Tajikistan's virtual politics of peace
Taylor and Francis
This paper considers the nature of Tajikistani statehood in an era of globalization. It takes as its foil a recent report of the international crisis group, ‘Tajikistan: on the road to failure’. The paper interrogates this claim and finds that it is based on a poor conceptualization of the state which disregards advances in state theory made in the last two decades. However, this problematic declaration cannot simply be dismissed but, being from an authoritative source, must be considered for its constitutive functions for Tajikistani statehood. The paper thus considers Tajikistan’s position in world politics theoretically in terms of the sociological and anthropological literature on global assemblages, particularly Sassen’s concept of denationalization. It goes on to investigate a single case of the contemporary Tajikistani state: the state-owned Tajik Aluminium Company’s (Talco) international trading arrangements and tolling agreements. The paper argues that the post-Soviet, post-conflict Tajikistani state is not simply captured by elite networks or a shell for the personnel of the regime. Rather, whilst an explicitly ‘nationalising state’, it has been transformed along the lines of denationalization. Tajikistan’s official institutions, in cooperation with global actors from multinational corporations to donor agencies, have been incorporated within certain global economic and political assemblages. The paper discusses the implications of all this in terms of the consequent hollowing out of the national-territorial state model and the establishing of lines of economics and politics which make the state, in parts, global.
Vol. 61, Issue 7, pp. 1315 - 1336