Guest Lecture Control through Empowerment: Evidence from Nation-Building in Soviet Central Asia
September 7, 2022
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
You are invited to attend the guest lecture by Paul Dower, PhD, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Paul Dower is a development economist and his research lies at the intersection between political economy, economic history and development economics. His research focuses on how changes in land rights and other agrarian reforms affect agricultural production, conflict, democratization and migration.
To sign up for the guest lecture, please fill out a short Google Form HERE
Date: September 8, 2022
Location: AUCA campus, Room 410
Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
Control through Empowerment: Evidence from Nation-Building in Soviet Central Asia
Paul Castañeda Dower, Andrei Markevich and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
We study the effect of the inception of the Central Asian states in the 1920s on stability and nation-building in the region. The Bolsheviks instituted autonomous Soviet republics in Central Asia by delineating the territory that had not had national borders before and, in each republic, gave political power to a particular ethnic group among those residing on its territory. We combine novel historical data on local insurgency against the Soviet state and intergroup conflict in Central Asia from declassified archives of Soviet police reports with historical census data on local group composition. We find that the reform substantially reduced the level of insurgent activity against the Soviet power and lowered conflict between local groups. The national delimitation of Central Asia resembles very closely to an ideal territorial division into states that would minimize within- state group segregation with one important exception: Northeast Kazakhstan, with its large presence of European migrants, is a separate state. We show that the main effect of the reform comes from the areas that comply with the “ideal-division” rule. The Europeans in Northeast Kazakhstan, in contrast, revolted against the reform. We also show that Soviet investments in human capital facilitated nation-building for the titular national group.
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