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Regional Factor in Intra-Elite Rivalry in Present Kyrgyzstan

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This article conceptualizes regionalism in historical perspective as repeated schemes of translocal inter-groups' allegiances and studies dynamic transformation of political elites in present Kyrgyzstan in broader social context and international change. The article starts with historical reference to the Soviet delimitation policies in Central Asia in the 1920-30s and reveals how the competition among political groups within the prospective Kyrgyz SSR took the form of regional separation.

On the basis of field interviews taken in the southern and northern areas of Kyrgyzstan, parliamentarians' biographies and statistics on inter-regional migration and entrepreneurship, the country's present south-north opposition is deconstructed as manipulation of political groups and individuals in competition for resources, power and social status. Post-socialist institutional innovations, including parliamentary system, election code and territorial-administrative reform are analyzed as flexible function of transregionalizing political rivalry. Finally, formation of the new pro-presidential party Ak Zhol and discussions on privatization of energy sector are interpreted as an attempt to establish corporate elite according to the Kazakh and Russian model.


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