Aisalkyn Botoeva Visiting Fellow, AY 2017-2018

Aisalkyn Botoeva’s research interests address socio-economic developmental paths, moralized markets, Islamic economy, and the role of imagined futures in economic action.

Botoeva received her doctorate in sociology from Brown University. Her dissertation addresses the fundamental question of why certain socio-economic development projects take hold in a given context among competing alternatives. With the support of the Aga Khan Foundation and a Hazeltine fellowship from the Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations Program at Brown University, Botoeva conducted over fifteen months of fieldwork in the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.  She examined why and how state officials in these former Soviet republics turned to the “alternative” model of socioeconomic development offered by Islamic business in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. Botoeva’s project addresses gaps in the literature by examining how market actors orient their activities to moral futures – imagined future states of society. She examines how entrepreneurs, state officials, and other actors in the emerging market for Islamic commodities and services imagine better futures, and work to enact these cognitive frames through commerce, legislation, halal certification, and other activities that shape the market.

Most recently, Botoeva worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of Providence College. Before starting her academic career in the US, Botoeva worked in her home country of Kyrgyzstan as a lecturer at the American University of Central Asia.

While at ILSP: Law and Social Change, Botoeva will work on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Moral Futures: Islamic Businesses at the Intersection of Commerce, Law, and Politics. She will be in residence at ILSP: LSC during the 2017–2018 academic year.