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Building a nation through a dam: the case of Rogun in Tajikistan

Menga, F. ORCID: (2015) Building a nation through a dam: the case of Rogun in Tajikistan. Nationalities Papers, 43 (3). pp. 479-494. ISSN 0090-5992

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00905992.2014.924489


Ruling elites can use the symbolism of major dams to gain legitimacy and bolster a sense of national identity and patriotism. The Rogun Dam in Tajikistan is a gigantic hydraulic infrastructure that if and when finished will be the tallest in the world, allowing the country to gain energy self-sufficiency. Furthermore, by projecting an image of progress and success, such a structure can contribute to creating and strengthening a nationalistic discourse even before its completion. This paper begins by introducing the concept of nation-building in relation to the Central Asian setting and then connects it with the literature exploring the interplay between water and power. Subsequently, the focus moves to the Rogun project, illustrating the main traits of the Rogun ideology and outlining the rhetorical legitimation strategies used by the Tajik government to frame the dam as a nationally cohesive and patriotic project.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:72320
Additional Information:Special issue, entitled "Imagined" vs "real" nation-building: language and identity policies between theory and practice in Central Asia
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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