The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus: Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges (Central Asian Studies)

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The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus: Enduring Legacies and Emerging Challenges (Central Asian Studies)

The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus Most books on the Caucasus and Central Asia are country-by-

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The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus

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, economic and social 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 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. 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 2006–7, she served as Economic and Environmental Field Officer in Osh, Kyrgyzstan for the OSCE. Christoph H. Stefes is Associate Professor of Comparative European & PostSoviet 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 Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism.

Central Asian studies series

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Mongolia Today Science, culture, environment and development Edited by Dendevin Badarch and Raymond A. Zilinskas

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Turkestan and the Fate of the Russian Empire Daniel Brower

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Church of the East A concise history Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar W. Winkler

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Pre-tsarist and Tsarist Central Asia Communal commitment and political order in change Paul Georg Geiss

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Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia Bukhara and Khiva, 1865–1924 Seymour Becker

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Russian Culture in Uzbekistan One language in the middle of nowhere David MacFadyen

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Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia Maria Elisabeth Louw

8

Kazakhstan Ethnicity, language and power Bhavna Dave

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Ethno-Nationalism, Islam and the State in the Caucasus Post-Soviet disorder Edited by Moshe Gammer

10

Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries An anthropological perspective Laëtitia Atlani-Duault

11

Muslim-Christian Relations in Central Asia A. Christian van Gorder

12

The Northwest Caucasus Past, present, future Walter Richmond

13

Turkmenistan’s Foreign Policy Positive neutrality and the consolidation of the Turkmen regime Luca Anceschi

14

Conflict Transformation in Central Asia Irrigation disputes in the Ferghana Valley Christine Bichsel

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Socialist Revolutions in Asia The social history of Mongolia in the 20th century Irina Y. Morozova

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Post-Conflict Tajikistan The politics of peacebuilding and the emergence of a legitimate order John Heathershaw

17

The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus Enduring legacies and emerging challenges Edited by Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes

The Politics of Transition in Central Asia and the Caucasus Enduring legacies and emerging challenges

Edited by Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes

First published 2009 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2009. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.

© 2009 Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes for selection and editorial matter; individual contributors their contribution All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data The politics of transition in central Asia and the Caucasus : enduring legacies and emerging challenges / edited by Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes. p. cm.– (Central Asian studies) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Asia, Central–Politics and government–1991- 2. Caucasus–Politics and government. 3. Caucasus–History-–1991– I. Wooden, Amanda E. II. Stefes, Christoph H., 1969– JQ1080.P65 2009 320.958–dc22 2008047801 ISBN 0-203-02790-6 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN10: 0-415-36813-8 (hbk) ISBN10: 0-203-02790-6 (ebk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-36813-1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-02790-5 (ebk)

Contents

List of illustrations List of contributors Preface List of abbreviations

ix xi xiii xv

PART I

Frameworks for analysis 1

Tempting two fates: the theoretical foundations for understanding Central Eurasian transitions

1

3

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

30

AMANDA E. WOODEN, MEDINA AITIEVA, AND TIM EPKENHANS

PART II

Political contexts of transitional variations 3

Expecting ethnic conflict: the Soviet legacy and ethnic politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia

73

75

JULIE A. GEORGE

4

State power and autocratic stability: Armenia and Georgia compared

103

LUCAN WAY

5

Central Asian protest movements: social forces or state resources? ERIC MCGLINCHEY

124

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Contents

PART III

Policymaking legacies and futures 6

Following through on reforms: comparing market liberalization in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

139

141

PAMELA BLACKMON

7

Caspian energy wealth: social impacts and implications for regional stability

163

OKSAN BAYULGEN

8

Beyond treaty signing: internalizing human rights in Central Eurasia

189

CHRISTOPHER P.M. WATERS

9

Internalization of universal norms: a study of gender equality in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan

205

IRINA LICZEK AND JENS WANDEL

10 Education in Central Asia: transitional challenges and impacts

226

CAROLYN KISSANE

11 Multivaried and interacting paths of change in Central Eurasia

249

AMANDA E. WOODEN AND CHRISTOPH H. STEFES

Index

264

Illustrations

Figures 1.1 Political developments in Central Eurasia 4.1 Opposition protests in Armenia and Georgia, 1992–2005 9.1 Push and pull factors of international norm internationalization

7 104 207

Maps 7.1 Caspian region pipelines 7.2 Competing Caspian claims

166 172

Tables 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 5.1 6.1

Economic reforms in comparison Economic performance in Central Eurasia Income distribution and human development Bad governance in Central Eurasia Characteristics of respondents Distribution of researchers by discipline Scholars’ most competent research language Funding sources Responses by local–foreign status for gender studies scholars Research value rankings Central Asian and Caucasian states, ethnic groups demographics, 1989 Caucasus: ethnic group population per autonomous region, 1989 Cases and preliminary findings: characteristics of ethnic flashpoints and separatist outcomes Ethnic composition of the Ferghana valley Satisfaction with governance, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, June 1999 Rating of progress in price liberalization in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (1991–2007)

17 18 19 21 33 35 35 36 44 53 77 78 82 93 131 144

x

Illustrations

6.2 Rating of trade and foreign exchange system and important benchmarks of reform for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (1991–2007) 6.3 Production of raw cotton in the seven highest producing oblasts in Uzbekistan, 1960–2007 6.4 Reform legislation implemented in Kazakhstan during Nazarbayev’s rule by presidential decree, March–December 1995 7.1 Fuel exports 7.2 Oil and gas revenues 7.3 Agriculture, value added 7.4 Public health expenditures 7.5 Public spending on education 7.6 Corruption scores and ranking 7.7 Inequality in income or consumption 9.1 Official development assistance received by Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan 9.2 Freedom ranking in Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan 10.1 Tracking socio-economic and political developments 11.1 Patterns of state–society relations in Central Eurasia

145 149 152 174 174 175 176 177 177 179 218 218 232 253

Contributors

Medina Aitieva is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology Department at the American University of Central Asia. Her research interests are in gender, bride kidnapping, young people and transitions in value orientations, youth and technology, and methodological issues. Ms. Aitieva received her MA from Ball State University. Oksan Bayulgen is Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Connecticut. She specializes in the political economy of oil, comparative democratization, politics of Russia, and the former Soviet Union. She has published in journals such as Communist and Post-Communist Studies and Central Asian Survey. Pamela Blackmon is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science at Penn State Altoona. Her research focuses on the policies of the international financial institutions and on the economic development of the transition economies of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Her research has been published in Central Asian Survey and International Studies Review. Tim Epkenhans is Director of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He studied in Egypt, Iran, and in Germany where he received his Ph.D. in Islamic and Iranian Studies at the University of Bamberg. His research interests on Central Asia are focused on Tajikistan, where the OSCE Academy conducts an Oral History Project. Julie A. George is Assistant Professor of political science at Queens College, the City University of New York. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Georgia in 2002. She has authored several works on Georgian and Russian politics, including the forthcoming monograph Grafting Peace: The Politics of Ethnic Separatism in Russia and Georgia. Carolyn Kissane is Clinical Associate Professor in the M.S. Program in Global Affairs at New York University. She has worked as a researcher and consultant in Central Asia and Russia. She received her PhD in Comparative Education from Columbia University.

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Contributors

Irina Liczek is the Chief Technical Advisor on human rights for the United Nations in Turkmenistan. She received her PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research. Her current research focuses on internalization of human rights international norms in the newly independent states of Central Asia, in particular Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Eric McGlinchey is Assistant Professor of Politics at George Mason University. He received his PhD from Princeton in 2003. Dr. McGlinchey’s research, which has been widely published, addresses questions of Central Asian authoritarianism, political Islam, social mobilization and new information communication technologies. 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. His publications include several book chapters and articles, and he is the author of Understanding Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism. Jens Wandel is UNDP Europe and CIS Regional Deputy Director and Director of the Bratislava Regional Centre. He received his MA in Political Science from Aarhus University. He is an experienced development practitioner who began his career in 1988. His core interest areas are Democratic Governance and Capacity Development. Christopher P.M. Waters is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada. His areas of expertise include international human rights and legal and political issues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Waters has published three books and numerous articles. He has extensive field experience in the Balkan and Caucasus regions. Lucan Way is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He writes on authoritarianism, hybrid regimes, and regime transition. He has published widely, including in Comparative Politics, Journal of Democracy, Politics & Society, and World Politics. He is completing a book on obstacles to authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union. Amanda E. Wooden is Assistant Professor of Environmental Politics & Policy at Bucknell University. Her PhD is in International Relations and Public Policy. Dr. Wooden’s research specializations are environmental security, environmental and energy policymaking, and water politics in Central Eurasia. She recently served as Economic and Environmental Field Officer in Osh, Kyrgyzstan for the OSCE.

Preface

This book project emerged from conversations between the editors during the Central Eurasian Studies Society conference at Harvard University in fall 2003. We discussed the lack of truly comparative studies of Central Asia and the Caucasus. As comparative politics and public policy scholars, we believed this approach to be most useful for understanding political change in the region since 1991. At the time we felt that scholars of Central Eurasia did not engage in enough navel gazing about theoretical advancements in order to move toward more rigorous study. Central Eurasian studies scholars had instead engaged for a decade in a process of defining what the region was. Since 2003, the field of Central Eurasian studies has also increasingly engaged in conceptual discussions about topics such as transition, an important issue that frames section one of this book, as evaluated in the introductory chapter. From our professional networks, we knew there were many young scholars who had spent significant time working and living in the region, studying regional languages and collaborating closely with local scholars. These scholars were engaging in methodologically diverse and rigorous comparative analysis moving past conceptual battles. This work of emerging scholars seemed to provide richer theoretical insight into political and socio-economic transformation than the bulk of work in Central Eurasian political studies had. Many of these emerging scholars found problematic the dominance of only a few Soviet-era scholars as representatives of academic expertise on Central Eurasian politics and policymaking. Likewise, educating a new generation of scholars quite independent from Sovietological perspectives had remained difficult. Scholars faced the prospect of teaching Central Eurasian politics classes with few relevant texts evaluating the state of research. Headlining political situations in the early 2000s demonstrated the need for more rigorous ways of evaluating these events. A particular element missing in much of the literature that we identified was the connection between rigorous theoretical work and applied political or policy analysis. Often these two approaches are treated as separate and distinct. We believe this demonstrates a general failing in our field to communicate complex thoughts—rather than overly simplified narratives—to other scholars and students as well as to decision-makers in need of greater regional understanding.

xiv Preface In working on this book project, we have enjoyed the intellectual engagement and support of many people. Both editors gained immensely from experiences as Visiting Lecturers with the Open Society Institute’s Civic Education Project (CEP) in Georgia, and Wooden in Kyrgyzstan in 2001. The importance of the network among foreign and local scholars that developed cannot be overstated, and is exemplified by the collaboration between Medina Aitieva and Amanda Wooden in Chapter 2. Another important venue for meeting like-minded colleagues was the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) policy symposiums on Central Asia and the Caucasus, which the editors and several contributors attended in 2003 and in 2004. The Central Eurasian Studies Society network and annual conferences have remained integral to the development of this book since the conference in 2003 where the editors met. Clearly, professional networks matter; they help build disciplinary bridges and maintain important connections across scholars within and outside of the region. -Many others have contributed to this project, from conception to completion. We would like to thank Peter Sowden, editor at Routledge, for identifying our book as a worthy endeavor. Part of Amanda Wooden’s work on this volume was conducted under a generous grant from the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. We are forever grateful to external reviewers and readers. Our forever patient and dedicated copy-editor, Harvey Bishop, cannot be thanked enough. Douglas Greenfield and Margaret Osdoby Katz provided incisive proofreading of earlier chapter drafts. Bucknell University students Amanda Allen, Molly Burke, Brittany Rose Merola, and Daniel Winer provided research assistance for Chapters 1 and 2. Contributors Pamela Blackmon, Julie George, Irina Liczek, Jens Wandel, and Chris Waters all provided extensive internal review input for Chapters 1 and 11. The editors would like to thank Taylor & Francis Ltd for permission to reprint material from ‘Back to the USSR: Why the past does matter in explaining differences in the economic reform processes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’ by Pamela Blackmon, Central Asian Survey (2005) vol. 24, no. 4, 391–404 (Taylor & Francis Ltd, http://www.informaworld.com). With thanks also to Michael Cohen for the use of three maps from the 2002 Caspian Region Country Brief: Caspian Region Pipelines (Caspian Region Country Brief, January 2007); Proposed Median Line Divisions; Proposed 45-mile Zone Divisions. Regardless of the great number of contributions and influences of all those who have aided and abetted this process, we remain responsible for the likely oversight of many elements including those beyond the scope of our study. Responsibility for whatever problems remain is ours. We hope that this book contributes to a more rigorous political study of Central Eurasia and acts as a guideline for students of the region to take our field further than we can in this limited space. Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes

