Disorder over the border: spinning the spectre of instability through time and space in Central Asia

Research output: Contribution to Magazine/Trade PublicationArticle

11 Scopus citations


Across Eurasia, authoritarian leaders have sought to justify their ‘strong-hand’ approach to government by framing instability as a security threat and the strong state as a guarantor of political stability. Such ‘regimes of certainty’ promote a modernist valorization of order, the flip side of which is a demonization of political disorder instability, or mere uncertainty. Examining the spatial and temporal imaginaries underpinning such narratives about in/stability in Central Asia, this paper compares official discourse in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where state-controlled media and official publications have stigmatized political instability in Kyrgyzstan as indicative of the dangers of political liberalization and a weak state. Ostensibly about the ‘other’, these narratives are also about scripting the ‘self’. I argue that official interpretations of ‘disorder over the border’ in Kyrgyzstan are underpinned by a set of spatial and temporal imaginaries that do not merely reflect regional moral geographies, but actively construct them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
Specialist publicationCentral Asian Survey
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Authoritarianism
  • Kazakhstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • critical security studies
  • political geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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