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Conflict Transformation in Central Asia: Irrigation Disputes in the Ferghana Valley

By: Christine Bichsel


Paperback | Jan 2011 | #189556 | ISBN-13: 9780415620048
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NHBS Price: £24.95 $31/€28 approx

About this book

This book provides the first systematic analysis of peace-building in Central Asia for inter-ethnic conflicts over water and land in the Ferghana Valley based on concrete, in-depth and on-site investigation. The core analysis centres on peace-building projects in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan by three international aid agencies --an international NGO, a bilateral governmental donor and a multilateral agency -- and the shared approach which the donors developed and used for conflict transformation. Using ethnographic case material, the author critically examines both the theoretical assumptions guiding this approach and its empirical outcomes when put into practice.

Building on existing work in conflict transformation and the ethnography of international assistance in Central Asia, the book sheds light on Western attempts to transform the post-socialist societies of Central Asia and provides fresh empirical data on and insights into irrigation practices, social institutions, and state and identity formation in the Ferghana Valley. The book provides a novel and innovative approach to the study of development assistance and peace-building.


1. Introduction 2. Seeing like a Project: Three Cases in the Ferghana Valley 3. Sources of Thought: The Ideational Background 4. The Way of the Water: Irrigation and Conflict 5. White Beards and Active Citizens: Institutions for Conflict Transformation 6. The Crucible of Harmony: Violence and Politics 7. Trouble on the Margins: States, Borders and People 8. Conclusion

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Christine Bichsel is a research fellow at the Department of Geography, University of Berne, Switzerland. Her research interests include development studies and studies of peace and conflict.

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