Abbreviations

ANM BTC CAS CAT CEADW CERD CIS COs COE CPC CPI CPT CRC CSW CUG EBRD ECHR ECPT EFF FSU FTI ICCPR ICESCR IMF IMU IR MBD NAM NAP

Armenian National Movement Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline Central Asian states Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Commonwealth of Independent States concluding observations Council of Europe Caspian Pipeline Consortium Project Transparency International Corruption Perception Index Committee for the Prevention of Torture Convention on the Rights of the Child Commission on the Status of Women Citizen’s Union of Georgia European Bank for Reconstruction and Development European Convention on Human Rights European Convention for the Prevention of Torture extended fund facility former Soviet Republics fast track initiative International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights International Monetary Fund Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan international relations (as a field of political science) million barrels a day needs assessment mission National Plans of Action (part of the Beijing Platform of Action)

xvi

Abbreviations

NFRK NGO NKAO ODA OHCHR OPEC OSCE/ODIHR OSI SBA UDHR UN UNDP USSR

National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan non-governmental organization Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast official development assistance Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Open Society Institute stand-by arrangement Universal Declaration of Human Rights United Nations United Nations Development Programmed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Part I

Frameworks for analysis

1

Tempting two fates The theoretical foundations for understanding Central Eurasian transitions Christoph H. Stefes and Amanda E. Wooden Wise Providence gave our perception The choice between two different fates: Either blind hope and agitation, Or hopelessness and deadly calm Two Fates, Evgeny Baratynsky

The poet Evgeny Baratynsky wrote of the two fates confronted by the young and ardent and the old and measured, and surmised about the choice each group will make. At first glance, the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia have in recent history faced a seemingly similar choice of agitated or calm political fates. These dichotomous political and policy choices are what scholars have referred to as the choice between pluralism and authoritarianism, capitalism and socialism, or conflict and stability. However, the outcomes might not be so dualistically simple, although these simplified concepts have dominated popular press and public notions of choices made by decision-makers. In this book, we discuss the causes and consequences of this seemingly dichotomous transition from the Soviet period. The introductory chapter begins by summarizing the main theoretical debates about the study of politics in Central Eurasia. Throughout the book, we also utilize this popular and simplified notion of a dichotomous transition (successful or unsuccessful) to highlight what is varied and nonlinear about the process of political change. We argue that it is important to understand the great many policy outcomes possible given multiple influences, varied starting points, and changing contexts. In clearly disaggregating these influences and identifying the similarities and dissimilarities across the region, using the simplifying concept of a bidirectional transitional continuum and through a multi-country comparative approach, we are able to ascertain a possible set of varied outcomes. In order to frame the comparisons made in the chapters of this book, this introduction provides the foundational discussion of the relevant literature on transitions regarding the study of institutions, distribution of power, disputes,

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actors and their socio-economic policy considerations. Each chapter fits into this theoretical overview and seeks to answer the questions derived from it. Is there a path between Baratynsky’s prophesied outcomes that the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia are pursuing? Are there easily identifiable dichotomies in political context and policy approaches? By focusing on hypothesized dichotomies are non-dichotomous outcomes identifiable? What are the variations in combinations that each chapter identifies or ignores? We conclude this chapter by providing an overview of the layout for this book.

The purpose and scope of this book The overarching goals of this book are to reveal and compare policy outcomes in Central Eurasia and move beyond overly simplified conceptions and evaluations of political change in the region. The importance of doing so is framed in this introduction, by highlighting both the valuable contributions and the theoretical failings of much work on the region. We seek to meet this goal given the limited comparative analysis done of both context and outcomes of government action across issues of politics, economics, society, and the environment. None of these elements operates in a vacuum, and thus it is important to separate out the factors of transition. Chapter 2 allows insight into the process of studying the region, the questions that frame the research scholars’ conduct, and the methodologies chosen (and not chosen) to study the politics of Central Eurasia. This volume allows the student of Central Eurasia to gain an overview of approaches to studying the politics of the region and an aggregated explanation of the convergent and divergent paths Central Eurasian countries have taken. An important question for defining the scope of this book has dominated methodological and professional association identity debates in the last decade and a half: what is this region “Central Eurasia” anyway? As defined in this volume, “Central Eurasia” includes the three non-Russian former Soviet countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) and the five former Soviet countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). We limit our discussion to former Soviet countries for methodological reasons, applying a most-similar system design. Although we do not ignore the varied pre-Soviet and Soviet histories of these countries, we identify the main components of comparability that make these countries most similar within the post-Soviet space. This comparability is due to inclusion of this “southern tier” into the Russian colonial sphere in the nineteenth century (in contrast to the Baltic countries) and formalized inclusion in the space of the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century, and as a location for colonial resource exploitation and collectivization. These Russian and Soviet era similarities remain important as a basis for understanding postSoviet identity and governance. Therefore, we exclude from the “Central Eurasian” region as defined here the Northern Caucasus and Central Asian parts of Russia and the non-post-Soviet countries or provinces within the

Tempting two fates

5

broader geographical, non-political concept of Central Asia, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and China.1 Studying Central Asia and the Caucasus comparatively has gained acceptance as a broadly defined region separate from other parts of the former Soviet Union, though there is still debate over the boundaries of this region and what the region shall mean in the future. Identifying in this chapter most similar political and socio-economic aspects, we are able to focus on the dissimilarities and variations among and within these societies. Therefore, focusing on the eight former Soviet, non-Russian countries of “Central Eurasia,” we proceed in this chapter to systematically evaluate the theoretical foundations of scholarship about political, socioeconomic, and environmental transitions from 1991–2008 and the policy problems identified by these evaluations.

Transitions from communism in Central Eurasia Most scholars who analyze the changes that have taken place in Central Eurasia since 1991 avoid using the concept “transition” in any closed-ended way. A closed-ended conception implies that post-Soviet countries inevitably and continuously move from communism to a predetermined endpoint (Gans-Morse 2004). Following the modernization paradigm, this endpoint would be a liberal democratic and capitalist regime. Alternatively, instead of moving towards democracy and free markets the eight states of Central Eurasia might return to a time before communist rule when feudal institutions structured the societies in the South Caucasus and Central Asia (Burawoy and Verdery 1999; Verdery 1996). The editors and contributors of this volume do not conceptualize transition in any teleological (i.e. closed-ended) way. They do not share the assessment that the Central Eurasian states are on the preordained march towards a Westernstyle political and socio-economic regime or a feudal system. Instead, the authors concur with Pauline Jones Luong and her collaborators when they argue that post-Soviet Central Asia, as it recreates disintegrated state and market structures, reveals a peculiar combination of pre-Soviet, Soviet, and entirely new institutions as well as formal and informal practices and norms (Jones Luong 2004). Thus, unique political contexts are emerging in Central Eurasia. In short, when we use the concept “transition” we mean “transition from communism” without any preconceived notion of a possible endpoint. Neither do we assume that these eight countries will experience uniform transitions. Although these transitions might be grouped for analytical purposes, the uniqueness of each transition is difficult to ignore. Explaining political transitions Despite the uniqueness of transitions in Central Eurasia, all eight countries have one attribute (or the absence thereof) in common. Almost 20 years after the fall of Soviet authoritarianism, liberal democratic regimes remain conspicuously

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absent. State institutions that protect and advance political rights and civil liberties have not emerged to fill the void that the collapse of Soviet rule left. Yet beyond this negatively defined attribute, differences in regime type soon become apparent. Given the level of state repression and the absence of political competition, some regimes are plainly authoritarian. Other Central Eurasian states, however, can be called semi-democratic or at least semi-authoritarian insofar as some political competition takes place and violations of basic human rights are not as frequent as in the former group. To avoid a definite verdict about the “democraticness” of these regimes, the concept of hybrid regime was introduced to cover the gray area between (liberal) democratic and authoritarian rule (Bunce 2001; Merkel and Croissant 2000). In addition, a comparison over time shows that some regimes have not changed much or at all since the early 1990s while others, especially the hybrid regimes, saw political turmoil and social unrest. Going beyond idiosyncratic analyses of the political transitions in Central Eurasia with the goal of developing general theories requires us to classify Central Eurasia’s regimes in different categories. Thereafter, we should not only systematically compare analytical groups but also the individual cases within each group, highlighting differences among otherwise similar countries (Sartori 1970). An analysis of Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index (Freedom House, various years) allows for a broad distinction between stable authoritarian regimes (“not free” according to Freedom House) and those that have been hybrid regimes (“partly free”) either throughout or at least most of the post-Soviet period. The first group consists of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Azerbaijan belong to the second group (Figure 1.1). Politically, the collapse of Soviet rule meant little for the countries in the first group. Authoritarian rule has remained in place and elite continuity is prevalent. For analysts of political change the obvious questions to ask therefore are: Why has authoritarian rule persisted in the first group but not in the second? How has it been possible for the Soviet elite to maintain their grip on power? Within this group of stable authoritarian regimes, significant differences exist. For instance, while Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are highly repressive regimes in which incarceration and torture of political opponents is commonplace, the authoritarian leaders of Tajikistan and Kazakhstan rely less on open repression to stay in power. This finding invites questions regarding the different modes of authoritarian rule, under which circumstances they are successful, and why they are chosen in the first place. As for the group of hybrid regimes, notable deviations are also noticeable, especially when comparing these countries over time. In the mid-1990s, all four countries had witnessed political liberalization and therefore seemed to be on track towards liberal democratic rule. Liberalization was reversed and oppression of political rights and civil liberties became widespread in the latter half of the 1990s. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, increasing “authoritarianization” has so far remained without any political consequences. Yet in

Tempting two fates

7

Figure 1.1 Political developments in Central Eurasia. Source: Freedom House

Georgia and Kyrgyzstan popular protests removed from power increasingly illiberal presidents—Eduard Shevardnadze during the Rose Revolution (2003) and Askar Akayev during the Tulip Revolution (2005), respectively. We might therefore ask why increasing repression has turned out to be a successful strategy for the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan but not for their counterparts in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Finally, beyond questions related to regime stability and change, another interesting puzzle concerns the interethnic relations within the eight Central Eurasian countries. While the South Caucasus has seen violent and protracted ethnic conflicts, relations between the various ethnic groups of Central Asia have been considerably more amicable. As Julie George in her chapter points out, in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union many scholars expected the opposite. Which factors then caused the outbreak of violent ethnic conflict in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan? Moreover, were these factors simply absent in Central Asia or were they compensated by other factors that fostered interethnic accommodation? These questions obviously have increased relevance as the August 2008 war between Georgia, Russia, and South Ossetia demonstrates. In the section that follows, we address the above questions by surveying leading studies of political transitions in Central Eurasia. This overview also allows us to discuss contributors’ chapters within the context of the scholarship on the region. In doing so, we separate between bottom-up approaches, which identify forces of political change mainly within society, and top-down

