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

The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus

Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges, 1st Edition

Edited by Amanda E Wooden, Christoph H. Stefes


288 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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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.


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)

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.

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Central Asian Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General