Re-thinking “International Community” and State-building in Kyrgyzstan

Date: 12 December 2013
Other languages: Русский язык |

Speaker: Katarzyna Kaczmarska
Date: 12 December 2013, 4 pm
Venue: 138 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Conference Room on 2nd floor.

Activities influencing the political system of Kyrgyzstan have been undertaken by a range of international actors. “International community” is just a concept, but an exceptionally powerful one. Apart from the fact that it has received over 1.5 billion hits on the Google search engine, “international community” can organise humanitarian action, end suffering, denounce violence and, more recently build states. Its power is not sustained by any concrete material factor, like that of the nuclear weapons. Its authority stems from the usage of this special term and the values attached to it. International relations (IR) theory has tried to account for this exceptional characteristic, the added value formed out of the existence and possibly cooperation of a variety of international actors. IR theory, however, tends to be overtly Eurocentric in its interpretation of this phenomenon. This presentation argues that a focus on one type of activity commonly associated with “international community” – that of state-building – makes us rethink the notion of “international community”. Despite some expectation of common duties and obligations on the part of those forming “international community", we see different states and organisations having different interpretations of the notion of “international community”. These differences impact on their distinct ideas with regard to goals, values, practices and their role in state-formation.

Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. Please indicate if you require Russian translation. 

Katarzyna Kaczmarska is a research and teaching fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University, Wales. She has several years’ experience working in the field of development cooperation. Her research interests include: Central Asia, Russia, development politics and international community.  

The presentation will be conducted in English. Russian translation will be provided upon prior request.

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