Illegal settlements and city registration in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Implications for legal empowerment, politics and ethnic tensions

Sanghera, Balihar and Satybaldieva, Elmira and Rodionov, Adil and Serikzhanova, Sabira and Choibekov, Nurlan and Sultanmuratova, Kunduz (2012) Illegal settlements and city registration in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Implications for legal empowerment, politics and ethnic tensions. Discussion paper. Open Society Foundations, New York (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

This paper examines the scale and significance of illegal and unregistered residents in major cities in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and then considers the implications for the strategy of legal empowerment of the poor. In the context of a shortage of urban housing, a fragile rural economy, an expanding urban population, and weak state capacity, land seizures and sales of illegal land plots have been seen as an economic necessity for many years and are likely to continue until structural conditions are addressed. City administrations have started to legalize settlements partly to defuse political and social tensions, and partly to respond to a depressed property market. Illegal and new settlements lack adequate physical and social infrastructure, making residents angry and frustrated and prompting them to block roads and to demonstrate outside government offices.Most poor internal migrants live in cramped and sparse housing conditions and have often responded by seizing farm land to raise their families. The negative results of these seizures are compounded by the fact that land often belongs to richer minority ethnic groups, resulting in an increase of ethnic tensions and clashes mostly in Kyrgyzstan. City administrations do not have the capacity to meet the protesters’ aspirational needs, often resorting to rhetorical promises to placate them. Empty rhetoric, however, has often only fuelled a cycle of further anger, resentment, distrust, and protests. Illegal and poor migrants also use the political opportunity of elections to extract promissory concessions from elected officials

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2014 16:59 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38266 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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