Neopatrimonialism and Beyond! Reassessing the formal and informal in the study of Central Asian Politics

Isaacs, Rico (2014) Neopatrimonialism and Beyond! Reassessing the formal and informal in the study of Central Asian Politics. Contemporary Politics, 20 (2). pp. 229-245. ISSN 1356-9775

Full content URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13569...

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Neopatrimonialism and Beyond! Reassessing the formal and informal in the study of Central Asian Politics
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Abstract

Neopatrimonialism has emerged as the central conceptual label applied by scholars to understand the politics of the Central Asian republics. Like the use of neopatrimonialism in other regional settings, this article argues that the concept has become susceptible to concept misinformation and stretching. Adopting a critical perspective, this article highlights three significant problems with the application of neopatrimonialism in the study of Central Asian politics: its appropriateness and operationalisation; the difficulty in ontologically and empirically untangling the formal and informal; and an inherent normativty in its application. While not advocating an abandonment of the concept, the article considers instead how it can be used better in conjunction with additional analytical approaches and/or concepts. The article proffers that a focus on either formal-institutional structures; discourses of power; and the concept of ‘multiple modernities’ would aid comprehension of the region and resolve the three issues highlighted in this work.

Keywords:Neopatrimonialism, Central Asian Politics, Authoritarianism, multiple modernities, discourses of power
Subjects:L Social studies > L260 Comparative Politics
L Social studies > L240 International Politics
L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:36900
Deposited On:09 Sep 2019 09:14

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