Dear members, our proposed panel is looking for a key role – a discussant! We will be grateful if any of you expresses an interest! Thanks.
Our panel titled: Establishing and contesting legitimacy in Central Asia
Abstract: The panel seeks to understand the consequences of contesting and establishing legitimacy in Central Asia. The existence or lack of legitimacy is often a ‘fact’ to which several studies of Central Asian politics refer, either overtly or tacitly. However, we seek to explore further that concept, looking not only at how it is contested or discussed at a grass-roots level, but how it is established or implemented by governing elites. The panel does not therefore privilege a single, authoritative understanding of legitimacy, but rather looks at how the concept has been interpreted or adopted among several political (or even apolitical) actors in Central Asian politics. Hence, the panel approaches the issue of establishing or contesting legitimacy from a grounded theory perspective, understanding how it is potentially interpreted at a grassroots level, and also disentangling the way in which political elites have interpreted, co-opted, replicated or constituted alternative modes of political legitimacy. In doing so, we hope to enrich the concept and provide distinct ways of conceptualising legitimacy in post-Soviet Central Asia.