Article, The American Interest, March 17, 2017
S. Frederick Starr, 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.
Book, University of Pittsburgh Press, June 2016
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.
“A superb study that fundamentally challenges our perception of the post-Soviet Central Asian state. Engvall’s thesis is the most novel and convincing account of post-Soviet Kyrgyz state formation of the past decade.”—Eric McGlinchey, George Mason University
Johan Engvall is a research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) and a nonresident research fellow of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, a joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C. and the Stockholm-based Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP).
By Shirin Akiner
July, 2016, pp. 146
Wednesday, June 8, 2016, from 5 to 7 p.m.
(reception at 5 p.m., followed by the main program at 5:30)
A century ago, at the time of World War I, hundreds of thousands of Central Asians – Kazakhs, Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks, and above all Kyrgyz – perished when they revolted against the tsarist Russian government's attempt to draft them into the army. Besides those who were killed outright, tens of thousands of Kyrgyz men, women, and children died trying to escape over treacherous mountain passes into China.
Soviet authorities have long suppressed Information on the 1916 revolt, but its Centennial has generated fresh interest, marked by seminars, mass meetings, and publications. Russia, in the meantime, has closed relevant archives and offered the curious thesis that the revolt was actually directed not against Russian rule, but against the authority wielded by the indigenous Turkic bourgeoisie.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute marks the centennial of the tragic loss of Central Asian life with two major publications: a new edition of the book The Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia by Edward Dennis Sokol, with foreword by Dr. S. Frederick Starr (JHU Press); and a Silk Road Paper entitled Central Asia in Revolt: the Cataclysm of 1916, edited by Zamira Sydykova. Both of these publications will be presented and discussed at this forum.
Speakers will include:
Zamira Sydykova, Ambassador, Editor in Chief, Res Publica Newspaper
Dr. Prof. Mirzokhid Rakhimov, Visiting Fulbright scholar at Central Asia-Caucasus Institute/Head of the Dept. for Contemporary History and International Relations, Institute of History, Academy of Sciences, Uzbekistan.
Moderator: S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.
Rome Building Auditorium
SAIS - Johns Hopkins University
1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Edward Dennis Sokol, with a foreword by S. Frederick Starr
Paperback, 208 pages, 1 map
By Niklas L.P. Swanström, Svante E. Cornell, Anara Tabyshalieva