Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Mitigating Disaster: The Aral Sea and (Post-)Soviet Property

Buy Article:

$20.77 + tax (Refund Policy)

The Aral Sea regression, the outcome of Soviet irrigation practices in Central Asia, is famous as one of the most serious ecological disasters of the twentieth century. This article examines Soviet policies to mitigate the sea's regression, in particular efforts to keep people in employment. I argue that property relations are intimately connected not only with the causes of environmental change but also with its effects, and explore this proposition through three case studies. First, I use archival materials to show how late Soviet bureaucrats framed the regression not as an environmental disaster but as a problem of living standards and employment, which shaped measures to address it. Secondly, I examine memories of the late Soviet period among fishermen in Aral villages, arguing that their experiences of the sea's regression were shaped both by their position within the Soviet fishery and by local understandings of property. Finally, I explore nostalgic narratives in the town of Aral'sk today, arguing that the history of environmental change is re-read through post-Soviet changes in property relations.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Aral Sea; Soviet Union; disaster; fisheries; property

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The half-yearly journal Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences acts as a forum and echo chamber for ongoing studies on the environment and world history, with special focus on modern and contemporary topics. Our intent is to gather and stimulate scholarship that, despite a diversity of approaches and themes, shares an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social relations, production government, and international relations.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more