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approaches, which see the state and the political elite as the major agents of political development in the region. We further separate between approaches that focus exclusively on domestic forces and those that recognize the impact of international factors on the political processes in the region. Among those who argue that societal forces were dominant in the early period of transition from communist rule, Bunce figures prominently (Bunce 2001, 2003). She argues that mass mobilization was “often helpful to the democratic transition in the postcommunist context” (2003: 172). Mass mobilization signaled that an alternative to the authoritarian regime was possible, thereby putting the incumbent leadership under pressure to negotiate. Furthermore, it legitimized and empowered the opposition leaders and provided them with a “mandate for radical change” (Bunce 2003: 172). Nationalism thereby plays a facilitating role, serving as rallying point for the masses: “nationalism could unite the diverse elements of emergent civil society and thereby defuse the ideological and political differences that were inevitably present” (Gill 2006: 620). A strong popular front was thereby able to break the hold on power of the communist leadership, opening space for a democratic transition.2 Applied to Central Eurasia, this theory has some value in explaining uninterrupted authoritarian rule in the first group of countries (stable authoritarian) and early liberalization in the hybrid regimes (second group). Whereas the first group includes all but one of the five Central Asian states, the second group consists of the three South Caucasian countries plus Kyrgyzstan. Some scholars argue that socio-cultural attitudes prevalent in Central Asia such as respect for seniority, deference to authority, and traditions of patriarchy have stood in the way of popular mobilization against the authorities (Akiner 1997; Gleason 1997). Moreover, the countries of Central Asia were to some degree creations of Soviet rule. Nationalism was therefore weakly developed, preventing the emergence of strong nationalist movements that could have ejected the Soviet elite from power. Instead, the Soviet elite of Central Asia largely remained in power after 1991, maintaining authoritarian rule in the absence of a powerful opposition. On the other hand, in the South Caucasus—primarily in Georgia and Armenia and to a lesser degree in Azerbaijan—popular movements’ quest for independence gave rise to a forceful opposition against the local administrations of the despised Soviet empire. The first free elections accordingly swept the Soviet elite from power. Though elegant, this theoretical approach cannot account for the many ironies of post-Soviet transitions in Central Eurasia. For one, during the latter half of the 1980s Central Asia actually saw a wave of nationalist resistance against the attempts of Gorbachev to reverse the nativization policy of his predecessors (Bremmer and Taras 1993). Second, the liberalization of postSoviet Georgia did not begin under the first president, the dissident leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who revealed strong authoritarian tendencies during his short tenure, but rather under Eduard Shevardnadze, the erstwhile and long-time leader of Georgia’s Communist Party. Moreover, although

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Armenia’s popular front scored a sweeping victory in the first free elections, the break with the Soviet past was incomplete, as the new government included many former communists (Stefes 2006: Chapter 2). Armenia’s first president Levon Ter-Petrosian, despite his credentials as a leader of Armenia’s popular movement, increasingly relied on repression to stay in power during his second term in office. He was eventually ousted from office by members of his own government. In view of the massive popular uprisings in several Central Eurasian countries between 2003 (Georgia’s Rose Revolution) and 2005 (Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the Andizhan massacre in Uzbekistan), bottom-up approaches have nevertheless remained popular among political analysts. McFaul (2005), for instance, argues that the success of the so-called colored revolutions in Georgia (as well as in Serbia and Ukraine) can largely be attributed to a united and organized opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands of citizens and able to detect electoral fraud and publish their reports almost instantly with the support of independent media. A similar approach is taken by other scholars to explain the ouster of Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev in 2005. Fuhrmann (2006) argues that imported and indigenous social capital aided popular mobilization during the Tulip Revolution. In this regard, some analysts emphasize the impact of Western democracy assistance, which strengthened a civil society that was eventually powerful enough to topple the authoritarian regime when the time was ripe (flawed parliamentary elections are commonly cited as the focusing event for the popular uprisings). Yet flawed elections and democracy assistance programs are ultimately weak explanations for the rapid mobilization of tens of thousands of people. Since citizens in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan could not foresee how the state’s coercive force would react, they had to expect the worst. We would therefore have to look for stronger reasons than flawed elections to explain why citizens of Central Eurasia sometimes take risky measures to remove their leaders from power. Most supporters of the bottom-up approach are surprisingly silent about the motivation of ordinary citizens to take political action. One notable exception is Katz who relies on traditional theories of revolution to unearth the structural determinants of mass uprisings, concluding that socioeconomic deterioration combined with political repression in Central Asia has created a fertile soil for further revolutionary activity of either the democratic or Islamist type (Katz 2006, 2007). Bottom-up approaches are also heavily criticized by supporters of topdown approaches who largely reject the assumption that societal forces are ultimately powerful enough to change the political course of post-Soviet states. Gel’man argues that “‘civil society,’ in the normative sense of democratic theory, is present in post-Soviet areas only to the extent allowed by the dominant elites” (Gel’man 2003: 90). Kubicek points to “the habits of the Soviet period, the lack of social capital, a ‘wall of indifference’ between elites and masses, and weak development of civic organization” to explain why political developments in the post-Soviet era are largely elite driven (Kubicek 2000: 299).

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Focusing on elites and the distribution of power between them, McFaul (2002) explains the emergence of different regime types in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse. His theory is straightforward: Democracy emerged … in countries where democrats enjoyed a decisive power advantage … conversely, in countries in which dictators maintained a decisive power advantage, dictatorship emerged. In between these two extremes were countries in which the distribution of power between the old regime and its challengers was relatively equal. (McFaul 2002: 214) The “in-between” group of countries largely overlaps with our second group of hybrid regimes, while his group of dictatorships concurs with our first group of stable authoritarian regimes.3 Yet again, theoretical elegance is bought at the expense of explanatory power. McFaul only hints at the factors that tilted the balance of power in one or the other direction. McFaul’s theory is even less helpful to explain later developments in the group of hybrid regimes. All four countries have witnessed increasing authoritarianism since the mid-1990s. Yet whereas the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments have been able to cement their autocratic rule, their Georgian and Kyrgyz counterparts were confronted with popular uprisings that ultimately caused their abdication. In his chapter and other studies, Way argues that in order to understand the (in)stability of hybrid regimes we need to pay closer attention to the ability of political leaders to rebuild the state and coercive state capacity after the collapse of the Soviet system (Way 2005; Way and Levitsky 2006). From this perspective, the early 1990s were not so much a period of liberalization in the second group of hybrid regimes, as McFaul would argue, but of incumbents’ inability “to maintain power or concentrate political control … The result has been what might be called ‘pluralism by default’” (Way 2005: 232).4 Way thereby builds on the work of O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986) as well as Skocpol (1979). For this volume, Way attempts to explain the expulsion of Georgian President Shevardnadze from power during the 2003 Rose Revolution and the ability of the Armenian government under President Robert Kocharian to thwart a similar scenario. Way discards the argument that these divergent outcomes can be explained by different degrees of societal mobilization. In fact, “Armenia has witnessed far more frequent and sizable opposition mobilization than has Georgia.” Armenia was therefore ripe for an overthrow of the incumbents, not Georgia. Rejecting therefore a bottom-up approach to political transitions, Way turns towards two other factors: the power of the incumbent party to unite the political elite and the ability of the state apparatus to suppress dissent. Arguing that past and present ruling parties have been notoriously weak in both countries, Way identifies the weakness and internal divisions of Georgia’s coercive state apparatus as the primary reason for the Rose Revolution. In contrast, Armenia’s police and security forces

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have shown that they are strong and loyal supporters of the political leadership. In order to explain different levels of state coercive capacity, Way points towards the divergent transition paths that the two countries took in the early 1990s. Georgia suffered from a civil war and two ethnic wars that essentially led to a collapse of state structures, which were difficult to rebuild in successive years. In contrast, Armenians rallied behind a common cause, the war against Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. This “war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh provided both the impetus for the creation of relatively robust centralized rule and gave leaders essential coercive and organizational tools to steal elections, and suppress even massive opposition protest.” In short, Way encourages us to look at state capacity, not society and opposition mobilization, to understand the different trajectories that the four countries in our second group have taken. His theory can indeed be applied to Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan as well. In 2005, Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev was ousted during the Tulip Revolution. Like in Georgia, the response of the police force to popular protests was feeble and unorganized. The weakness of the Kyrgyz state apparatus was even more glaring taking into account that it was challenged by no more than a few thousand protesters (Radnitz 2006). In contrast, after an initial period of tremendous instability, Azerbaijan’s coercive state capabilities strengthened under the tight-fisted rule of President Heidar Aliyev, who funneled increasing levels of financial resources into the security forces benefiting from his country’s oil bonanza (see also Chapter 7 by Bayulgen in this book). This coercive capability helped Aliyev and his successor, his son Ilham, to repress any opposition to the authoritarian leadership. Eric McGlinchey, in his contribution to this book, addresses the puzzle remaining from Way’s chapter: why popular mobilization occurred when and how it did. McGlinchey—seeking to explain divergent effectiveness levels of political opposition in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan—argues that political protest is “shaped as much by an independent, society based logic as it is by state coercive capacities.” While Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan share similar coercive powers, political opposition in the former country has been strong for the past two decades, while it has been much weaker in Kazakhstan. Moreover, despite being one of the most repressive regimes in the world, Uzbekistan’s dictator has faced strong pockets of regional opposition to his rule. Like Way, McGlinchey identifies the origins of later developments in the early transition period, developing a path-dependent argument. While protesters targeted the communist leadership in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan also saw massive protests. However, those protests did not so much aim at the political leadership as they built around ethnic, environmental, and economic grievances. Later opposition to the political leadership in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan could therefore profit from experiences gained during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Kazakh opposition however lacks this experience of anti-government protests. Argues McGlinchey: “Political protest then … maybe grounded in a self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating

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dynamic of learned cooperation.” He does not reject that state repression has played a role in influencing the strengths of the opposition groups in these countries. Yet in redirecting attention to societal forces, McGlinchey downplays the role of the state. For instance, he argues that the current weakness of the Uzbek opposition has less to do so with increasing levels of state repression but more with divisions among the various opposition groups that date back to the early 1990s.5 Explaining more rapid opposition mobilization might require evaluations of transboundary political learning. Beissinger (2007) provides an alternative conclusion that the post-communist revolutions of the early 2000s (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004, and Kyrgyzstan 2005) did not take place independent from each other. “Each successful democratic revolution has produced an experience that has been consciously borrowed by others, spread by NGOs, and emulated by local social movements” (Beissinger 2007: 261).6 In other words, perhaps effective opposition mobilization does not require a long preparatory stage but can emerge quickly if accelerated by cross-border learning and/or foreign support.7 In addition to cross-border learning, opposition movements in these countries could rely on technical and financial support from foreign governments, primarily the US government (Beissinger 2007; McFaul 2005). Mitchell (2004), for example, argues that foreign money contributed to the rapid growth of Georgia’s non-governmental organization (NGO) sector, and Olcott states that “U.S. policy makers should be very pleased by the developments in Kyrgyzstan, as they do provide strong evidence that sustained support for grass-roots political organizations can prove effective” (Olcott 2005b). Yet it is not entirely self-evident that international financing of civil society leads to democratization. First, international financing could be understood as elite capture, which could undermine the possibility of indigenous democratic reforms. Moreover, do we truly see a social learning curve for opposition movement or civil society development autonomous (or mostly so) from elites or international community support? In answering these questions, the environment and democracy literature discusses a range of outcomes that lie between elite-society dichotomies. It also addresses the combination of factors that motivate popular mobilization. One criticism of the literature on Central Eurasian environmental and other NGO networks is that these are often simply descriptive, bottom-up arguments of these networks as universally democratizing forces, yet many authors more critically evaluate the extent of elite cooptation or international community capture these organizations’ activities (Chatrchyan and Wooden 2005; Weinthal 2004; Wooden 2004). These assessments reinforce the work on mid-level or local elite capture and social capital development as not a universally positive force (McGlinchey Chapter 5 in this book; Radnitz 2006). These appraisals move the literature beyond simple national level and institutional capacity focuses and modernist approaches. Much interest in Central Eurasian environmental issue mobilization stems from its role as a late Soviet political change catalyst. In turn, this led to early

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post-Soviet academic interest in the environment as fomenter of democratic reform, yet environmental concerns largely dissipated as a major social force in post-Soviet Central Eurasia. This dissipation highlighted the puzzle of whether or not environmental concerns were real or were instrumentalized for political purposes, to meet broader nationalistic goals, and thus were easily abandoned once intended political power change occurred. (See the case study on environmental politics in Chapter 2 by Wooden, Aitieva and Epkenhans for a discussion of the literature.) Study of these concerns has been revived recently because of general global prioritization of environmental issues and international community interests in funding action in the region. The most attention has been paid to institutional capacity development. A primary debate in the literature has focused on whether or not authoritarian governments or democratic governments prove better at responding to public concern about and addressing environmental problems. Chatrchyan and Wooden (2005) develop a framework for evaluating the variety of factors influencing environmental policy improvements by comparing Armenian and Georgian forestry and water resource management case studies. They find support for the hypothesis that democratizing, hybrid regimes are often the weakest in environmental policy improvements, calling into question binary assumptions about democracy, authoritarianism, and the environment. The nuances demonstrated by the study of varying environmental movement developments and influences provides an important response to Gel’man (2003), Kubicek (2000) and others’ critiques of social force power. Mid-level approaches are therefore important to include in the study of political change in multiple directions, including the policy and capacity weakness of those countries evaluated as the best performing reformers in the region. Similar to assessments of support for environmental NGOs, most analysts consider broader Western engagement in the region as having a liberalizing or even democratizing impact on political development. However, one might easily overstate the reach of Western governments and international organizations in Central Eurasia. Christopher Waters makes this clear in his chapter, “Beyond treaty signing: internalizing human rights in Central Eurasia,” in which he examines the gap between the international human rights obligations that have been accepted by the region’s states—and enshrined in their constitutions—and the actual human rights situation on the ground. Despite formal commitments to prevent and punish human rights violations such as torture and arbitrary detention, abuses are carried out by police and other state agents in each of the countries under consideration. Waters argues that without domestic “human rights entrepreneurs” international norms and Western pressure will not significantly improve the human rights situation in Central Eurasia. These entrepreneurs (typically NGOs) seek to internalize international human rights standards through litigation, lobbying, and educational activities. In the regions’ hybrid regimes, which allow political activism to some degree, human rights entrepreneurs have been more successful in upholding governments’ human rights obligations. In contrast, in the

