• CaC

Zarina Adambussinova, PhD

Title of the Research Project:

Dealing with Uncertainty: Socio-Economic Survival Strategies of Local Residents in Mono-Industrial Towns in Post-Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan)

Main Goals of the Research Project:

  • Identify and analyze the populations’ survival strategies for coping with challenges created by uncertainty in insecure environments such as contemporary monotowns
  • Contribute to the academic discourse on the economic transition of single-enterprise towns in the post-Soviet space
  • Explore the role and contribution of the EU in building community resilience in the former uranium mono-industrial towns in Kyrgyzstan by considering both the levels of international organizations and the local population (joint paper)
  • Provide recommendations in the form of policy papers for each case study.

Short Description of the Research Project

The project combines a household survey and ethnographic research to look at what strategies the remaining residents of two monotowns—Tash-Komyr in Kyrgyzstan and Arqalyq in Kazakhstan—have developed to cope with the challenges created by uncertainty in their daily lives. A product of Soviet industrialization and urbanization policies, monotowns were built around one single industry in geographical peripheries, specializing in mining natural resources and directly supported by Moscow. The collapse of the USSR brought severe changes to the stable lives of the monotowns and turned them into economically marginalized areas. Most places of this kind still struggle with a wide range of issues including massive losses of industrial jobs, impoverishment, outmigration, environmental hazards, health issues and violence.


Anthropology, Technology and International Development

Home University/Academy:

American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

German Postdoc-Tandem-Partner:

Dr. Chiara Pierobon, Bielefeld University, Germany

German Host:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Vasilache, Bielefeld University, Germany

Managed by:

Bielefeld University