Barzakh: Societal maps, borderlands and state-building in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan

This project is about understanding the breaking and making of states, creating norms and organizing power in times of flux and change, in the spaces where different stories and histories merge. If the state represents the historical institutionalization of social conflicts and power, we now live in an ideal time to witness and understand what conflicts, whose power and through which practices are states forged. The conventional interpretations of the state-building process have little to say about how to make or maintain the state n times of crisis or rapidly changing societal organization. This vision stems largely from the institutionalist assumption of state- building theories, that is - institutions generate social change, as well as provide continuity and stability. However, the continuing crisis of institutions, economies, and beliefs all over the world has challenged this assumption. Social radicalization or identities of resistance are an instance of the longing for change. And it seems that change will be increasingly generated within societies rather than institutions. The project comparatively tackles the cases of state-building in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.


Principle researcher: Viktoria Akchurina