Events

Public Lecture Kyrgyz Diaspora Online: Understanding Political Participation and Transnational Citizenship

27 September, 2022

Date: September 27, 2022, 15:00 – 16:00 (Bishkek time, GMT +6)
Venue: Zoom Webinar  
Lecturer: Dr. Ajar Chekirova
Registration link 
Language: English
Organizers: OSCE Academy

Description
In an attempt to address the debate among social science scholars regarding whether or not online political engagement is a legitimate form of political participation and exercise of transnational citizenship, this study investigates the conditions under which migrants engage politically with virtual communities; when and how online participation spills over to real-world social mobilization; and whether cross-border online-offline political participation creates a new form of transnational citizenship. Content analysis of virtual social media groups and pages on VKontakte, Odnoklassniki and Facebook demonstrates that, although migrants are not likely to routinely participate in, initiate, or continuously engage with political conversations on these platforms, crisis conditions, such as the October revolution in 2020, the first COVID wave the summer of that same year, and the Kyrgyz-Tajik border conflict in April-May 2021, trigger bursts of political activism on social media which carry over to the real-world in the form of fundraising and protest mobilization.
Key message:
Although migrants are not likely to routinely participate in, initiate, or continuously engage with political conversations on social media platforms, crisis conditions, such as the October revolution in 2020, the first COVID wave the summer of that same year, and the Kyrgyz-Tajik border conflict in April-May 2021, trigger bursts of political activism on social media which carry over to the real-world in the form of fundraising and protest mobilization.


Timeline

15:00 - 15:05   Opening remarks

OSCE Academy moderator

15:05 - 15:35   Report Presentation: Kyrgyz Diaspora Online: Understanding Political Participation and Transnational Citizenship                             

Dr. Ajar Chekirova
Assistant Professor of Politics
Lake Forest College

15:35 - 16:00    Q&A Session

About the Speaker & the Fellowship
Dr. Ajar Chekirova is an Assistant Professor at Lake Forest College. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dr. Chekirova’s research interests include migration and citizenship, informal institutions, and  political behavior. Her research has been previously sponsored by the Open Society Foundation, University of Illinois, George Washington University, and the University of San Francisco. Dr. Chekirova holds an MA degree in International Affairs from Ohio University, where she was a Fulbright Fellow. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in law from Peking University in China.

OSCE Academy in Bishkek is a public foundation, established in 2002 between the Kyrgyz Government and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Academy promotes the principles and values of the OSCE through post-graduate education, professional training and intellectual exchange. Moreover, the Academy hosts Research Fellowships, as well as publishes articles, policy briefs, and research papers on questions relevant to the Academy’s mission.

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