Irna Hofman is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the European Research Council–funded project ‘China, Law and Development’ at the University of Oxford. She is a legal and rural sociologist specialised in agrarian transformation in Central Asia, with long-term ethnographic fieldwork experience in the Central Asian countryside, and interests and expertise in agrarian political economy, labour relations, food security, gender, and environmental studies, as well as the presence of Chinese actors in Central Asia.
‘What do you want? Shall I give you some cotton? Here!’ the young woman said to the Chinese worker, who passed by the fields to check the progress of cotton picking. ‘No, no. You, come, tonight, tonight,’ the man answered, using Tajik words. She smiled and shouted: ‘With whom? What would my husband think?!’