This article focuses ethnographically on the built environment of the socalled “Left Bank” area in Astana, Kazakhstan. Previously merely a provincial administrative center, the city became the country’s capital in 1997; soon a new quarter of monumental, futuristic, and stylistically extravagant administrative, residential, and commercial buildings emerged. I argue that the construction effort produces complicity by mobilizing and channeling citizens’ agency. Against the background of recent history, it offers a sense of restored progress-directed collectivity within which individual citizens can seek to engage, pursuing more meaningful and materially satisfying lives. A selective vision of the city is propagandized widely, producing a hyperreal space that captures imaginations, set in opposition to more “ordinary” social space. The contrast between that vision and the lived realities of Astana causes disillusionment, but emic criticism of the political economy fails to transcend the logic of modernization narratives that the ideology of Astana’s construction rests upon.
Construction, temporality, and politics in Astana
Transforming Amerindian Sociality in Peruvian Amazonia
address the centrality of transformation in capacity building projects, and the way a sense of a ‘lack’ or absence acts as a driving force for them.The notion of transformation within capacity building discourse and its precursors has remained largely
Compliance and Transformation in the Asia-Pacific Region
’ clinical trials, as the 2000s got underway, the term ‘capacity building’ began to enter research ethics practice and vocabularies. With trial data originating outside the EU flowing towards European drug regulators, the European Group on Ethics declared
Training Health Workers for Community-Based Roles in Ghana
developing health systems, in which discourses of capacity building and the social aspects of poverty are being integrated with an ethos of basic, low-cost service provision informed by the economic strategies of the previous decades. Both the recipients and
Tracing Rights, Discretion, and Negotiation within a Norwegian Labor Activation Program
Erika Gubrium, Leah Johnstone, and Ivar Lødemel
an arena of service provision typically marked by local residualism, poses an interesting setting in which to investigate how the elements of rights, discretion, and negotiation may shape the experience of shame or dignity building in the delivery of
Auspiciousness as a Practice of Emplacement
The subject of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness in South Asian society has largely been analyzed as a temporal condition in which there is a harmonious or inharmonious conjunction of people and events in time. In this article, the construction of houses by high-caste people living in a hamlet in Nepal is used to argue for a reconceptualization of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness as practices of emplacement in space and time. The analysis demonstrates how the rituals associated with the various stages of construction ensure the new house's compatibility with its spatial milieu—the soil, the site, the cardinal directions, and the reigning deities, as well as the vital force of the earth. Together with the auspicious timing of each stage of construction and its associated ritual with the owner's horoscope, the result of the building process shows auspiciousness to be a harmonious conjunction of person, place, and time.
Issues of coloniality in international academic collaboration
Hanne Kirstine Adriansen and Lene Møller Madsen
This article studies issues of coloniality in so-called capacity-building projects between universities in Africa and Scandinavia. Even fifty years after independence, the African higher education landscape is a product of the colonial powers and subsequent uneven power relations, as argued by a number of researchers. The uneven geography and power of knowledge exist also between countries that were not in a direct colonial relationship, which the word coloniality implies. Based on interviews with stakeholders and on our own experiences of capacity-building projects, this article examines how such projects affect teaching, learning, curriculum, research methodology and issues of quality enhancement. We analyse the dilemmas and paradoxes involved in this type of international collaboration and conclude by offering ways to decolonise capacity-building projects.
the processes that contribute to the building of specialized disaster management knowledge, the faculty members of the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) proved to be valuable informants. Run by the national government, the NIDM was
This article focuses on controversial plans by the government to rebuild Aisha Bibi, a small, crumbling mausoleum in southeastern Kazakhstan, and thereby hitch its symbolic potency to the nationalist drive. There has never been one commonly accepted account of the building in terms of when and by whom it was created. Nonetheless, it has long been a site of pilgrimage for many different groups and, since the Soviet period, a source of scientific interest. Plans to construct a replica building have brought the multitude of previously co-existing narratives into sharp relief as the new version threatens to oust the others, effectively making one narrative claim exclude others. Further, as is the nature of all representations, the replica will halt and contain the unboundedness and perishability of the mausoleum which, for many local narratives, is an essential part of Aisha Bibi.
Container economies and the limits of chaebol capitalism
conglomerate founded by the Cho family, in the 2000s invested in the construction of a new shipyard outside of Korea. Pouring billions of dollars into building a facility in the Philippines, Hanjin aggressively attempted to corner, among other things, the