AFK-EuPRA – 2: Everyday Communal Peace and/or Everyday Hybrid Peace in the Fergana Valley

AFK-EuPRA – Panel 2:
Everyday Communal Peace and/or Everyday Hybrid Peace in the Fergana Valley

The post-liberal debate on peace-building and reconciliation appears to have advanced in recent years. We can observe efforts at “bringing the local back in” (Debiel & Rink) by enhancing local ownership, relational sensitivity, contextualization, culturalization, hybridity and, last but not least, resilience. What’s more, these concepts attempt to integrate transnational dynamics, international power shifts and trends of regionalization. Against this background this panel has compiled an analysis of problems of “everyday hybrid peace” in Central Asia with fieldwork results on everyday situations of communal conflict and peace (in the Kyrgyz and Tajik communities). This region offers good opportunities to investigate how some areas of conflict have become objects of more or less external interest and intervention, how external actors work on the ground and how they approach their problems of localization. At the same time, Central Asia, particularly the Ferghana Valley, also offers good opportunities to study how local actors lead their everyday communal lives and how the local population deals with multiple everyday conflicts against the backdrop of their social order. An integration of both views facilitates a better understanding of both the local and hybridity in this region.

Chair: Eva Hinterhuber (Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Presenters:

Anna Kreikemeyer (IFSH, University of Hamburg, Germany): Hybrid Peacebuilding and Local Peace in the Fergana Valley

The post-liberal debate on peacebuilding and reconciliation seems to have advanced. We observe efforts “bringing the local back in” (Debiel/Rink 2016) by enhancing local ownership, relational sensitivity, contextualization, culturalization, hybridity and last but not least resilience. Concepts furthermore try to integrate transnational dynamics, international power shifts and trends of regionalization. However, many questions remain: for scholars, for practitioners and last but not least for the local population.

This panel brings together an analysis of problems of “everyday hybrid peace” in the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley (Kreikemeyer) with fieldwork results on everyday communal conflict and peace (Hojiev) in Kyrgyz and Tajik communities in this Valley. This subregion offers good opportunities to study how some areas of conflict have become objects of more or less external interest and intervention, how external actors work on the ground and how they approach their problems of localization. At the same time the Fergana Valley offers good opportunities to study how local actors continue their everyday communal lives and how the local population has been dealing with multiple everyday conflicts behind the background of their social order (Mielke/Schetter/Wilde 2011; Beyer 2014, 2015). An integration of both views allows better understand both the local and hybridity in this region.

Kreikemeyer asks: “What is the local? How is it conceptualized? What is “everyday hybrid peace” (Mac Ginty and Richmond 2013-2016) in the Fergana Valley? Her findings suggest that any efforts of localization have to take into account both processes of hybridization and local actor’s roles and interpretations. On the micro-level a “disaggregation of hybridity” (Millar 2014) suggests an emphasis on social order, traditional justice and resilience. A true interdisciplinary cooperation between peace researchers and social anthropologists can improve the understanding of hybrid local peace. Any strategy has to integrate reflexivity, subsidiarity and dialogue in advance.

Hojiev demonstrates how framing (Esser 1993; Benford/Snow 2000) sheds light on symbolic and discursive dimensions of conflict and peace with the examples of identity construction and action legitimation. Local frames and agency for communal peace in the Fergana Valley confirm that peace has been a prevalent reality and that local actors and institutions in this region have “abilities to maintain alternative forms of peacemaking” (Mac Ginty 2010) against the background of persistent ethno-political cleavages and difficult socio-economic conditions. For many years, Uzbeks and Tajiks have been sharing peaceful communal relations rather than conflict, independent from external actors. Everyday relations are framed by community members along the lines of mutual respect and understanding as a basis for peaceful coexistence. Examples of three frames indicate a common identity construction, a legitimation of action and a discursive dimension of “everyday communal peace” throughout the past, the present and the future. They enter local practices through networks of the local social order going beyond kinship.

Aksana Ismailbekova (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany): Informal Women Leaders, Mediation, and Peace Building in Southern Kyrgyzstan

Jafar Usmanov & Asel Myrzabekova (BICC, Germany): Everyday Practices of Security-Making in Central Asia. Case studies of civil activism and mixed couples

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