Svante E. Cornell, Johan Engvall and S. Frederick Starr
November, 2016, pp. 66
By Svante E. Cornell, Per Eklund, Mamuka Tsereteli
October 2016, pp. 21
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 John C.K. Daly
May, 2016, pp. 85
Silk Road Paper, December 2015.
This study’s excavation of the ideological and political origins of the AKP sheds light both on Turkey’s current situation and its future trajectory. In the process, however, it also yields insights about some of the myopic or unwarranted assumptions underlying policy thinking about Turkey that have implications for policymakers going forward.
Over the last several years a gradual politicization of justice in Georgia has put into question the country’s democratization progress. Most attention has centered on the judicial campaign launched beginning in late 2012 against a number of former government officials, including former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been ordered to pre-trial detention in absentia. This policy of selective justice has resulted in domestic as well as international criticism and raises important questions with regard to the independence of the judicial structures and, overall, the current state of the rule of law in Georgia.This paper examines the question of the politicization of justice in light of two key issues: first, the degree to which the prosecution is under the influence of the executive; and second, whether arrests of key individuals are purely punitive, or seek to weaken political opponents.
The South Caucasus is key to Western efforts to shape intersection between Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, and to Western commercial and strategic access to and from the heart of the Eurasian continent. Yet far from developing, Western influence in the region is at an all-time low. As Western influence has declined, and partly as a consequence of it, the region’s development has stagnated. This situation is the result of a lack of strategic vision in the West and to a series of tactical errors. This paper analyzes the shortcomigns of western policies, and offers proposals for a new Western approach to the region.