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authoritarian regimes of Central Eurasia, notably Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, international norms and Western lobbying have brought few improvements (see also Liczek and Wandel’s Chapter 9 in this book). The nature of human rights issues between countries of the region would be a useful next step for analysis based on Waters’ insights, especially in reflection of refugee flows and the cooperation of states in extradition and open operations of national security services across borders in Central Asia. The West competes with regional powers such as Russia and China for access to natural resources, markets, and political cooperation. This has allowed Central Eurasia’s leaders to play Western, Russian, and Chinese governments against each other and mute criticism of their authoritarian regimes. Therefore, Western leverage is at best moderate.8 Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, for example, which initially appeared to side with the USA, have recently allowed Russia to increase its influence in the region. Armenia has been a steadfast ally of Russia in the Caucasus ever since its independence. Only Georgia and to a lesser degree Azerbaijan have developed close linkages with Western governments and organizations, seeking NATO and European Union membership. As Oksan Bayulgen argues in her chapter, close economic and political ties with the West might not contribute to any political liberalization or even social improvements for the population. Bayulgen addresses the hypothesized dichotomy of fossil fuel exports as curse or blessing for stability in Central Eurasia. Ultimately, she uncovers the oversimplification of the “Great Game” concept for understanding the destabilizing impact of international engagement in the region, focusing attention on the primary impact of fossil fuel export dependence, and societal destabilization through maldistribution of the economic benefits of such a policy. International rivalries over resource rents and transportation routes interact with this socio-economic destabilization to exacerbate regional instability, domestic repression, and socio-economic disparities. From her analysis, Bayulgen opens up avenues for future comparative exploration of petro-states in the region. With slow change toward postfossil fuel economies, what does lack of diversification in the economies of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan mean for the future? What are the emerging policy implications of the trajectories of these countries and are they likely to vary in outcomes? Understanding the variations requires evaluation of other potential causes of instability together with natural resource exploitation. Early post-Soviet analysis of conflict in the region was preoccupied with ethnic conflict and separatism, as identified clearly by Julie George in her contribution to this book. George analyzes ethnic separatist movements that have been a major source of political instability in Central Eurasia. Once again, it turns out that foreign (albeit not always Western) influence has played a destructive role in the region. From 1991 until 1994, three secessionist wars in South Ossetia and Abkhazia (both regions within Georgia) and in Nagorno-Karabakh (an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan) left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. The fact that all three ethnic conflicts have taken place in the

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South Caucasus, while Central Asia has (so far) avoided prolonged ethnic strife is somewhat surprising. Most analysts expected Central Asia to turn into an interethnic battleground, pointing towards large groups of ethnic minorities that lived geographically concentrated in their host countries. Moreover, owing to the repressive nature of most regimes in the region, these groups had no peaceful political outlet to express and defend their interests. Nevertheless, Central Asia has been spared prolonged violent ethnic conflict. George argues that three factors help to explain this puzzle. First, during Soviet times most ethnic minorities in the South Caucasus enjoyed various forms of regional autonomy. The corresponding administrative structures supported ethnic entrepreneurs in their attempts to instill a common identity among the minority groups and organize resistance against the ethnic majority.9 In contrast, ethnic minorities in Central Eurasia did not enjoy any form of self-governance during Soviet times. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was therefore difficult, if not impossible, to organize their interests. However, previously existing autonomy was only one factor. According to George, political liberalization throughout the South Caucasus facilitated the mobilization of ethnic minorities. Moreover, ethnic identities were often used to rally political support during the founding elections. Exclusionary rhetoric thereby provoked mutual distrust and suspicion among the ethnic groups.10 In Central Asia, the lack of liberalization made it more difficult for ethnic minorities to organize. In addition, according to George, “the ethnic message of statebuilding reforms in Central Asia was typically more internationalist than those in the Caucasus, and thus less violently divisive.” Finally, foreign governments in the South Caucasus—namely, Russia and Armenia—supported ethnic groups with political recognition, military equipment, and financial resources, which allowed otherwise feeble minorities to turn into formidable foes that were able to oppose the majority. It is indeed doubtful that the Abkhaz and Ossetian minorities in Georgia could have defeated the Georgian forces without Russian support. Likewise, the successful struggle of Karabakh Armenians for independence from Azerbaijan owed much to Armenia’s (and Russia’s) military support. Through this support, Armenia and Russia fueled ethnic conflict as they undercut minorities’ willingness to compromise and made those groups appear even more threatening for the ethnic majority.11 The dependence of South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatist leaders on Russian and the role that Russia has played in creating a threatening environment were demonstrated anew most clearly in the August 2008 war. Socio-economic and environmental transitions The socio-economic transitions of the eight Central Eurasian countries have varied significantly. While some governments have embraced privatization and liberalization, others have endorsed market reforms only to a limited degree. Irrespective of the reform fervor, however, all countries experienced

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dramatic contractions of economic output during the early 1990s. While most had fully recovered from these severe recessions by the early 2000s, the performance of the Central Eurasian economies has been unequal with some sporting double-digit growth over the past few years, while others remaining largely stagnant. Finally, changes in the distribution of poverty and wealth within the eight countries have also varied largely. In some countries, the gap between rich and poor has rapidly risen. Yet some countries in Central Eurasia have maintained a greater level of socio-economic equality since the end of Soviet period. In this section, we briefly depict the historical context for economic change, post-Soviet economic reform efforts of the eight Central Eurasian countries, summarize patterns of economic contraction and growth since the collapse of Soviet rule, and analyze the social and environmental sustainability of economic change. In explaining variances, we show to what degree these three variables (reform, performance, and distribution) correlate with each other. To reveal some of the causal mechanisms, we survey the scholarly literature on economic transitions and socio-economic developments. Framing our discussion are four theoretical questions related to socio-economic transformation. First, what differences in Soviet political and economic legacies have impacted the type of post-Soviet reform process? Second, what is the postSoviet performance of these economies and how can variations in performance be explained politically? Third, what are the societal impacts of different economic transformations and how do society-elite relations demonstrate levels of accountability and state capacity? Finally, how are these economic and political changes linked to autonomous local policymaking opportunities and the context for cultural change sub-nationally? These questions allow us to place the four chapters by Pamela Blackmon, Carolyn Kissane, Irina Liczek and Jens Wandel, and Oksan Bayulgen within the scholarly debate. Data provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) enable us to identify the leaders and laggards of economic reform (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2007). In the South Caucasus, Armenia, and Georgia stand out as the countries that introduced liberalization and privatization shortly after independence and have made the most changes toward capitalist economies. Azerbaijan started economic reforms later and the extent of these reforms has not matched that of its neighbors, especially not in the area of large-scale privatization. In Central Asia, the divergence between leaders and laggards is even more pronounced. Uzbekistan and especially Turkmenistan have introduced only few economic reforms. Liberalization of their trade and exchange rate systems as well as bank reforms and interest rate liberalization have not progressed much. The state still controls major industries and the banking sector. In contrast, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan introduced economic reforms early after independence and to a similar extent as Armenia and Georgia. Tajikistan finds itself somewhere in the middle of the group but has made significant progress in the areas of small scale privatization and price liberalization (Table 1.1).

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Table 1.1 Economic reforms in comparison

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Georgia

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan

Large scale Small scale Price Trade and privatization privatization liberalization foreign exchange system

Banking reform and interest rate liberalization

Start of reforms

1995

1992

1992

1992

1995

Reform indicator

3.67

4.00

4.33

4.33

2.67

Start of reforms

1997

1996

1992

1995

1995

Reform indicator

2.00

3.67

4.00

4.00

2.33

Start of reforms

1995

1993

1992

1995

1995

Reform indicator

3.67

4.00

4.33

4.33

2.67

Start of reforms

1993

1992

1992

1993

1995

Reform indicator

3.00

4.00

4.00

3.67

3.00

Start of reforms

1992

1992

1992

1992

1994

Reform indicator

3.67

4.00

4.33

4.33

2.33

Start of reforms Reform indicator

1995

1992

1992

1995

2002

2.33

4.00

3.67

3.33

2.33

1997

1995

1994





Reform indicator

1.00

2.00

2.67

1.00

1.00

Start of reforms

1994

1993

1992

1994

1995

Reform indicator

2.67

3.33

2.67

2.00

1.67

Turkmenistan Start of reforms

Uzbekistan

Source: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2007.

After considerable economic retrenchment in the early 1990s, all countries of Central Eurasia moderately recovered in the second half of the 1990s with growth rates varying between paltry 0.35 per cent (Tajikistan) and sizeable 5.43 per cent (Armenia). For the past seven years, economic growth among the eight countries has diverged even more starkly. The economies of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Kazakhstan have witnessed double-digit growth between 2001 and 2006, allowing these countries to recover fully from the economic crisis of the early 1990s. Kyrgyzstan, on the other hand, has

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grown a mere 3.63 per cent during the first half of the 2000s—not enough to return the economy to its pre-independence level. Kyrgyzstan shares this fate with Tajikistan and Georgia. Given the solid growth rates of these last two countries since 1995, this deficiency can only be explained by the vast havoc that the civil and ethnic wars inflicted on their economies in the years following independence. Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia together with Uzbekistan are consequently the poorest countries of the region. The remaining four countries do considerably better with Kazakhstan’s economy leading the group by a large margin (Table 1.2). The vast disparity in economic growth patterns is only to some degree reflected in human development (Table 1.3). According to the United Nations Development Programme (2006), all eight countries belong to the group of medium human development countries, which is in itself remarkable given the sharp economic decline and the subsequent retrenchment of the Soviet welfare state. As the Gini indices for these countries demonstrate, the distribution of income has been highly unequal throughout the region. A large percentage of the population lives below $2 a day (e.g., over 40 per cent in Tajikistan), indicating that few citizens have benefited from the economic recovery of the past 10 years. It is nevertheless important to evaluate subgroup differences in distribution of transition’s costs and benefits, as do Pomfret (2003) and Anderson and Pomfret (2002). They utilize household survey data to analyze the winners and losers of transition in Central Asia, identifying three variables as most important for determining household expenditures and thus poverty levels: location, family size (number of children), and university education. Their results indicate a great variety of differences in the region, connecting the contributions of the chapters in this volume. For example, in Kyrgyzstan the Table 1.2 Economic performance in Central Eurasia Average growth in real GDP

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Average

1995–2000

2001–2006

5.43 3.7 5.22 0.77 5.7 0.35 2.77 2.6 3.32

12.37 16.02 7.7 10.37 3.63 9.1 14.85 5.72 9.97

GDP per capita 2004 (PPP US$)

Estimated level of real GDP in 2006 (1989 = 100)

4,101 4,153 2,844 7,440 1,935 1,869 4,584 1,869 3,599

126 121 53 125 87 79 177 137 113

Sources: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2007 and United Nations Development Programme 2007. Note: GDP, gross domestic product; PPP, purchasing power parity.

