The State as Investment Market: Kyrgyzstan in Comparative Perspective
Based on a detailed examination of Kyrgyzstan, Johan Engvall goes well beyond the case of this single country to elaborate a broad theory of economic corruption in developing post-Soviet states regionally—as a rational form of investment market for political elites. He reveals how would-be officials invest in offices to obtain access to income streams associated with those offices. Drawing on extensive fieldwork over an eight-year period, Engvall details how these systems work and the major implications this holds for political and economic development in the region. Often identified and criticized simply as obstacles to development by scholars, Engvall instead argues that these systems must be reinterpreted in the context of a standardized and entrenched method of organizing the state. He also shows how private actors have been unsuccessful in buying preferential treatment directly from the state. Instead, public officials have become the predominant conduit to influencing policy process and monitoring the sale of protection, property rights, and other privatized “public” goods.
Uzbekistan’s New Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity under New Leadership
Since Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, its government has sought to maximize its national security and sovereignty by limiting dependence on foreign actors. This priority has continued under former President […]
The Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia
Marking the centennial of the 1916 Revolt in Russian Central Asia, the Central Asia Caucasus Institute releases a new edition of Edward Dennis Sokol's pioneering book, originally published in 1954, now with a new foreword by S. Frederick Starr.
The Great Rejuvenation? China’s Search for a New ‘Global Order’
Executive Summary This Asia Paper explores how China, a ‘partial’ global power, can set the agenda and determine the rules in a global order dominated by a declining yet unyielding […]
A Balancing Act: the 16+1 Cooperation Framework
Since 2012, the 16+1 Cooperation Framework (hereby 16+1) has been the focal point of relations between China and Central Eastern Europe (CEE). However, this initiative is marked by various asymmetries […]
The EU and Central Asia: Expanding Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Investment
Since the independence of the Central Asian states, this landlocked region has taken time to reconnect with the world, including Europe. Twenty-five years ago, many underestimated the diverse challenges – infrastructural, economic, political – that impeded the region’s trade and connectivity with the rest of the world. Yet as trade statistics show, much has been accomplished in a quarter century.
Central Asia: All Together Now
After a quarter century of independence, the fragmentation of Central Asia is evident to all. A senior official there might justifiably complain about how each country “[is] pursuing its own […]