Monday, February 6, 2012

Legalistic Aspirations and Realities in Kyrgyzstan

I'm going to use this blog in conjunction with Scribd to start posting some of my work. It allows you open access to valuable (or at least interesting (or at least legible)) information and it allows me some critique on my writing and presenting.

The first will be a paper I wrote last semester on Kyrgyzstan's new constitution. The constitution, I argue, is deliberately out of touch with some realities of life in Kyrgyzstan as it is written for a double audience; the international community and local elites. It leans heavily on Weapons of the Wealthy,, Eurasianet and I'm sure others. Let me know what you think, or use it to further your own research.

An excerpt:

During the drafting process, Nurlan Sadykov stated that in the new Constitution, “[t]he prime minister will be accountable to the parliament and the parliament will be accountable to the electorate, the people.” This paper will demonstrate how the aspirational Constitution of Kyrgyzstan is not quite able to answer Sadykov‟s proposition. The paper begins by looking at the construction of civil society in order to display the vibrancy of non-governmental life in the country. Then, this paper will briefly survey the elite class of Kyrgyzstan, demonstrating that the same actors in power at the fall of the USSR are still in power today through an explicit combination of cooperative measures and exclusionary tactics. Finally, this paper will look at governmental accountability in two parts, as posited in Sadykov‟s above quote. First, it will examine the legal and illegal means through which parliament keeps a check on the head of state. Second, it will examine the relationship between parliament (called “Jogorku Kenesh” in Kyrgyz, a term that will be used interchangeably with “Parliament” in this paper) and the Kyrgyzstani people, showing how repression interplays with binding ties to create something well short of pure accountability.
Simply put, the legal norms in Kyrgyzstan are not quite level with its Constitution. By exhibiting the difference between civil society‟s and the elite players‟ methods of self governance, this paper will demonstrate the carrying conceptions and selective enforcement of rule of law. By testing intra-governmental and intra-state accountability, this paper hopes to show that though the underpinnings of a parliamentary democracy exist, the finished product is not quite where it purports to be. The Constitution is used throughout the paper to reflect and diverge from the range of anthropological, sociological, journalistic, and analytical accounts collated to construct an image of Kyrgyzstani life. By comparing Constitutional articles to the Kyrgyzstani reality, the gap between the two can be more accurately defined.

Another link.