent 20th anniversary of independence, but also it is important to assess the extent to which nation-building policies and discourse has resonated with the populations of Central Asia and the extent of its practical implementation.

Engaging with current debates on nation building and their applicability, this special issue will investigate the dynamics and evolution of nation-building policies in Central Asia. Much has been written on nation-building and Central Asia but this issue is distinct in two ways:

1) It engages with a comparative analysis of nation-building policies, exploring the efforts at the sub-national, national and extra-national level in all five Central Asian republics. Utilising scholars from a range of disciplines and focusing on different countries, the issue will explore the conception, production, implementation and reception of nation-building policies at multiple levels of state and region.
2) The research examines not just how nation-building is conceived, but also how policies and rules are put into practice. Our previous research shows that, in a number of cases, policies are adopted at the parliamentary level,but implementation does not always follow. Our project compares the way policies are conceived (imagined) in politicians' and local governors' minds and compares them with what happens at the citizens' level. We will look at both aspects with a particular focus on informal resistance that can modify or even nullify rules, policies or some aspects thereof.

Guest editors:
Rico Isaacs, Oxford Brookes University (ricoisaacs@brookes.ac.uk)
Abel Polese, Tallinn University (ap@tlu.ee)

Posted by sarayu at October 16, 2012 10:21 AM