31.10.2012 | ZEF: “Boundary Management and the Discursive Sphere – Negotiating ‘Realities’ in Khorezm, Uzbekistan”

ZEF cordially invites you to attend the lecture of Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Scientific Coordinator of the Crossroads Asia Competence Network, on the paper “Boundary Management and the Discursive Sphere – Negotiating ‘Realities’ in Khorezm, Uzbekistan

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, at 11 am in room 3.004 at ZEF. Please refer to http://www.zef.de/howtoreach.0.html for directions.

With independence in 1991, Uzbekistan, as most of Central Asia, entered into a phase of socio-economic transformation. In agriculture, this state-driven restructuring of the former system concentrates on the ‘formal’ sphere of land and water governance. This paper assesses water management in Khorezm, Uzbekistan taking a social constructivist and sustainability science-inspired perspective (Mollinga, 2008; 2010). We argue that several limitations to effective water management in Khorezm exist. To cope with these and assure water access, three types of practices are widely employed: formal, strategic, and discursive practices. The discrepancy between the formal water management institutions, manifested and regulated through formal practices and the informal, widely pursued through strategic practices and acts of deviation, is compensated through discursive practices, verbal references to formal institutions hampering the formalizing of informal practices. The institutionalized employment of all three types of practices fosters the production and re-production of boundaries demarcating two, largely separate and little interacting, spheres of reality in Khorezm’s water management. Consequently a high degree of resistance to the integration of informal water management realities into the formal regulatory environment prevails, preventing mutual learning and thus the locally informed restructuring towards more efficient and more sustainable water management.

This lecture is part of the Crossroads Asia Lecture Series 2012-2013. A comprehensive programme of the lecture series will be published shortly on our homepage www.crossroads-asia.de.