The "failure" of cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: A postcapitalist critique of a biased narrative

Ottavia Cima

This paper questions a widespread narrative that presents cooperative initiatives as mainly unsuccessful in postsocialist contexts. Taking the example of cooperative promotion in Kyrgyzstan after its independence from the Soviet Union, it highlights how this narrative is part of a broader hegemonic discourse on development and on the economy. The paper advances an alternative, postcapitalist, reading of cooperatives and cooperation in Kyrgyzstan and postsocialist contexts more in general. 

Rethinking agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan. Towards a postcapitalist approach to cooperation in postsocialism

Ottavia Cima

My doctoral thesis investigates cooperation practices within and beyond agricultural cooperatives. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a village in Kyrgyzstan, it unravels local and international discourses of nostalgia, contempt and pride linked to cooperation practices in socialist and postsocialist times, and reflect on the subjectivities entangled with these discourses. It thereby proposes a postcapitalist reading of postsocialism as a concept and space. 

The end of postsocialism (as we knew it): Diverse economies and the East

Ottavia Cima
Lucie Sovová

This paper brings together two streams of literature which rarely enter into conversation: diverse economies scholarship and critical readings of postsocialism. Mobilising the cases of food self-provisioning (FSP) in Czechia and agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan as an empirical basis for our reflections, we pursue a two-fold aim. Firstly, we call for attention to the postsocialist East as fertile ground for the study of diverse economies.

Other Transitions: Multiple Economies of Moscow Households in the 1990s

Marianna Pavlovskaya

This article examines survival strategies of urban households in post-socialist cities during the transition from the Soviet system to a market economy. The article links the outcomes of systemic transformation to the daily lives of households and connects urban change induced by mass privatization to class and gender processes inside the households. These other transitions in everyday class and gender processes are consistently overlooked by macroeconomic approaches that dominate among transition theorists and policy consultants.