Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan and the learning experience in the design of pastoral institutions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • U. Kasymov - , Humboldt University of Berlin (Author)
  • A. Undeland - (Author)
  • A. Dörre - , Free University of Berlin (Author)
  • A. MacKinnon - , University of Wyoming (Author)


The authors analyse the nature of policy development to understand the reasons for institutional change in pasture management in Kyrgyzstan. They use the concept of intentional institutional change, emphasising its incremental nature and the important relationship between belief systems and institutions. The paper explores the relationship between the perceptions and beliefs of policy-makers, the policy interventions they undertake, and the consequences for pastoral migration and practices. The study reveals the gap between the intentions behind such policies and their outcomes, the persistence and importance of pastoral migration, and the learning process that policy-makers undergo. This close look at the development and insthutionalisation of new dominant societal beliefs highlights the possible direction of the future development of formal pastoral institutions in Central Asia. Policy-makers should respond better to changes in pastoral mobility and the unsustainable increase in intensified use of natural pastures. Policy-makers must also respond to the growth in conflict over pasture use by becoming more aware of the need for inter-sectoral cooperation. The authors argue that a crucial test for the new formal institutions still lies ahead. The key questions are: whether policy-makers and pasture users can eventually come to hold the same beliefs about what is needed in their society, and what new effective institutions will emerge to define the future of pastoralism in Central Asia.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-521
Number of pages11
Journal Revue scientifique et technique = Revista cientifica y técnica = Scientific and technical review / Office International des Epizooties
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

PubMed 27917975
ORCID /0000-0001-5620-1379/work/142236423


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Belief system, Central Asia, Institutional change, Kyrgyzstan, Pastoral institution, Pastoralisrn, Pasture management