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Rustamjon Urinboyev

Associate professor

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Debt-Based Trade, Social Norms and Informality in Uzbekistan: Case Study of Rassiychilar in Rural Fergana


  • Elmurod Sobirov
  • Rustam Urinboyev

Summary, in English

Debt-based trade and economic exchanges are becoming a more and more widespread phenomenon in the context of post-Soviet Central Asian societies. In the absence of viable state economic support, a functional banking system, and an effective legal system, trust-based economic exchanges serve as an alternative means for conducting micro-level businesses in Central Asia. The phenomenon of “rassiychilar,” which is the central focus of this paper, is one of the intriguing examples of debt-based trade in rural Fergana, Uzbekistan. This debt-based trade involves a myriad of informal economic exchanges among various actors, locally and transnationally. The paper argues that trust-based economic networks and debt-based trade serve as an alternative means of doing business in rural post-socialist contexts characterized by legal uncertainty, rampant corruption, and an inefficient economic and banking system.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year







Communist and Post-Communist Studies

Document type

Journal article


University of California Press


  • Law and Society
  • Economics
  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • debt-based trade
  • informality
  • transition economies
  • law and society
  • sociology of law




  • Multilevel Orders of Corruption in Central Asia
  • Understanding Islamic Legal Culture and Migration through Ethnographic and Archival Research
  • Administrative Law Reform and Legal Integration in Hybrid Political Regimes
  • Legal Cultures and Business Environments in Central Asia
  • The Multilevel Orders of Corruption - Insights from a Post-Soviet Context
  • Migration and Legal Cultures in Post-Soviet Societies: Ethnographic Study of Uzbek Migrant Workers and Their Families
  • Living Law and Political Stability in Post-Soviet Central Asia. A Case Study of the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan


  • ISSN: 0967-067X