SEMINAR- Aijan Sharshenova: Druzhina in Kyrgyzstan, SRC, AUCA, Mar. 23

RESEARCH SEMINAR: Private, Voluntary Security Providers in Kyrgyzstan: Druzhina, Aijan Sharshenova, March 23, SRC, AUCA

The Social Research Center ( at the American University of Central Asia presents:

Research Seminar: Private, Voluntary Security Providers in Kyrgyzstan: Druzhina

Speaker: Aijan Sharshenova, Visiting Research Fellow, SRC

Time: 4:30pm, March 23, 2011

Venue: 232, AUCA (main building)

Language: English

Abstract: It has long been perceived in Kyrgyzstan that the only possible provider of physical security for citizens is the state and its agencies. However, the recent events in Kyrgyzstan have signaled that the state is no longer the only source of security for its people nor are they passive consumers of security services. The 2010 security crises in Kyrgyzstan proved that under certain circumstances the state is either unwilling or unable to carry out its fundamental function of protecting its citizens and volunteer militia have stepped up to protect society. Thus, in the immediate aftermath of the April 7th events in Kyrgyzstan, a number of voluntary patrol units, druzhina, were formed from volunteers from disparate backgrounds, which to a certain extent provided some sort of security on the streets. The swift rise in the number of druzhina and the obvious difficulty of controlling them led the Provisional Government to issue a decree covering their activities, that has become absorbed into the legislation. Despite this effort to organise and control the numerous volunteer units, the druzhinas’ existence and activities remain a controversial issue, which needs to be investigated and discussed.

The seminar describes various aspects of druzhina: their origins, functions, activities, expectations, viability and urgency and is designed to present the findings of a small-scale research project, which focused on Kyrgyz druzhina and their incorporation in the security sector’s reforms. It explores their legal basis and explores the phenomenon of Kyrgyz volunteer patrols and discusses druzhina in a broader discourse of security and development studies.

Bio: Aijan Sharshenova is an independent researcher based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Aijan holds a MSc in International Studies from the University of Leeds, UK and a degree in International Relations from the Kyrgyz-Russian

Slavic University. From October 2010 till February 2011, Aijan has been working with the Social Research Center as a Visiting Research Fellow. Her research interests include the private security sector, security sector reform and the theory of international relations.

Research Seminar Series: The Research Seminar Series is an initiative of the SRC that aims to provide a venue for the AUCA faculty, local and foreign scholars to share the results of their current and previous research projects with other scholars and encourage scholarly discourse at AUCA.

How to register: Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation.