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Lottholz, Philipp. Post-Liberal Statebuilding in Central Asia: Imaginaries, Discourses and Practices of Social Ordering. Bristol University Press, 2022.


Drawing on decolonial perspectives on peace, statehood and development, this illuminating book examines post-liberal statebuilding in Central Asia. It argues that, despite its emancipatory appearance, post-liberal statebuilding is best understood as a set of social ordering mechanisms that lead to new forms of exclusion, marginalization and violence.

Using ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Kyrgyzstan, the volume offers a detailed examination of community security and peacebuilding discourses and practices. Through its analysis, the book highlights the problem with assumptions about liberal democracy, modern statehood and capitalist development as the standard template for post-conflict countries, which is widespread and rarely reflected upon.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Theorizing Post-Liberal Forms of Statebuilding and Order-Making Globally
  3. From Imaginary to Practice: Capturing the Multiple Meanings of Peace, Security and Order
  4. Imaginaries and Discourses of Social Order in Kyrgyzstan
  5. Local Crime Prevention Centres and the (After) Lives of the State in Rural Kyrgyzstan
  6. Shaping Peace, Social Order and Resilience: Territorial Youth Councils and the Field of Youth Policy
  7. Reform Deadlock for Stability? The Civic Union ‘For Reforms and Result’
  8. Conclusion

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.