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Blood Ties and the Native Son: Poetics of Patronage in Kyrgyzstan
Published by Indiana University Press
A pioneering study of kinship, patronage, and politics in Central Asia, Blood Ties and the Native Son tells the story of the rise and fall of a man called Rahim, an influential and powerful patron in rural northern Kyrgyzstan, and of how his relations with clients and kin shaped the economic and social life of the region. Many observers of politics in post-Soviet Central Asia have assumed that corruption, nepotism, and patron-client relations would forestall democratization. Looking at the intersection of kinship ties with political patronage, Aksana Ismailbekova finds instead that this intertwining has in fact enabled democratization-both kinship and patronage develop apace with democracy, although patronage relations may stymie individual political opinion and action.
Foreword: On Native Sons, Fake Brothers, and Big Men / Peter Finke Acknowledgments Note on Transliteration List of Acronyms Introduction: The Native Son and Blood Ties 1. Kinship and Patronage in Kyrgyz History 2. Scales of Rahim's Kinship: Zooming In and Zooming Out 3. Renewing the Bone : Kinship Categories, Practices and Patronage Networks in Bulak Village 4. The Irony of the Circle of Trust: The Dynamics and Mechanism of Patronage on the Private Farm 5. Patronage and Poetics of Democracy 6. The Return of the Native Son: The Symbolic Construction of the Election Day 7. Rahim's Victory Feast: Political Patronage and Kinship in Solidarity Concluding words: Native son, Democratisation, and Poetics of Patronage Glossary of Local Terms Bibliography Index
Aksana Ismailbekova is an affiliated researcher at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.
Reviewer: Caleb Simmons
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