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rural–urban divide in living standards is clear, with the former on average 26 per cent lower than the latter (Pomfret 2003: 28). In contrast, rural households are better off than urban ones and living standards are highest in the north and lowest in the south. Regional differences are substantial in Tajikistan but rural–urban differences are not. When analyzing the data, straightforward patterns do not emerge. Economic growth does not correlate strongly with economic reforms. While Armenia and Kazakhstan seemingly confirm the predictions of free market advocates that privatization and liberalization will cause rapid economic growth, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan do not support this assumption. Likewise, while the absence of economic reforms may have stifled economic performance in Uzbekistan, it has not had the same effect in Turkmenistan and certainly not in Azerbaijan. The data do not confirm the critiques of free markets who argue that liberalization and privatization would have a negative impact on social and economic justice. The top economic reformer Georgia has the same level of income inequality as the reform-laggard Turkmenistan. One of the most liberal market economies in Central Eurasia, Armenia, shows higher levels of human development than Uzbekistan, considered one of the least liberalized economies in the region. How do we explain these discrepancies? For one, scholars have to realize that the data from which we develop our models and theories do not adequately represent the situation on the ground. Sievers (2003) questions statistical data utilized and reported by development agency sources such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. He and Pomfret (2003) note the difficulty of assessing the Soviet era in comparison with post-Soviet era given the lack of consistency and parallels in the two reporting periods. Likewise, Sievers notes, “[a]s unreliable and misleading as current economic

Table 1.3 Income distribution and human development

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Gini index

Per cent of population living below $2 a day (1990–2004, most recent year measured)

Human Development Index/HDI rank

GDP per capita (PPP $ rank minus HDI rank)

33.8 19 40.4 33.9 30.3 32.6 40.8 26.8

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O’Donnell, G.A. and Schmitter, P.C. (1986) Transitions from Authoritarian Rule, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Olcott, M.B. (2005a) Central Asia’s Second Chance, Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. ——(2005b) “Lessons of the Tulip Revolution. Testimony before Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Pomfret, R. (2003) Central Asia Since 1991: The Experience of the New Independent States, Working Paper No. 212, July, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre. Radnitz, S. (2006) “What Really Happened in Kyrgyzstan?” Journal of Democracy, 17: 132–46. Roeder, P.G. (1993) Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sartori, G. (1970) “Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics,” American Political Science Review, 64: 1033–53. Sievers, E.W. (2003) The Post-Soviet Decline of Central Asia: Sustainable Development and Comprehensive Capital, New York: RoutledgeCurzon. Skocpol, T. (1979) States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China, New York: Cambridge University Press. Smith, G., Law, V., Wilson, A., Bohr, A. and Allworth, E. (1998) Nation-building in the Post-Soviet Borderlands: The Politics of National Identities, New York: Cambridge University Press. Stefes, C.H. (2005) “Clash of Institutions: Clientelism and Corruption vs. Rule of Law,” in C.P.M. Waters (ed.) The State of Law in the South Caucasus, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ——(2006) Understanding Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. United Nations Development Programme (2006) Human Development Report 2006, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ——(2007) Human Development Report 2007, New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Verdery, K. (1996) What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? Princeton: Princeton University Press. Way, L. A. (2002) “Pluralism by Default in Moldova,” Journal of Democracy, 13: 127–41. ——(2005) “Authoritarian State Building and the Sources of Regime Competitiveness in the Fourth Wave. The Cases of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine,” World Politics, 57: 231–61. ——and Levitsky, S. (2006) “The Dynamics of Autocratic Coercion after the Cold War,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 39: 387–410. Weinthal, E. (2004) “Beyond the State: Transnational Actors, NGOs, and Environmental Protection in Central Asia,” in P. Jones Luong (ed.) The Transformation of Central Asia: States and Societies from Soviet Rule to Independence, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Wooden, A. E. (2004) “The Nexus Between Environmental Policy and Human Rights in Central Asia,” Harvard Asia Quarterly, 8: 14–31. World Bank (2002) Growth Challenges and Government Policies in Armenia, Washington, DC: World Bank. ——(2007) “Governance Matters 2007.” < http://info.worldbank.org/governance/ wgi2007/ > (accessed 17 July 2008).

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Revealing order in the chaos Field experiences and methodologies of political and social research on Central Eurasia1 Amanda E. Wooden, Medina Aitieva, and Tim Epkenhans Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds. George Santayana It is the job of the well-informed researcher to reveal the order in the chaos of what we call the world. It is the job of research methods to facilitate such a revelation of order. Singleton, Straits and Straits

Social science methodological training is notorious for its taxing effect on graduate students. The type of training varies greatly from institution to institution within disciplines and within countries and certainly across disciplinary boundaries and continents. Despite graduate student griping, methodological training in its varied forms is accepted as crucial to preparing future scholars. It is deemed important to becoming “professional,” that is, to conducting research that is reliable, verifiable, and comparable. Methodological considerations determine what scholars will research, what questions they will seek to answer, and how they will conduct that research. In identifying what Central Eurasian political and social studies are all about, it is important to understand how we research the region, why, and in what ways research could be better conducted in the future. Observers often remark that research on the politics of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Central Eurasia) is driven primarily by concerns of policy relevance or donor interests and often lacks methodological or theoretical rigor. The state of theoretical advancement in studies of the region was addressed in Chapter 1; the chapters to follow evaluate specific topics of politics and policy in depth. The level of methodological rigor in regional political and social studies is a separate and trickier question to tackle and thus serves as the framing concern for this chapter. Disciplinary debates about “appropriate” and “proper” methodological training are beyond the scope of this article. Given the complicated nature of these debates in a transdisciplinary area studies context, we begin this exploratory evaluation of research methodology by identifying possible trends

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in scholars’ training and perceptions. Thus, the first question we seek to answer is: what kind of training are students of the region receiving and how are they using it? Moving beyond description of the state of Central Eurasian research methodology, we seek to address the following set of framing questions. How do variations in political context, material conditions, professional training, and funding opportunities affect local and foreign scholarship differently? What research ethics and standards questions have been raised by the conduct of scholarship in the region? How do research values determine research question formulation and research design choices? How important are policy relevance and “hot topic” study as research values to scholars and what impact do these values have on the quality of scholarship? Is something unique emerging in how scholars of Central Eurasia are using methods to study political issues and what is influencing this? In this chapter, we provide the first published pilot survey analysis of scholarship on Central Eurasia in order to begin answering these questions. This chapter offers insight into the intellectual process of researching, living, and working in the region, as well as what politics in the region (and globally) means for research. It is an investigation into political science research as well as research of the political and the social, thereby crossing disciplinary boundaries and seeking to capture some broader social science approaches and topics. This chapter will inform readers of the process by which empirical work in the region is undertaken, as well as the problems that scholars face and the strategies they use to resolve such research issues. Both researchers from the region and outside it were polled (36 per cent and 64 per cent of total survey respondents, respectively); thus, crucial local–foreign perspectives are addressed. Important issues explored include: research standards and ethics (e.g., maintaining source confidentiality and the effects on research of scholar’s intimacy with government officials); and the conditions and restrictions of fieldwork. Issues evaluated also include what policy relevance means to scholars and policymakers; the frustrations of data collection and its limiting effect on research sophistication; and the transdisciplinary and transnational networks that are emerging among scholars of the region. We first discuss the methodology of this study, which in itself is useful for understanding research limitations and possibilities. We then turn to a discussion of the foundations of scholarship focusing on Central Eurasia, including the training of scholars and the uniqueness of the post-Soviet scholarly generation. This is followed by a general literature review on Central Eurasian research methodology debates and an evaluation of the context in which scholars plan and conduct research. To illustrate the variety of working methods and evaluate lessons learned from their use, the authors of this chapter provide a review and critique of the approaches to studying their particular areas of expertise: gender, Islam, and environmental politics. Each case evaluates the methodologies of research on those particular topics and addresses one of the main themes of this chapter. The gender studies section

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addresses foreign–local scholarship differences. The Islamic studies section addresses research ethics. The environmental politics section addresses how research is affected by political change and the need for transdisciplinary approaches to research. These cases include targeted analyses of the pilot survey results of 59 Central Eurasia studies research respondents.2 Our expectations were that there are identifiable differences in how local and foreign scholars of the region have been trained, in their roles in the research process and independence of research, and in the extent to which funding and values drive research decisions. These expectations were generally supported, yet with several surprising results, especially in the qualitative responses. Summaries of the qualitative responses are woven in throughout the chapter, providing the bridge from our general discussion to our statistical analysis. The chapter concludes with guidelines for addressing criticisms raised in the general and three topical literature reviews and from the results of our analysis. Our goal is that this first statistical survey of the state of the field will help to raise visibility of the importance of Central Eurasia studies, deepen and broaden the theoretical insights and methodological techniques used by scholars, and provide guidance to students along their path to discovering how to study the politics of the region.

Research design This study employed a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to address our research questions more fully. These included a pilot snowball survey conducted between December 2006 and January 2007, citation analysis, literature reviews, and more than 25 structured, semi-structured, and unstructured interviews (in person and via email). Self-administered questionnaires in Russian and English were sent directly to four academic and professional listservs (which provide information for Central Eurasian academic and practitioner audiences) and individually to three academic and social networks of the authors representing three different disciplines and regions (Central Eurasia, North America, and Europe).3 A convenience sampling was used and prospective respondents were identified through the authors’ social networks and snowball sampling (requesting respondents to forward the survey to other relevant scholars). We received more than 60 responses (a favorable response rate for a pilot survey but not necessarily representative of the larger population and not statistically accurate) out of which we used 59 successfully completed questionnaires for analysis. Moreover, to gain an in-depth understanding of issues partially addressed in the questionnaire, the researchers followed up with face-to-face targeted interviews and informal meetings. Composed of nearly 40 closed and open-ended questions, the questionnaire was divided into several sections to cover topics on: scholars’ discipline and training; methodology training and use; research project types and sources of funding; ethical issues and research limitations; and other broader issues that affect research activity in the region. Table 2.1 displays the descriptive

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characteristics of our survey respondents; they represent 19 countries of origin,4 including all Central Asian states and the Caucasus (except for Georgia), and 18 disciplines, with International Relations/Political Science, Area Studies, and Sociology the most popular.5 Methodological challenges The data collection represented a rigorous search for both foreign and local scholars, but there are several limitations to consider in our interpretations.6 One of them is that we did not receive responses from Georgian scholars. Also, as all authors resided in Kyrgyzstan at the beginning of the survey dissemination, the sample is biased towards Kyrgyzstani scholars (or more scholars from Kyrgyzstan were responsive). The largest number of responses is from US scholars, as a majority of the networks utilized for identification and distribution are US based and one of the authors lived in the US during the second half of the survey’s administration. Initial data collection problems of identifying Central Eurasian scholars were addressed through this pilot

Table 2.1 Characteristics of respondents (no./%) Age (mean)

36.4

Gender Female Male

26/50.0 26/50.0

Residence/origin International Native

37/62.7 22/37.3

Highest degree received Bachelor of Arts Master of Arts PhD

7/11.9 12/20.3 37/62.7

Occupation/affiliation Professor/instructor Graduate student (includes PhD student, doctoral student, MA) International organization Researcher/staff Independent researcher (include here consultant) Private company research Non-governmental organization/ non-profit researcher/staff (includes administration) Governmental agency researcher

Primary affiliation 26/44.1 8/13.6

Secondary affiliation 22/38.6 –

8/13.6

15/26.3

6/10.2

12/21.1

3/5.1 3/5.1

4/7.0 1/1.8

2/3.4

2/3.5

Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors.

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A.E. Wooden, M. Aitieva and T. Epkenhans

survey format. Thus a main purpose of this research project was to identify needs and weaknesses of the questionnaire in order to design a more effective and comprehensive survey of scholars in the future.

Chapter themes: the foundation of Central Eurasian scholarship The obvious starting point to assess the state of Central Eurasian research methodology is to analyze what scholars report about their methodological training and how they use it in practice. For the purposes of this chapter, we define methodology in the social science, particularly comparative, sense. Social science methodologists identify different research design groupings, such as Bryman’s (2004) experimental, cross-sectional or survey, longitudinal, case study, and comparative. Given the limitations for quantitative research on Central Asia discussed below, we consider a more qualitatively oriented set of categories following Singleton et al. (1988): experiments; surveys; field research; and use of available data.7 However, area studies skills, such as research language functionality and humanities methods (primarily anthropological and historical methods, hermeneutic and constructivist approaches, cultural and critical studies, discourse analysis, etc.) are important and influential for the studies of politics in the region, thus our assessment includes these skills and methods as identified by our survey respondents.8 It is important to explore how influences on research have changed or are changing. As most graduate students and young scholars of today have been taught by Soviet scholars or Sovietologists—or taught by scholars trained by either—Soviet and Sovietological approaches still significantly influence current Central Eurasian scholars. For several reasons, there has emerged an opportunity to break from previous approaches, develop a unique Central Eurasia literature, and perhaps begin to develop a unique scholarly approach. In this thematic section, we focus on three categories of influences: scholars, professional networks, and funding sources. A break from past approaches begins to be evident by looking at the scholars influencing today’s researchers, as indicated by our survey respondents: a list of the most influential scholars is included in Appendix I. A large portion of these influential scholars is under the age of 40 and many of them started publishing only after 1991. How our respondents identify themselves—with which discipline or area studies region—is also insightful. Twenty-four of our respondents (a large minority) self-identify as area studies scholars (Table 2.2); of those, the majority identify with the Central Eurasia region rather than the former Soviet Union (area studies is the second largest discipline identified after International Relations/Political Science4). The main regional language studied by most of our foreign respondents remains Russian. Likewise, about 86 per cent of local scholar respondents felt more competent to conduct research in Russian than their own language.9 Although language study, professional affiliations, and influences from Russia and Soviet-period trained teachers and mentors remain, scholars are

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35

identifying with the region as distinct from the broader former Soviet Union (Table 2.3). A second important influence in developing a particular and unique identity is networking connections separate from the Soviet and Russian-centered associations and networks. In the immediate post-Soviet period and since, scholars of Central Eurasia—the Caucasus, South and North, in particular— may not have been as engaged in region-specific professional associations and field networks as their academic counterparts studying Russia and the north-western successor states; thus, they have developed solitary approaches to their studies (King 2007). There are important exceptions to this perception of solitary approaches, such as a well-developed network of Georgia scholars and a separate identity and network of Armenia scholars.10 Also, the emergence of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) has provided a smaller, more narrowly defined network of professionals. Fifteen (26 per cent) of our respondents are members of CESS, two are members of AAASS (American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies), and one an ASN member (Association for the Studies of Nationalities).11 This can be considered a shift for some Caucasus and Central Asian scholars from the Table 2.2 Distribution of researchers by discipline Area studies

No./%

International Native Regional studies Central Asia (Studies) Central Eurasia (including Central Asia and Caucasus or Middle East) Caucasus (Southern or all) Former Soviet union (including post-Soviet region or CIS) Middle East

5/20.8 19/79.2

Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors. Table 2.3 Scholars’ most competent research language

Armenian Azerbaijani/Azeri Georgian Kyrgyz Russian Tajik Uzbek

No.

Per cent of responses

Per cent of cases1

2 2 2 2 38 2 2

4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 76.0 4.0 4.0

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 86.4 4.5 4.5

Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors. Note: 1 Some respondents listed more than one language.

10/47.6 2/9.5 3/14.3 5/23.8 1/4.8

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most-prominent (as well as Russo centric) Soviet studies and post-Soviet studies professional associations to the much newer associations focused on the Central Eurasian region.12 A third important influence to identify is that of research funding distribution, particularly field research for non-regional scholars and donor-driven research for regional scholars. Although US field-based scholarship on the region started to be publicly supported in the early 1970s (in 1972–73 the first independent research fellowships were given) by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) (and later American Councils for International Education ACTR/ACCELS and others), funding was still given overwhelmingly to study the Russian and European republics rather than Central Eurasia (Paxson and Ruble 2007).13 For scholars within the region, several organizations and programs have had a major influence by providing consistent financial support, especially Open Society Institute (OSI—part of the Soros Foundation), the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation through the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) (Table 2.4). In response to the lack of Georgian responses and the bias in representation of Central Asian scholars in this survey, information about research methodology development in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan was gathered by Table 2.4 Funding sources Funding Sources

No.

University or institute 21 Self-funded 10 Fulbright, Fulbright–Hayes 8 Miscellaneous 8 IREX 7 Government Sources, Foundations 5 SOROS Foundation 5 ACTR/ACCELS or State Dept Title VIII 4 UN System Organizations 4 British Council, DFID, ESRC UK 3 NGO, International 3 European Union 2 FLAS Scholarship 2 NGO, Local 2 NSEP 2 SSRC 2 Swiss NSR, Helvetas 2 US National Science Foundation 2 Carnegie 1 INTAS 1 Kennan Institute 1 USAID 1 Total 107 Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors.

Per cent 19.6 9.3 7.5 7.5 6.5 4.7 4.7 3.7 3.7 2.8 2.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 100.0

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interview (Gutbrod 2008). Overall, Gutbrod assesses research capacities as visibly increasing in all three Caucasus countries. He notes continuing limitations such as development of the peer review process and variation among the three in terms of availability of local researchers with methodological skills and political impacts on information access. Azerbaijan is evaluated as the weakest of the three, demonstrated by the relatively few fellowship applications to CRRC from that country. A major critique of research conducted within the region—and a major worry voiced by regional scholars—is dependence on donors and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for research funding. Thus, the level of donor research dependence, the research values identified by regional scholars related to financing, and the impact of this dependence for different stages of research are important to consider. Starting with foundational questions of methodology training and use, plus assessment of the three categories of influences noted, we shall provide a preliminary analysis of the state of Central Eurasia research methodology. Based on these framing questions, our chapter’s working propositions are fivefold. First, methodological training among Central Eurasia scholars is diverse, yet research in practice does not reflect that diversity. Second, weak research standards (that are not uniform within disciplines) have become problematic as research design often interacts with and is driven by funding and relevance considerations. Third, many scholars define their work—the questions they ask and how they research—by the topic’s “policy relevance” or as a “hot topic,” yet practitioners find such research lacking in insight for decision making and seek work that reflects more detailed and rigorous data. Fourth, local–foreign differences are stark, but both groups share in limitations imposed by differing financing, political and other constraints. Fifth, a Central Eurasia-specific network is slowly developing apart from Russo-centric (dominated) networks, and the transdisciplinary and transboundary nature of these networks is an important influence on younger scholars. The next section will include a general literature review and evaluation of the overall research process problems facing our survey respondents, to be followed by three case studies analyzing our chapters’ propositions and examining our survey and interview responses in greater detail.

Literature review and research process evaluation In the Soviet era, limited access to information, official information manipulation, and misrepresentation of statistics for strategic purposes seriously hampered social science approaches and continue to be a problem for pursuing data collection today.14 These access and misrepresentation problems hindered the development of Sovietology methodology in the West and choked academic freedom in the Soviet Union (Ulam 1976). In the Soviet era, discussions about epistemology were held between practitioners within disciplines.15 One prominent Western methodology of researching politics, “Kremlinology,”

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emphasized observable and surmised leadership changes and the psychology of decision-making. The “behavioralist versus institutionalist” methodological debate found more broadly in the social sciences was briefly part of the dialogue about how to study the region in the 1960s and 1970s (for example, Kanet, 1971), yet has not been a primary topic of discussion since that time.16 Studies of Central Eurasian politics did not emerge until the 1980s, along with public Soviet commentary of center–republic relations during that period. This slow development and lack of a parallel political science discipline in the Soviet Union impeded the evolution of political and public policy studies of the region both within and from without.17 As our case studies demonstrate, political analyses of Central Eurasia more often were qualitative field research based. Anthropological and historical methods were utilized in the 1970s and 1980s to augment the dearth of reliable statistics, limitations of conducting survey analysis, and barriers to accessing the decision-making process. Often Western scholars accessed information through networks of Soviet expatriates in Europe (Feshbach 2007). In the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, interest arose among the social sciences in improving the methods by which politics of the successor states were to be studied, spurred by self-flagellation concerning the failure to predict the collapse. While few scholars explicitly debated methods (an exception is Graham and Kantor 2007), methodology has been a discussion in scholarly circles over the last 18 years.18 While recent publications about how Central Eurasia is, could, or should be studied are limited, discussions about this topic have emerged in professional associations, including a roundtable discussion at the Central Eurasian Studies Society in 2006 and in the Soyuz “Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group,” which emerged from the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in the early 1990s and became a formal unit of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) in 2005 (Paxson and Ruble 2007).19 Since 1991, the methodological approaches of most scholars of politics and policies have been qualitative, as access to adequate and reliable quantitative data sources remain limited. Among qualitative approaches, survey-based methods have slowly developed into an important tool in the region—much like in the study of Russia and the Baltics. Questions of sufficiency of local scholars’ methodological training have also served as a primary basis for international educational support programs in the region since 1991 (such as Civic Education Project (CEP), Central Asia Applied Research Network (CAARN), Eurasia Foundation-Caucasus Research Resource Centers, IREX, etc.). Although many respondents agreed that the state of research on and in the region has improved significantly since the 1990s, a number of obstacles to maturation of Central Eurasian research were noted. Research on the region compared with the rest of the world was seen as less satisfactory, with work on Turkmenistan particularly lagging. Scholars, both foreign and local, face stress from the political context. The emergence of a new generation of young foreign scholars with increased access to conduct solid field-based interdisciplinary

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work was noted as positive. Likewise, because of increased international funding, more local scholars are receiving training in Western research methods and are beginning to be involved in developing independent research agendas. However, local researchers still lack resources, methodological tools and opportunities to share best practices, and the language skills needed to compete for research funding internationally. Although foreign scholars have the advantage of being better prepared to fund, conduct, and present research, they are perceived as out of touch with local contexts and realities, ignorant of historical literature, and overly reliant on easy methods, such as interviews and internet-based information, as opposed to large-scale surveys or other methods requiring significant time, local knowledge, and local (non-Russian) language skills. Local scholarship has been mainly affected by the absence of academic standards, scarcity of funding, and insufficient training in social research methods. In addition, much published research is not accessible to the interested local audience. Therefore, Central Eurasia scholarship is dominated and dependent on Western expertise when local researchers are led and financially supported by foreign colleagues, although the latter were defined by local respondents as increasingly knowledgeable and committed colleagues.

General problems in the Central Eurasian research process We received diverse survey responses regarding the problems and limitations researchers of Central Eurasia face in conducting field research, including the dearth of literature, lack of access to archives, lack of access to respondents, language constraints, issues of confidentiality and anonymity, ethical dilemmas, and inapplicable research tools. Both local and foreign researchers expressed their frustration over access to respondents and particular concern about the reliability of the information they gathered from subjects. Other concerns had to do with locating respondents while observing strict sampling guidelines. This is a concern also raised by Heidelbach (2005) reporting on Volkswagen Foundation supported field research and by the CRRC; for the latter, the lack of available and reliable census data is problematic for conducting household and individual surveys in all three Caucasus countries (Gutbrod 2008). As social science research and surveying are relatively new concepts in most of the post-Soviet states, people are generally reluctant to share their experiences or to “give away” information; this is likely a consequence of being raised in a surveillance society. People living in a village or a small town may be more willing to spend time with researchers because of their openness to guests and a less formalized lifestyle, although some scholars argue the opposite. Neither should differences between urban and rural residents’ receptiveness to research be minimized, nor varying researchers’ perceptions of approachability. The most sensitive issue of any research and the headache for almost all respondents was making sure that subjects are not harmed. This was tied to subjects’ own fears of sharing their opinions and researchers’ concern to

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A.E. Wooden, M. Aitieva and T. Epkenhans

assure respondents that their answers would remain confidential—a question both of ethics and of the veracity of the responses. Some of the “ethical issues” troubling scholars had to do with the barter tactics to which researchers felt compelled to resort. They felt they were expected to help or provide assistance to the local community in one way or another in exchange for doing research or gaining data.20 Our results show that 14 out of 41 respondents felt that their findings were adapted to reflect the needs of customers. This raises serious issues of credibility. Besides ethical dilemmas, researchers talked at length about a number of other restrictions—for example, time limitations and tight deadlines in conducting research. This concern is in part an interaction of budget constraints during fieldwork and time off from employment for local scholars or time available to conduct research abroad for foreign scholars. In evaluating research conditions in Kazakhstan, Heidelbach (2005: 46) concludes that: Field research is always a complex process involving many contextual factors, discontinuities, negotiations, and compromises. Comprehending cultural and historical peculiarities of the research area, learning how local institutions function, and being willing to adapt personally to new circumstances that affect planning and negotiation strategies are key qualifications for conducting successful data surveys, especially in transition and developing countries. In dealing with the above field research limitations, our survey respondents employed strategies such as changing research designs to better address their research goals and objectives or relying on international organizations reports for baseline quantitative data to be investigated through qualitative research such as interviews. Foreign researchers in particular found it helpful to learn the local culture and languages, to immerse themselves in the target society. A common denominator across our respondents in the initial stages of research design and data collection was the use of established networks; cooperating with local researchers and colleagues who could assist in making culturally appropriate translations and gathering data. Overall, our respondents indicated the need to remain flexible and creative in responding to numerous limitations and changing contexts, learning and developing methodologies while in the process of conducting research (Radnitz 2007). The three critical literature reviews to follow—the study of gender, Islam, and environmental politics—illustrate how scholarship on these topics has changed with changing political realities over the last 18 years, and in comparison with the late Soviet era. The issue of local–foreign scholarship raised by our survey respondents is evaluated in the first of our literature cases on gender studies, with standards and ethics of research and data limitations evaluated by the Islamic studies and environmental politics cases to follow.

