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.
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.
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 […]
Time to Re-Engage
Whipsawed by years of foreign policy activism and then by general retreat, the United States is at risk of losing an opportunity to cement hard-won gains in Central Asia/Afghanistan. For some […]
EU–China trade to bolster security in the South Caucasus
Foreign investment in Georgia is strengthening the country’s importance in connecting East Asia with Europe, which has positive implications for the broader region. The rise in FDI in commercial and […]
Russia: an Enabler of Jihad?
Russian officials have had to contain their glee in monitoring recent political events in America and Europe. They appear to think their days in the cold may soon be over. […]
Azerbaijan’s Formula: Secular Governance and Civic Nationhood
In January 2016, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev designated 2016 the “Year of Multiculturalism.” This took place at a time when Azerbaijan’s neighborhood has experienced a trend toward less rather than […]