Studying Kurultai’s Potential in Solving Socio-Political Issues in Kyrgyzstan, 2012-2013

The project aimed to identify kurultai’s potential for solving social and state governance problems in Kyrgyzstan by analyzing the attitude of various strata of population to the kurultai. Kurultai is term that refers to a governance institution and decision-making process in traditional Kyrgyzs society. Kurultai was a general gathering of a certain community (clan, tribe, nation) that was entitled to make decisions about socially significant questions. Traditionally kurultai used to be initiated and organized by elite of a society. Different kinds of arguments and disputes such as pasture distribution, tribal relationships, international questions, norms of common rules, etc used to be considered at kurultai.  Over the course of the project Aigine CRC conducted three round tables, two focus group discussions and an internet survey. The project involved traditional practitioners, scholars, civil society activists, as well as representatives of ethnic minorities and youth. 

The main findings of the study can be summarized as follows:
There is a big diversity of kurultai models, which are being proposed to be reintroduced in modern Kyrgyzstan’s political system. Aigine has thoroughly described and analyzed six such models.
  • There are several groups of people who promote and lobby the idea of kurultai
  • The majority of older generations of study participants (+30) tend to support the idea of reintroducing kurultai into modern political system
  • The younger generations of study participants and the representatives of ethnic minorities lack information about kurultai and that is why neither support nor oppose the kurultaimovement(s)
The papers produced as a result of the project are available here.