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Current Projects

 Another Way of Saying “Enough” in Kyrgyzstan:
Explaining Environmental Protest Politics & Natural Resource Disputes
My main research project since 2009 has been about the surprising case of environmental activism and regular nature-based disputes in Kyrgyzstan.  This high level of political activism about environmental issues runs contrary to some dominant scholarly assumptions of low public environmental concerns given poverty, economic development demands and limited environmental activism in the post-Soviet context. Through a five-stage research process, I am investigating this contradiction at the national and sub-national levels - conducting survey, interview, new
s content, and case study analyses in Kyrgyzstan - in order to answer larger theoretical questions about collective action and conflict occurrence.  I have been using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map my survey and event data in relation to environmental "hotspots", working with a team of students and the Bucknell University GIS Coordinator, Janine Glather to develop this spatial approach to interpretation.

 
Discourses about Natured Nationalism and Policy Outcomes

 My next work will engage more critically in discourses about nature with which multiple stakeholders engage in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere, and the effect of rhetoric and myth making on collective action and environmental policy making.   In particular, I am working on coding and evaluating - using thematic coding and political discourse analysis - the interviews I have conducted and narratives I have collected regarding gold mining politics, hydroelectricity, and regional watercourse disputes.  Additionally, I have analyzed the content of environmental protest event reporting, and will be able to compare individual attitudes and narratives with both Kyrgyzstani and international press coverage.  Next, I hope to extend this study to the broader Central Asian region, and apply the theoretical model to natural gas drilling debates across the US and in other countries.

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