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MOCCA project participants presented their research at the CESS Annual Conference at the University of Pittsburgh

MOCCA Team at the CESS conference

The Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) successfully hosted its highly anticipated annual conference held from October 19 to 22, 2023 at the University of Pittsburgh, United States. The event brought together esteemed scholars, researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts from across the globe to delve into the multifaceted dynamics of Central Eurasia’s ongoing transformation.

The mission of the Central Eurasian Studies Society is to: facilitate communication and interaction among scholars of the Central Eurasia region, and in doing so to promote high standards of scholarship and instruction about the Central Eurasia region; to promote cooperation among persons and organizations concerned with the scholarly study of Central Eurasia; and to promote general knowledge of and public interest in Central Eurasia.

Hosted in the vibrant city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the conference provided an unparalleled platform for comprehensive and interdisciplinary dialogue, fostering a deeper understanding of the region's evolving landscapes. CESS 2023 gathered practitioners and scholars relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship across the region, including Central Eurasia encompasses Central Asia, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, Inner Asia, the Black Sea region, the Volga region, and East and Central Europe.

The conference program encompassed a wide range of topics including anthropology, economics, business, finance, management, cultural studies, education, gender studies, geography, history, language and linguistics, literature, media studies, political science, international relation s, and law, public administration & public policy, religion, sociology and sociology of law were conducted, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of Central Eurasia  regions’ diverse facets.

One of the conference's highlights was the presentation of research by the MOCCA project participants, shedding light on the legal cultures, business environments, and corruption dynamics in the region. Notable presentations included:

  • Legal Informality and Debt-Based Trade in Uzbekistan. A Case Study of Ferghana Valley, Elmurod Sobirov (Lund University);
  • Art and Humor as Anti-corruption Tools in Authoritarian Contexts: Social Media in Uzbekistan Sherzod Eraliev (Lund University), Rustamjon Urinboyev (Lund University);
  • The Laws and Their Implementation Gap in Uzbekistan: Experience of the Turkish Businessman in Tashkent, Erhan Dogan (Marmara University);
  • A new big boss? Interethnic patronage networks and business in Kyrgyzstan, Aksana Ismailbekova (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO));
  • International Organizations and Norm Diffusion: The Case of UNODC in Central Asia, H Deniz Genc (Istanbul Medipol University).
Elmurod Sobirov is presenting his research
Sherzod Eraliev is presenting his research
Peter Finke is presenting his research
Erhan Dogan is presenting his research
Aksana Ismailbekova is presenting her research
Q&A session