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Building a Better Tomorrow: Development Knowledge and Practice in Central Asia and Beyond, 1970-2017

Objective

The landscape of post-Soviet Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrygzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan) is littered with the physical remnants of Soviet development, both positive –health clinics and schools – and negative - decaying factories, polluted soil, and dried out rivers. Less visible are Soviet development’s political, intellectual, and institutional legacies. Yet just as post-socialist states and international development organizations have been forced to deal with the physical legacies of socialism, their approaches to economic development, welfare provision, and governance has been shaped by the socialist past. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the newly independent states of Central Asia invited international institutions and foreign donors to help them achieve prosperity and transition to a market economy. At the time, most development institutions and national governments subscribed to the so-called “Washington Consensus” which emphasized financial discipline, minimum state regulation, and open borders. This project proposes to study the influence of Central Asian economists, activists, specialists, and government officials who straddled the Soviet/post-Soviet divide by going to work in national and international development institutions after independence. By studying these individuals and the legacies of their work will allow us to investigate how ideas and practices of economic development and welfare provision were shaped and reshaped at the local and international level. The project will uncover how international development transformed post-Soviet Central Asia, and how the encounter with post-socialist states transformed paradigms and practices of international development. The research will thus make an innovative scholarly contribution to understanding the legacy of socialism, the history of economic development, and the the global history of development.

Call for proposal

ERC-2019-COG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Address
Spui 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 997 605

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 997 605
Address
Spui 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments