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.
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 […]
The Belt and Road Initiative 一 带 一 路
The Belt and Road Initiative is an incredibly ambitious plan that may potentially re-shape global trade. The ‘Belt’ aims to connect Chinese trade and production to Europe through Central Asia. […]
The Fallacy of ‘Compartmentalisation’: the West and Russia from Ukraine to Syria
In the post-Soviet space as well as the Middle East, Western leaders have largely failed to heed ample evidence that the goals of the Russian leadership are fundamentally opposed to […]