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The study of gender in the region: local and foreign perspectives With the collapse of the Soviet Union, gender research became a hot topic.21 The zhenskii vopros (woman question), the Soviet phrase for the issue of women’s emancipation and advancement, has been slowly replaced by gendernye problemy (gender issues/problems) and/or gendernye issledovaniia (gender research). The change of terms did not reflect a change in the gender issues discussed. Gender roles were still viewed as “given” and “fixed,” and not analyzed in terms of how those roles are socially constructed.22 The rise of gender research reflects more than a simple need to fill in missing data on women’s issues since the fall of communism. The growing gap between men’s and women’s living standards in these countries raised interest in the economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions of post-Soviet change. Gender research initiatives increased in the post-Soviet space. Foreign scholars and researchers led the way, emphasizing comparisons of pre and posttransition statistical data.23 Interest in gender research is likely to grow, though the quality of gender analyses has not improved much in the last 18 years. This section will evaluate the state of research on gender issues in Central Eurasia, incorporating the qualitative responses of 13 scholars (22 per cent of our survey respondents) who identified themselves as pursuing “gender studies.” The focus will be on the material conditions affecting Central Eurasian scholarship and how local and foreign scholars’ perspectives are affected by their different professional training, political context, and funding opportunities. Gender research topics The impact of the economic change of the early 1990s was far worse for women than for men according to the consensus of scholars. In one of the earlier analyses of women’s condition in the post-Soviet space, Buckley (1997: 4; see also Paci 2002) emphasized that women were the “victims of the transition.” Although Buckley cautioned that men have also “suffered” during the transition, there were serious differences between the transition’s impact on men and women. Since the early 1990s researchers have investigated topics including poverty and unemployment, violence against women (domestic violence and other culturally specific practices such as bride kidnapping, selfimmolation, etc.), human trafficking, health issues (abortion and reproductive rights), education, under-representation of women in politics, gender and Islam, changes in the institutions of family and marriage (matrimonial strategies, early marriages, polygamy, etc.), the role of local communities (mahallas or meheles) on gender relations, and transition period coping strategies and mechanisms.24 International governmental organizations, NGOs, and public foundations (including the World Bank, UN institutions, Open Society Institute, USAID, and others) launched the first attempts to introduce gender issues into policy decisions in the newly emerging nation-states. This trend

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effectively set the agenda for gender research, as the Communist Party did before the involvement of the international community (Kamp 2003).25 In an assessment of local gender researchers’ work, Tartakovskaya (2006b) notes that these scholars arrive at strikingly similar conclusions despite the different approaches and methods used and the variation in gender relations across the Central Eurasian region. Two distinct attitudes toward gender in the post-Soviet states were found in this work. On the one hand, in order to gain international acknowledgement and to be seen as “advanced” and “civilized,” Central Eurasian leaders were ready to sign and ratify international agreements on the elimination of gender discrimination. On the other hand, gender egalitarianism was perceived by elites as imposed and alien to national traditions (Tartakovskaya, 2006b: 4–5). In Chapter 9 of this book Liczek and Wandel present both the tangible outcomes and significant limitations of implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. The principal explanatory factor for gender differences in these nationstates after socialism remains socio-economics which determines the life strategies pursued by men and women. An increase in early marriages in Azerbaijan, for example, has more to do with growing poverty than with the religious revival offered as an explanation by local politicians (Abasov and Kasumova 2006: 24–25). Bride kidnapping and polygamy have increased since the collapse of the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan (Werner 2004), Kyrgyzstan (Kleinbach et al. 2005) and Georgia (Umar 2007) and can take overtly violent forms (Azimova 2006; Ibraeva 2006). A Human Rights Watch (2006) report on domestic violence notes that a significant number of Kyrgyz women regularly report to shelters with problems related to unregistered polygynous marriages (e.g., property and child custody rights arising from the illegality of the union) (10–11).26 Regional media, governmental agencies, NGOs and international organizations have focused on human trafficking, the global trade of women and girls in Central Eurasia, the fastest-growing form of organized crime in the world.27 Pearce (2006) identifies factors in the direct relationship between the reduction of state welfare spending and the “feminization of poverty” in Central Asia (a conclusion that also applies equally to the Caucasus). These issues include increased unemployment affecting more vulnerable female heads of household, reduced maternity leave provisions and availability of childcare, limited protection of minimum wages, and health insurance coverage.28 Research capacity Given the rich gender research opportunities in these nation-states, it is necessary to understand what scholars face when studying these issues. One of the major differences between local and foreign gender scholarship on gender is the professional advantage of foreign scholars. Gender studies and rigorous methodological training were not integrated into Soviet academia so local

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scholars lack the skills and tools of Western investigators. Local scholars tend to rely more on descriptive and ethnographic approaches in their investigation of the relationship between culture and gender. In looking at work by local scholars in the early 1990s, Ibraeva (2007) suggests that without clear research specializations these scholars investigated any topical issue, from health to poverty to privatization to environmental issues. They also depended on international organizations, grants, and private company research support, so very few of them had autonomy in conducting their research. Foreign scholars and local scholars with Western degrees differ markedly because of more rigorous methodological training. These scholars have better research skills despite their geographical, linguistic, and cultural disadvantages. This is evident in Table 2.5, where we see distinct differences in methodological training among gender studies scholars. There is a disparity in professional degrees. More foreign scholars have PhDs. This also explains the higher mean number of academic publications and generally better professional preparation and knowledge of research methods. Foreign scholars have experience with all types of research and all seven foreign scholars engaged in all research stages. In qualitative responses, foreign scholars unanimously mentioned graduate school courses and fieldwork as sources of research methods knowledge. In contrast, half of the local scholar respondents referred to international organization trainings though International NGO Training and Research Center (INTRAC), OSI, Central Asian Resource Center (CARC), Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of the Independent States (TACIS) in addition to graduate school courses abroad. As far as professional development, our survey shows that foreign gender studies scholars are likely to attend the CESS conferences (four out of seven respondents) given that it takes place primarily in the USA. While fewer local scholars could afford international conferences, they attend OSI-funded events (three out of six respondents). Some local researchers have improved their skills by working with visiting foreign scholars and “the internationalization of gender issues” (Kamp 2003). Studying bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan illustrates some of the differences in local–foreign perspectives about conducting research. Amsler and Kleinbach (1999 and subsequently Kleinbach 2003; Kleinbach et al. 2005; Kleinbach and Salimjanova 2007) initiated a large-scale study of this criminal behavior that many Kyrgyz regard as part of their tradition. In addition, Lom’s (2004) film, for PBS Frontline World, Bride Kidnapping, showed men and women in Kyrgyzstan engaged in this practice. This film generated much discussion among scholars over the issue of bride kidnapping as well as the ethical implications of gathering data and potential harm to subjects as a result of research. In response, a roundtable at CESS in 2004 was dedicated to research ethics as a stand-alone topic. This case is exemplary of how foreign perspectives of the bride-kidnapping practice raised questions about research ethics. These questions enabled a collaborative group of scholars to reach a wider audience raising public consciousness and generating valuable discussions about methodology.

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Table 2.5 Responses by local–foreign status for gender studies scholars (no./%)

Type of methodology Only qualitative Only quantitative Both Research stages Field research Survey Interview Quantitative Literature review Research design Data collection Data analysis Report writing Presentation Funding sources University or institute IREX Self-Funded Government sources (various) ACTR/ACCELS or State Dept Title VIII Carnegie Melon FLAS Scholarship Fulbright, Fulbright-Hayes International governmental organizations Miscellaneous NGO, international Private sources, foundation Soros Foundation US NSF USAID Female Bachelor of Arts Master of Arts PhD Mean number of publications Research findings were adapted to customers’ expectations Total

Local scholars

Foreign scholars

1/16.7 1/16.7 4/66.7

3/42.9 1/14.3 3/42.9

4/66.7 4/66.7 4/66.7 3/50.0 6/100.0 5/83.3 3/50.0 4/66.7 3/50.0 2/33.3

7/100.0 4/57.1 7/100.0 3/42.9 5/71.4 7/100.0 7/100.0 7/100.0 7/100.0 7/100.0

1

5 2

2 1

1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3/50.0 1/20.0 2/40.0 2/40.0 6.8 4/80.0

3/42.9 – 2/28.6 5/71.4 13.8 5/71.4

6/100.0

7/100.0

Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors.

The gaps separating local and foreign researchers clearly indicate a need for further internationalization and institutionalization of regional research. It is clear that these variations exist because of disparities in preparation and training for research. This disparity explains “the methodological trauma” (Ibraeva 2007) and feelings of inadequacy experienced by local researchers who lack the skills and confidence needed to conduct independent work and

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submit it to peer-reviewed publications. During interviews, experts noted that much research conducted by local scholars does not get beyond the report stage because the scholars are self-consciousness about shaky methodology. It would be useful for local scholars to share their frustrations—whether they are linguistic, political, ethical, or methodological. Research on gender in the Central Eurasian region—as well as on any other topic—would benefit from an awareness of the conditions that shape the production of knowledge in the region. Given these restrictions, the immature institutionalization of local scholarship prevents academics in the region from engaging in valid research and becoming social theorists. These restrictions also encourage local academics to follow research agendas shaped by funding organizations and political realities, instead of pursuing their own research questions.

Researching Islam in Central Eurasia: standards, ethics and understudied topics29 In recent years, research on the politics of Islam in Central Eurasia has significantly increased, especially among political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, even though only a few of these scholars have a background in religious studies or Islamic studies.30 This case seeks to evaluate two different approaches to studying Islam—as high politics or social politics—and the methods best utilized by each approach. While high politics focuses on state and elite discourse on Islam, social politics is predominately concerned with daily religious and social practices of Muslim communities. Political considerations in the region and in foreign scholars’ home countries greatly impact this research area. At present, Islam in Central Eurasia is most prominently evaluated as high politics and a dominant “danger discourse” has emerged in this field of study, stressing radical Islam as a destabilizing influence. The ethical, methodological, and epistemological concerns emerging from policy-driven research agendas are the focus of this case. The historical approach to studying Islam as divided from political life is important to keep in mind in evaluating modern research on Islam in the region. Islamic studies research was originally embedded in Oriental studies, most often as philological work inspired by German historicism.31 Orientalist scholars such as Barthold (1956) deemed “Islam” in Central Asia an autonomous anthropological entity having minimal engagement in political and social reforms. The study of Islam was limited in the twentieth century by the ascendance of Soviet academic and cultural politics and the intentional isolation of the Soviet system, which significantly hampered the interaction between Western scholars and their Soviet counterparts. At the same time that Western scholars could not undertake field research or archive studies, Soviet representatives of Oriental studies were largely excluded from the major academic discussions that changed research paradigms in the West. Said’s 1978 Orientalism, describing Western discourse as a political doctrine designed to exercise control by essentializing the “Orient” and “Orientals” (Said 2003)

