Institutional Reform in Central Asia: Politico-Economic Challenges, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Institutional Reform in Central Asia

Politico-Economic Challenges, 1st Edition

Edited by Joachim Ahrens, Herman W. Hoen


290 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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The countries of Central Asia are increasingly the focus of intense international attention due to their geopolitical and economic importance as well as their unsettled transition processes. The region faced enormous challenges when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and this book focuses on the reforms of the institutional environment that have been largely neglected.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, the book explores key aspects of institution building as well as economic and political governance in Central Asia. Contributors from a variety of disciplines, such as economics, political economy, political science, sociology, law, and ethnology, investigate the challenges of institutional transition in a non-democratic region. The book discusses how the lack of effective institution building as well as rule enforcement in the economic and political realms represents one of the key weaknesses and drawbacks of transition, and goes on to look at how crafting market institutions will be of utmost importance in the years ahead.

Making an important contribution to understanding of political-economic developments in Central Asia, this book is of interest to students and scholars of political economy, comparative economics, development studies and Central Asian studies.


"For the area specialists, the book is a study of a lesser-examined aspect of the Central Asian region. For economists, it is a set of case studies that are different from those normally reviewed. And for the general comparativists, the book provides insights into a region in terms that can then be applied globally.[…] After more than twenty years of independence, it is a good sign to see authors consider the region part of the world community." - Roger D. Kangas, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, Washington, D.C., Slavic Review

Table of Contents

Part 1: Overview 1. Economic transition and institutional change in Central Asia Joachim Ahrens and Herman W. Hoen Part 2: Country-specific investigations 2. Transition strategies in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan since independence: paradoxes and prospects Herman W. Hoen and Farrukh Irnazarov 3. Social capital and the formation of a market economy: the case of Uzbekistan Manuela Troschke 4. Turkmenistan after Turkmenbashi Richard Pomfret 5. Poverty, governance, and participation in Central Asia: The example of Tajikistan Frank Bliss 6. The political economy of Kazakh foreign policy Andrea Schmitz 7. The institutional persistence of patrimonialism in the Kyrgyz Republic: Testing a path dependency (1991–2010) Rubén Ruiz Ramas Part 3: Governance and institutions 8. The political economy of governance reform in Central Asia Jörn Grävingholt 9. Informal integration and decentralization in Central Asia Alexander Libman 10. Analyzing bottlenecks for institutional development in Central Asia: Is it oil, aid, or geography? Inna Melnykovska and Rainer Schweickert Part 4: External actors and international structures 11. Will Russia regain its dominant role in Central Asia? Martin C. Spechler and Dina R. Spechler 12. Central Asia and Russia: Two alternative perspectives Alexander Libman 13. The European Union and Central Asia: A case of policy transfer Nienke de Deugd 14. The USA and Central Asia: Intermittent allies Dina R. Spechler and martin C. Spechler 15. Central Asian countries: Forms of international integration and the impact of the crisis of 2008 Martin Myant and Jan Drahokoupil

About the Editors

Joachim Ahrens is Professor of International Economics at the Private University of Applied Sciences Göttingen, Germany.

Herman W. Hoen is Professor of International Political Economy at the Department of International Relations of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

About the Series

Central Asian Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies