Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

CASNiG – Central Asian Studies Network in Germany

Beyond post-Soviet:

Path dependencies and new trajectories of change in Central Asia

2nd annual workshop of CASNiG – Central Asian Studies Network in Germany

Web-Conference March 4-5, 2021 – University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde

To register as a participant, please send an email to: casnig2021@hnee.de

Organized by: Prof. Martin Welp, Dr. Michael Spies and Dr. Henryk Alff
(HNEE / Centre for Econics & Ecosystem Management)

Almost three decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, legacies of the Soviet past are still a dominant research theme on Central Asia. By going beyond the post-Soviet category, the second CASNiG (Central Asian Studies Network in Germany) workshop aims to critically re-evaluate the role of path dependencies vis-à-vis new actors and processes in shaping current societal (including social-ecological) developments in the region. Among others, Central Asia has become subject to new geopolitical interests, encounters increasing global interdependencies of socioeconomic development, and is confronted with high vulnerabilities in the context of new long- and short-term crises such as climate change and global pandemics. We define Central Asia as comprising regions and (trans-) localities in the centre of the Asian continent (including NW China and Mongolia) that are shaped by close historical, socio-political and cultural interconnections.

March 4, 9:15–14:45 CET




Session 1
Discourses and memories

Botagoz Shapirova ­& Jenniver Sehring IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands:

United by the past or divided by the present? The role of epistemic communities in the Aral Sea Basin

Kateřina Zäch – University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland:

Memories that reckon with Soviet life and water in the post-Soviet period in rural Kyrgyzstan


Discussant: Anna-Katharina Hornidge – German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn, Germany

Session 2
Migration and social relations

Nodira Kholmatova European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy:

Sustaining work-life balance? Family Migration and Informality among Migrants from Tajikistan in Russia

Zarina Mukanova – University of Zurich, Switzerland:

Parallel universe of oralman-qandas of the southeastern Kazakhstan

Rune Steenberg Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic:

Forced passports, Malaysian and Syrian connections and conspiracies in Uyghur migration to Turkey 2013-2017

Discussant: Verena La Mela – University of Zurich, Switzerland




Session 3
Conflict and cooperation in natural resource use

Gulzat Baialieva Tuebingen University, Germany:

“Silicon valley”: environmentalism of the poor in Kyrgyzstan

Siegmund Missal & Martin Welp Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany:

How to overcome path-dependent use structures of riparian forest in Kyrgyzstan?

Ottavia Cima University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg:

Imagining the future, producing the past. Moral repertoires for cooperation in rural Kyrgyzstan

Discussant: Christine Bichsel – University of Fribourg, Switzerland

March 5, 09:15–15:45 CET

(incl. 5 min break)

Session 4
Economic pathways

Markus Sattler – Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig, Germany:

Analyzing the world-making practices of innovative companies in Central Asia using Global Value Chain analysis?

Andrei Dörre – Free University of Berlin, Germany:

Special Economic Zones in the Periphery. Guarantee of Success for Rural Development?

Rano Turaeva – Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Ludwig Maximillian University:

Economic trajectories in Central Asia: debt relations

Tabea Rohner – University of Zurich, Switzerland:

Beyond decline: the monotown in capitalism after socialism


Discussant: Martin Petrick – University of Giessen, Germany

Session 5
Urban life

Sharleena Goerlitz – University of Bonn, Germany:

The Land of Grey Sky: Sustainable Development Strategies in Ulaanbaatar

Paulina Simkin – University of Augsburg, Germany:

"The world drinks coffee – why shouldn't we!?" A study about consumption patterns in Bishkek

Wladimir Sgibnev – Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig, Germany:

Towards a Central Asian public transport renaissance?

Discussant: Ines Stolpe – University of Bonn, Germany


Final remarks and closing of formal workshop part




CASNiG meeting on network building activities

CASNiG – Central Asian Studies Network in Germany

Founded in February 2020 at a first meeting at Augsburg University, the main aim of CASNiG is to bring together
Central Asia researchers to exchange ideas, concepts and findings and to promote collaboration, mutual support
and solidarity. The CASNiG network aims to establish a regularised and systematic exchange between researchers
and scholars at any stage of their academic career who research on and have an interest in societal relevant topics
in Central Asia. CASNiG is based in German-speaking countries and primarily addresses academia. Still, we warmly
welcome members based in other countries (especially Central Asia) and practitioners or civil society members
working in/on Central Asia.