Past event

Michel Foucault's concept of 'dispositif of security': Central Asian weak states MECACS Presents: Professor Rustam Burnashev Kazakh-German University

One of the reasons for the turn to study of weak states security is the paradoxical situation when some weak states remain sufficiently stable with their obvious vulnerability.

Jackson and Rosberg (1982) showed that ‘external' security of weak states is provided by the ‘Westphalian' norms of international relations. Weak states tend to be in the zone of indifference for more significant actors in international relations, which is also true for Central Asia, which can be seen as an unstructured mini-region of security, acting as an isolator or buffer (Buzan and Waever 2003; Burnashev and Chernykh 2005).

The factors of ‘internal' security/(in)security of such states remain unclarified. The lecture focuses on the issue how and through which apparatuses the sustainability of Central Asian weak states is provided. According to the concept of governmentality (Foucault), Central Asian weak states put an emphasis not on security but on the disciplinary mechanism. At the same time, Central Asian regimes use the security terminology and technics of securitization/(in)securitization, which makes it possible to maximize control over all spheres of population life through reduction of personal and social space, as well as public policy. Securitization/(in)securitization leads to the fact that in weak states discursive practices, alternative to dominant ones, lose their ‘right to vote' and fall into a situation characterized as ‘security as silence' (Hansen 2000). All these factors combined with the positioning of the regimes as a transcendent power relative to the population determines the stability of weak states.

Professor Rustam Burnashev of the Kazakh-German University, Almaty, Kazakhstan has taught at a number of higher educational institutions in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. From 1998 to 2000, he headed the foreign policy analysis sector of the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. From 2009 to 2013, he was the Director of Analytics and Consulting at the Institute of Political Solutions (Kazakhstan). From 2006 to 2010, he was a visiting researcher at the University of California – Berkeley.

His research interests include logic, methodology and philosophy of science; security theories; political-military security of Central Asian countries; and security of weak states. Professor Burnashev has published over 70 scientific articles and is the co-author of Security in Central Asia: A Methodological Framework for Analysis (Military Security Sector) (2006).

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