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Trading capitals? Bourdieu, land and water in rural Uzbekistan
- Eichholz, Michael, Van Assche, Kristof, Oberkircher, Lisa, Hornidge, Anna-Katharina
- Journal of environmental planning and management 2013 v.56 no.6 pp. 868-892
- farmers, governance, opacity, politics, rural economics, villages, Uzbekistan
- In this paper, we use Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of capitals and fields in the context of a transitional rural economy. We investigate ways to adopt these concepts for the study of land governance, in an attempt to gain new insights in post-socialist transition. By means of an in-depth study of land and water reform in two Uzbek villages, we reveal the intimate connections between access to water and access to land in the Uzbek rural economy, as well as the wide variety of strategies used by farmers to secure access to these resources. It is argued that the increased importance of the political field, in combination with its increased volatility and the dismantling of Soviet local governance, led to opacity in the conversion rates of capitals, to a bet on land as safe haven, and an ambiguous status of money.