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