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Justice, power and informal settlements: Understanding the juridical view of property rights in Central Asia

Sanghera, Balihar (2020) Justice, power and informal settlements: Understanding the juridical view of property rights in Central Asia. International Sociology, 35 (1). pp. 22-44. ISSN 0268-5809. (doi:10.1177/0268580919877596) (KAR id:79012)

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The article examines how judges and lawyers struggle to legitimise and normalise private property rights against attempts by poor and migrant groups to politicise housing and social needs in Central Asia. It will discuss the juridical understanding of justice and equality in relation to property rights violations on the outskirts of major cities in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It will argue that the juridical system is central in construing property rights and obligations, and in so doing social inequalities are legitimised and naturalised in a neoliberalising post-Soviet space. The article uses the concepts of 'the moral economy' and 'the juridical field' to examine how judges and lawyers justify and normalise their ways of interpreting and ordering the social world.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0268580919877596
Projects: Subsistence Claims, Property Rights and Poor Groups: Everyday Politics and Justice in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Poor Groups, Illegal Settlements and Registration in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
Uncontrolled keywords: moral economy, property rights, judiciary, social inequalities, post-socialism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: British Academy (
Depositing User: Balihar Sanghera
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 09:59 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sanghera, Balihar:
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