Title

Kyrgyzstan’s Dark Ages: Framing and the 2010 Hydroelectric Revolution

Publication Date

2014

Journal

Central Asian Survey

Volume

33

Issue

4

First Page

463

Last Page

481

Abstract

Prior to the 2010 overthrow of Kyrgyzstan’s government, there were tangible signs of popular dissatisfaction with the ruling Bakiev regime. Beginning in spring 2008, electricity shortages and forced restrictions became a daily reminder of the government’s ineptitude, corruption and regional vulnerability. This article reports the results of a survey and interviews conducted in 2009–10. The results reveal how popular perceptions of energy and water supply shaped the average Kyrgyzstani’s frustration with the ruling regime in the year before the revolution. The paper explores how the Bakiev administration attempted to frame the electricity crisis in nationalistic and naturalized ways, and how this framing only partly resonated and created mismatch with daily lived experiences and widespread suspicions of corruption in the hydroenergy sector. Ultimately, this mismatched framing generated collective emotions of shame and blame, creating the context for revolution.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2014.989755

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