The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus : Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges book cover
1st Edition

The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus
Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges

ISBN 9780415368131
Published August 4, 2009 by Routledge
304 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Most books on the Caucasus and Central Asia are country-by-country studies. This book, on the other hand, fills a gap in Central Eurasian studies as one of the few comparative case study books on Central Eurasia, covering both the Caucasus and Central Asia; it considers key themes right across the two regions highlighting both political change and continuity.  Comparative case study chapters, written by regional experts from a variety of methodological backgrounds, provide historical context, and evaluate Soviet political legacies and emerging policy outcomes. Key topics include: the varied types and sources of authoritarianism; political opposition and protest politics; predetermined outcomes of post-Soviet economic choices; social and stability impacts of natural resource wealth; variations in educational reform; international norm influence on gender policy and the power of human rights activists.  Overall, the book provides a thorough, up-to-date overview of what is increasingly becoming a significant area of concern.

Table of Contents

Section I: Frameworks for Analysis  1. Tempting Two Fates: The Theoretical Foundations for Understanding Central Eurasian Transitions - Christoph H. Stefes and Amanda E. Wooden 2. Revealing Order in the Chaos: Field Experiences and Methodologies of Political and Social Research on Central Eurasia - Amanda E. Wooden, Medina Aitieva and Tim Epkenhans Section II: Political Contexts of Transitional Variations  3. Expecting Ethnic Conflict: The Soviet Legacy and Ethnic Politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia - Julie A. George  4. State Power and Autocratic Stability: Armenia and Georgia Compared - Lucan Way 5. Central Asian Protest Movements: Social Forces or State Resources? - Eric McGlinchey Section III: Policymaking Legacies and Futures  6. Following Through on Reforms: Comparing Market Liberalization in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan - Pamela Blackmon 7. Caspian Energy Wealth: Social Impacts and Implications for Regional Stability - Oksan Bayulgen 8. Beyond Treaty Signing: Internalizing Human Rights in Central Eurasia - Christopher P.M. Waters 9. Internalization of Universal Norms: A Study of Gender Equality in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan - Irina Liczek and Jens Wandel 10. Education in Central Asia: Transitional Challenges and Impacts - Carolyn Kissane 11. Multivaried and Interacting Paths of Change in Central Eurasia - Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes.

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Amanda E. Wooden is Assistant Professor of Environmental Politics & Policy at Bucknell University. Her research specializations are environmental security, environmental and energy policymaking, and water politics in Central Eurasia. In 2006-07, she served as Economic and Environmental Field Officer in Osh, Kyrgyzstan for the OSCE.  Christoph H. Stefes is Associate Professor of Comparative European & Post-Soviet Studies at the University of Colorado, Denver. His research focuses on political and economic developments in the South Caucasus. He is the author of Understanding Post-Soviet Transition: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism.


This book has a number of strengths. It is a compilation of rich and accurate material on a range of topics for a number of countries in the region. It can be used as a source of information for policy makers, a textbook for graduate level studies, a starting point for research projects, or an enriching read for an accomplished expert. All in all, the book is a broad take on complex, diverse and divergent region. - Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan, an Assistant Director at the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis at the American University of Armenia.(2014)