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Grievance Practices in Post-Soviet Kyrgyz Agriculture

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Abstract:

This article examines legal consciousness in action as expressed in grievances arising from commercial transactions among sellers and buyers in the new post-Soviet economy of Kyrgyzstan. Using focus groups, direct observation, and participant observation, I investigate the transformation of disputes between Kyrgyz vegetable growers and processors. My data show variation in the way grievances are dealt with among Kyrgyz farmers. Farmers opt out of the contractual relationship, remain in the relationship, or practice a combination of the two over time. The farmers included in this study did not seek legal remedies through the court system. Data also reveal that expressions of grievances transform in tandem with an evolution of feelings—from anger and distrust to understanding and even sympathy for the party responsible for the grievance.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-4469.2007.00065.x

Affiliations: Development Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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