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.

part Part I|16 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

Economic transition and institutional change in central asia

ByJoachim Ahrens, Herman W. Hoen

part Part II|133 pages

Country- specific investigations

chapter 2|22 pages

Market reform and institutional change in kazakhstan and uzbekistan

Paradoxes and prospects
ByHerman W. Hoen, Farrukh Irnazarov

chapter 3|20 pages

Social capital and the formation of a market economy

The case of Uzbekistan
ByManuela Troschke

chapter 4|26 pages

Turkmenistan after turkmenbashi

ByRichard Pomfret

chapter 5|22 pages

Poverty, governance and participation in tajikistan

ByFrank Bliss

chapter 6|18 pages

The political economy of kazakh foreign policy

ByAndrea Schmitz

chapter 7|23 pages

The institutional persistence of patrimonialism in the kyrgyz republic

Testing a path dependency (1991–2010)1
ByRubén Ruiz Ramas

part Part III|60 pages

Governance and institutions

chapter 8|16 pages

The political economy of governance reform in central asia

ByJörn Grävingholt

chapter 9|17 pages

Informal integration and decentralization in central asia1

ByAlexander Libman

chapter 10|25 pages

Analysing bottlenecks for institutional development in central asia1

Is it oil, aid or geography?
ByInna Melnykovska, Rainer Schweickert

part Part IV|62 pages

External actors and international structures

chapter 11|13 pages

Will russia regain its dominant role in central asia?

ByMartin C. Spechler, Dina R. Spechler

chapter 12|4 pages

Central asia and russia

Two alternative perspectives
ByAlexander Libman

chapter 14|9 pages

The usa and central asia

Intermittent allies
ByDina R. Spechler, Martin C. Spechler

chapter 15|18 pages

Central asian countries

Forms of international integration and the impact of the crisis of 2008
ByMartin Myant, Jan Drahokoupil