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Accepted Contribution:

Authoritarianism, Precarity, and Western Paradigms: The Local Production of Central Asian Studies  
Asel Doolotkeldıeva (Nonresidential Fellow, George Washington University)

Abstract:

The“new Area Studies” debate seem to promise a way out of entrenched disciplinary Eurocentrisms, positing AS as lead discipline for an epistemically just rethinking of the social sciences. But this overlooks the fact that there is a potent intersection of global and local political economies of knowledge production that perpetuate familiar hierarchies and distinctions within AS adjacent to political science and IR, particularly for local researchers “outside the core West.” However, epistemic hierarchies are not the only factor impeding the production of knowledge—and theorizing from that knowledge—that is truly contextualized and localized, not simply reproducing a Western gaze on the “non-West” ( Kamal 2020 ). The case of Central Asia shows how the development of autochthonous critical scholarship can be impeded by a complex interaction between Western-centric global epistemic structures and local constraints.

Roundtable T57EDU
Authoritarianism and imperial paradigms: knowledge production, epistemic injustice, and ontologies in Central Asian educational institutions
  Session 1 Thursday 6 June, 2024, -