Kramer Gillin

Position title: Ph.D.


Advisor: Matt Turner


M.S., Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014
B.A., Geography, Macalester College, 2007


Central Asia and Afghanistan, pastoral mobility, mountain pastoralism, land and property, environmental governance, socio-legal studies, legal pluralism, development, and “resource conflicts.”

PhD Minor: Law
M.S. Thesis: My master’s thesis examined legal pluralism in community-based resolutions of disputes regarding pasture access in northern and central Afghanistan. I described how nomadic and sedentary groups of various ethnicities mobilized different rules systems and how the tenure arrangements that emerged from these resolutions carry important implications for the livestock economy, socio-political relations, and the natural environment.


My dissertation explores the management of pastures, fodder land, and livestock in Tajikistan have changed in the post-Soviet era and how land access is negotiated in a dynamic legal landscape of evolving formal and informal rules. Using Tajikistan’s Rasht Valley as a case study, this dissertation engages with scholarship on pastoral mobility, property, institutions, and political-economic change in Central Asia.


Hayward, D, I Hofman, K Gillin. 2022. Tajikistan – Context and Governance. Land Portal.
Gillin, K and MD Turner. 2022. “Book review of Pastoralism – Making Variability Work and a discussion of the inherent challenges of writing about pastoralism at the global scale.” Pastoralism: Research, Policy, and Practice 12(10).
Gillin, K. 2021. “Variability is Not Uncertainty; Mobility is Not Flexibility: Clarifying Concepts in Pastoralism Studies with Evidence from Tajikistan.” Pastoralism: Research, Policy, and Practice 11(13).
Robinson, S, C Jamsranjav, K Gillin. 2017. “Pastoral Property Rights in Central Asia: Factors and Actors Driving the Reform Agenda.” Études Rurales 200: 220-253.
Turner, MD, J McPeak, K Gillin, E Kitchell, N Kimambo. 2016. “Reconciling Flexibility and Tenure Security for Pastoral Resources: the Geography of Transhumance Networks in Eastern Senegal.” Human Ecology 44(2): 199-215.
Jawad, N, K Gillin, M Akramova. 2010. Building Viable Bridges between Emergency and Development, FAO Tajikistan 2008-2009. Dushanbe, Tajikistan: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Mellon-Wisconsin Dissertation Fellowship, 2019
Whitbeck Dissertator Award, 2019
Center for Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) Research Travel Award, 2017
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, 2017
College of Letters & Sciences Teaching Fellow, 2017
State Department Title VIII Research Scholar Fellowship, 2017
Fulbright US Student Grant, 2016
FLAS Summer Fellowship (Pashto), 2013
Trewartha Graduate Research Award, 2012
FLAS Academic-Year Fellowship (Farsi), 2012
FLAS Summer Fellowship (Dari), 2012
Fulbright-Hays Fellowship (Dari/Tajik), 2010


Awamaki – An NGO helping women start and run their own businesses in Peru’s Sacred Valley
The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs

Summer pasture camp in Rasht Valley, Tajikistan, 2016. Kramer Gillin