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CREES Brown Bag. “Health of a Nation: Labor Migration and the Uzbek State.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
12:00 AM
1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Russell Zanca, associate professor of anthropology, Northeastern Illinois University. Sponsors: CREES, CMENAS.

While pros and cons exist in nearly all cases involving labor migrants traveling from poorer to richer countries, what do the conditions and circumstances of labor migration for individuals say about the health or soundness of sovereignty for a given nation state? In this presentation, Zanca examines the case of Uzbekistan and some of its post-Soviet characteristics that distinguish its labor migration patterns from even its closest neighbors in Central Asia. Having initiated an ethnographic project among migrants and would-be migrants, Zanca argues that the Uzbek state faces both economic and political threats to sovereignty in the absence of policy responding to humanitarian shortcomings stemming from current labor migration practices and strategies.

Russell Zanca is the author of Life in a Muslim Uzbek Village: Cotton Farming after Communism (Wadsworth/Cengage, 2010). He is co-editor with Dr. Jeff Sahadeo (Carleton U), of Everyday Life in Central Asia (Indiana University Press, 2007). Professor Zanca is an associate faculty member of CREES, University of Chicago. In addition, he has been a visiting faculty at both the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois in recent years, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Eurasian Studies.