Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SEMINAR- Re-Thinking Politics in Central Asia, 2008, Bishkek, Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

SEMINAR- Re-Thinking Politics in Central Asia, 2008, Bishkek, Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Posted by: Galina Bityukova <gbityukova@bilim.kz>

Central Asian Regional Seminar Re-Thinking Politics in Central Asia:
Comparative Studies, October 30-November 1, 2008, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Corporate Educational Foundation "Bilim-Central Asia"

Central Asian Resource Center

With the Support of Higher Education Support Program and Special and
Extension Projects Office of the Central European University

Invites scholars who are teaching political science and international
relations as well as all interested persons and researchers to take part in:

Central Asian Regional Seminar Re-Thinking Politics in Central Asia:
Comparative Studies

Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, American University in Central Asia

Time: October 30-November 1, 2008

Participants: 30 university level teaching scholars from Central Asian states

This workshop aims to examine political theories and their
implications for the analysis of Central Asian politics in comparative
perspectives and to explore the theoretical foundations of research in
the field of regional politics, as well as the evolution of Central
Asian politics at the global arena.

Special attention will be given to such issues as social capital,
contemporary bureaucracy, decision making process and identified
national interests.

Social capital is a concept that refers to connections within and
between social networks and is a key component to building and
maintaining democracy.

Concept of social capital is widely used in western political science
(Robert Putnam, Pierre Bourdieu, James Coleman), and it might be
useful to analyze the Central Asian societies through the prism of
these concept. The application of this concept could clarify local
communities and social networks in these societies. How individual
benefits can derive from the web of social relations? What kind of
relationship among local communities and bureaucracies has been
established in recent years in Central Asia? Are these relations based
on mutual trust? Who are involved into decision making process? How
bureaucracy identifies the national interests and formulates the
politics? Are there public debates on identification of contemporary
social problems and attempts to solve them trough common social efforts?

These practical issues require re-examination of political theories
and its application to Central Asian politics. Which theoretical
approaches are more relevant and useful to our understanding of
politics, how can we conceptualize the meaning of political reforms
and developments in contemporary societies, and what theories are more
appropriate for political science research in Central Asia?

This seminar is organized to provide the opportunity for the exchange
and discussion of ideas relevant to these theoretical concerns and
their methodological implications for democratization and policy
studies. Special attention will be given to research techniques and
teaching political theories at local universities.

Travel costs, board and lodging are covered for Central Asian participants.

To apply, please send a CV and a letter of interest to the e-mail or
postal address below. All applications should arrive no later than
October 1, 2008.

For inquiries, or application forms, please contact:

Galina Bityukova
Academic Leader in Political Science
Central Asian Resource Centre
Tulebaeva 31, 050004
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Tel/fax: +7-727 259 76 18
E-mail: gbityukova@bilim.kz

Contact person: Galina Bityukova, tel.: 7 (727) 259 76 18

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