After three decades of post-Soviet agrarian change, farming structures in Tajikistan remain dynamic. Despite a centralised reform agenda pushed forward by international donors, the local implementation of reforms has resulted in striking differences in agrarian structures across the country. This paper investigates Tajikistan's geography and agrarian political economy. We show that the unevenness of the Tajik state's power and autonomy vis-à-vis societal actors has been important in bringing about stark differences (1) spatially, between regions, and (2) between policy design and selected statistical indicators on agrarian reform on the one hand, and the policies’ sluggish implementation on the other.
We thank IAMO (Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Transformationsökonomien), for the facilities and support offered at IAMO to realise the first version of this paper. We are grateful for the support provided by the Catharine van Tussenbroekfonds; the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI); and Leiden University’s Leiden Asia Centre and its Central Asia Initiative for enabling Hofman’s fieldwork in various periods between 2012 and 2015. We express gratitude to Gabrielle van den Berg (Leiden University) with her NWO Vici/Aspasia project “Turks, Texts and Territory: Imperial Ideology and Cultural Production in Central Eurasia” for financially supporting Hofman's fieldwork in Tajikistan in 2019. Further, this research has received funding from the ERC grant agreement No. 803763 and ERC grant agreement No. 313871. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.