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not only marked the beginning of post-colonial studies, but also reshaped the methodological outlook of Western Islamic studies.32 As Central Eurasia became gradually accessible to Western researchers, fieldwork with sociological or anthropological methodologies, as well as the post-modernist rereading of primary sources, gained primacy and contributed significantly to a more complex understanding of the diverse development of Muslim communities. Contemporary research on Central Eurasian Islamic tenets and attitudes is only tenuously embedded in the overall Islamic studies discourse, which primarily concentrates on the Middle and Near East. Conversely, scholars who focus on political Islamic movements rarely deal with Central Eurasia, reflecting a view of the region as periphery. This is related to general, problematic assumptions that contemporary Islam in Central Eurasia, viewed monolithically, lacks intellectual sophistication. However, our understanding of the diverse agendas of Muslim intellectuals and leaders in Central Asia today (such as Hajji Akbar Turajonzoda in Tajikistan or Mohammad Sodiq in Uzbekistan), as well as their interaction with local communities and reflection of cultures, is still too limited to draw this conclusion. Since the 1970s, researchers of Central Eurasia have been aware of the emergence of an “official” Islam—established by the Soviet authorities to control and contain Islamic tendencies among the population—and a “parallel,” popular Islam that resists the official structures (Benningsen and LemercierQuelquejay 1979; Gunn 2003; Muminov 2007; Ro’i 2000; Roy 2000). Although most scholars agree that this dichotomy is an oversimplification, minimal research has been conducted on the regional—often transboundary—interaction between representatives of “official” and “parallel” Islamic structures (McGlinchey 2006; Olcott 2007a). Political Islam, the “danger discourse” and research ethics These “parallel” or popular Islamic structures are believed to have triggered the “Islamic Renaissance” in the perestroika era and since independence. Contemporary research on Islam in Central Eurasia has been dominated by a focus on the political dimension that could point to a radicalized Islam ultimately destabilizing the region. This focus was not just from Soviets worried about an “Islamic Revival” in the republics. Already in the last decade of the Soviet Union, Western observers were helping to create a “danger discourse,” predicting regional disintegration on a large scale.33 Considerable research was conducted on the development of radical Islam in the Caucasus (for example, Ware et al. 2003) and in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (Babadzhanov 2002; Cornell 2005; Naumkin 2005; Olcott 2007a). It is important to also note that a distinctive characteristic of Central Eurasia (in contrast to South Asia, for example) is that Western scholarship on Islam is largely inaccessible and access to Russian language material is much greater. In this way, Russian scholarship, which often engages in the “danger discourse” with questionable methodological basis, greatly influences local scholarship and policy.34

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A critique of this “danger discourse” is not a denial of the legitimate security concerns about the threat posed by militant organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. However, authoritarian rule, nepotism, endemic corruption, as well as economic and political exclusion have contributed significantly to the volatile situation in parts of Central Eurasia, as demonstrated by Chapters 7 and 3 in this book by Bayulgen and George, respectively. Thus, a focus on Islamic fundamentalist elements at the level of high politics rather than social politics—and the limited amount of analysis of the interaction between the two—misrepresents the relative impact of these forces in society. Relevant research should focus more on how “Islam” is communicated (content of sermons or leaflets), reproduced, and represented within specific communities to express social or political dissent. Serious questions of research ethics are raised by this security perspective’s dominance, as this focus seems to be driven more by policy relevance considerations than thorough and balanced evaluations either of security concerns or of the nuanced nature of Islam in the region. Policy relevancedriven bandwagoning in academic research is demonstrated by the large number of scholars suddenly studying the role of militant Islam in destabilization since 2001; of greatest concern is how Islam has been simplistically constructed and problematically framed in much of this new research in pursuit of a hot topic.35 Shirin Akiner’s account of the Andijan events in May 2005 reveals some highly problematic issues related to research standards on political Islam. Akiner, like some others, relies heavily on information provided by state security agencies (Akiner 2005; Naumkin 2005; Olcott and Babajanov 2003). While it is an important consideration that accessing information through such actors may be a necessary and important part of collecting complete information, how that information is then represented is a crucial ethical consideration. The subsequent debate in Central Eurasian studies about research ethics, which followed publication of Akiner’s 2005 report, centered on the effects of intimacy with government officials.36 It is a difficult balance to maintain access to officials in the region in order to gain information and yet remain uninfluenced by that access.37 The political context clearly matters for the level of access a foreign scholar has, the degree of state control over local researchers, and the impacts on all scholars’ abilities to obtain accurate information. Security agencies in the region—successors of the KGB—have a long tradition of fabricating and planting compromising evidence on arrested suspects. Several of our survey respondents reported increasing problems with security agencies in Central Asia in the last decades and ethical dilemmas in conducting interviews. The ethical dilemmas they reported include tailoring findings to demonstrate the information accurately yet retain the ability to conduct research again (i.e., obtaining visas), maintaining confidentiality of sources so that they cannot be tracked by government officials, and how to assure interviewees that this confidentiality will be maintained.

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Islamic social politics research While topics related to political or radical Islam enjoy significant visibility, there is limited but growing research on daily Islamic practices, perceptions, and beliefs. The study of Islam as social politics rather than high politics demonstrates why more informal, anthropological, and ethnographic techniques—such as archival research, primary source text analysis, and personal observation—may often be more useful than social science approaches in understanding changes in Islamic practices and movements (Radnitz 2007). Several such studies offering a better understanding of how Islamic beliefs shape identities, practices, and perceptions and in turn contribute to the mobilization of social groups include survey and interview evaluations of youth perceptions (International Crisis Group 2003), work on “female” Islamic structures in Uzbekistan (Krämer 2002), and study of women’s participation in radical Islamic groups in Kyrgyzstan (Kim 2006). Research on the historical development of the mystical (sufi) orders (tariqa) in Central Eurasia demonstrates how study of the social politics of Islam needs to be better integrated with the study of high politics of Islam.38 Sufi orders—such as the Naqshbandiyya, Yasawiyya, and Qaderiyya—are considered to be major agents in the spread of Islam in the region, either as guardians of normative Islamic practices (Naqshbandiyya) or as groups supporting the reconciliation and synthesis of animistic–shamanistic local rituals with Islamic beliefs (Yasawiyya). Sufi orders historically exercised significant political and socio-economic influence because of their hierarchical structure and extensive personal networks (Kemper et al.; Paul 1991), although most of these networks and solidarity groups were destroyed during Soviet times. Though determinative research is largely missing, some researchers assume the continuing influence or reemergence of mystical orders in Central Eurasia and explore high politics questions about the degree of Sufism’s influence today. For example, Olcott (2007b) evaluates whether or not Sufism would help moderate or politicize Muslim communities in Central Asia. However, in assessing the alleged influence of Sufism, it is important to reconsider some of the assumptions made regarding Sufism as a more “tolerant” or “out-ofmosque” variation of Islam in the region. Clearly, work evaluating the interaction between social and high politics is in need of development to better understand current political influences of Islamic practices and perceptions. Field research with an anthropological or sociological angle (Krämer 2002; Kim 2006; Sahadeo and Zanca 2007; Zanca 2005) has contributed and clearly can contribute to a more complex understanding of Muslim communities in Central Eurasia. However, at times anthropological and sociological research on Islamic practices, beliefs and structures does not account for the historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts in which Muslim communities interact. Certain regional (and localized) practices, beliefs, and religious discourses could turn out to be much less exceptionally and uniquely “Central Asian” if reflected in a wider context; for instance, the participation of women

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in radical groups may be part of a larger trend. Rasuly-Paleczek (2005) critiques the applicability of social anthropology concepts and models to the study of Central Asia and the limited consideration by social anthropologists of the political sphere. She quotes Seymour-Smith that: … while analysis of the political dimension has formed an important part of the majority of anthropological studies, this dimension has usually been interpreted as an aspect or embedded in other domains such as kinship, religion, economy and so on … and has been little analyzed for the features of a political system per se. (Rasuly-Paleczek 2005: 5) Engaging in more comparative analysis may mean expanding the comparison of religions in the region, both historically and presently, and deepening the study of interactions between regional religious groups.39 Jersild (2000), for example, interestingly examines the complex interaction between Islam and orthodox Christianity in the Caucasus. Historical scholarship connecting long-term anthropological and sociological microanalysis of Islam in Central Asia to high politics macroanalysis is emerging. The study of the reformist–modernizing movement of the Jadidis (Arabic for “new”) among Tatar, Central Asian, and Caucasian Muslim intellectuals in the late nineteenth century is a prime example. The Jadidis attracted scholarly attention as both an original movement in the region and an inspiration for intellectual tendencies throughout the Islamic world (Carrere d’Encausse 1979; Khalid 1998; Baldauf 2001). However, recent research by Wennberg (2003) reveals the hitherto neglected relationships between traditional elites and the Jadidis and finds that some traditional elites were intellectually and politically much less conservative than previously thought. Other scholars have investigated Soviet official policy toward Muslim communities (Ro’i 2000), Stalinist discourses related to female Muslim communities in Uzbekistan (Northrop 2004), and Russian perception of a partly religiously instigated rebellion in the Caucasus in 1924 (Grant 2004). Addressing contemporary issues, McGlinchey (2005, 2006, 2007, and Chapter 5 in this volume) seeks to connect longer term, rich anthropological and sociological microanalysis to subnational (meso) studies and macro comparative political Islam studies. For example, he evaluates the diversity of Islam in the region, variations in social group mobilization, and the macro political implications of these variations for mobilization. One micro-level issue in need of further research is contemporary Muslim authorities and their religious (and intellectual) agendas, and how these leaders interact with elites and affect decision-making. Our understanding of this topic is still very limited and an important avenue of research connecting social to high politics. For instance, we know virtually nothing about the imamkhatibs (leaders of Friday Mosques) in Kyrgyzstan or the interaction of ethnic Kyrgyz religious authorities with their ethnic Uzbek colleagues in Osh,

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Jalalabad, and Batken (and we know only minimally more about religious leaders in other parts of Central Asia and the Caucasus). Although few religious authorities publish in the region, recordings of their sermons and teachings are sold widely in bazaars and in front of mosques. A source-critical study of this material (Babajanov et al. 2007) could contribute to a more diverse understanding of social mobilization, shaping of local or regional identities, as well as politicization of Muslim communities. At times the superficial treatment of the study of Islam in Central Eurasia has proven to be problematic, especially regarding ethical research constraints and the political conditions driving those limitations. The study of Islam in the region should follow a more consistent comparative approach, providing perspective by considering similar or dissimilar developments in the Middle East or South Asia (as well as internal comparisons between regional religions). Anthropological methodologies are seemingly most useful in understanding the understudied social politics and local variations of Islam. Several US government Central Asian experts interviewed for this study even suggested that political scientists might utilize anthropological or sociological approaches to generate greater understanding of political Islam which would be more useful to policymakers than the “danger discourse” approach dominating today.40 Some elements of Islam in Central Asia that are understudied include daily Islamic practices, perceptions, and beliefs and their variations across the region; effects of Islam on social institutions such as the family and education; the interaction between solidarity networks and religious organizations and their relative influence on decision making; turning points for Islamic groups in the region in multiple directions, not solely further radicalization; and connecting more thoroughly the broader socio-economic context to the changes in group formation and daily practices. Above all, researchers should focus more on written and oral material (sermons, leaflets and other publications) by various Muslim authorities distributed in the region. A critical content analysis of this material could contribute to a better understanding of how religious authorities interact with their communities and how they communicate and identify (“frame”) Islamic values or principles. Improving the study of Islam in Central Asia might include utilization of interdisciplinary methodologies or simply collaboration between those evaluating social politics and those studying high politics. A well balanced approach between social science (sociology or anthropology) with “classical” historical methods could improve our understanding of how localized variations of Islam emerge, how Islamic values and principles are communicated to and perceived by local and regional communities, how—especially women and youth—are mobilized to participate in Islamic groups, and finally why Islamic discourses open space for political dissent. Likewise, the study of Islam in Central Eurasia requires improving methodological and theoretical foundations in order to drive research agendas by intellectual need rather than by foreign policy determinations.

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Environmental politics: data limitations and transdisciplinary approaches As environmental issues have become foundational considerations in Central Eurasian economic and energy studies, demand for more thorough environmental politics analysis is likely to grow; accordingly, scholarship on the topic needs to mature to meet it. There are a number of serious environmental problems in the region that demand evaluation, especially as these issues are highly politicized in the past and the present.41 The political context of reduced funding for scientific research and the focus of international attention on “hot topics” and focusing events lead to an underdeveloped local scientific basis and work lacking in theoretical richness and comparability. Likewise, the scholarly attention to shifting international policy concerns undermines the consistent assessment necessary to understand and address long-term environmental problems that could cause social and economic disruption. There is available Soviet and, more recently, Western research on Central Eurasian geography, biology, agronomy, health sciences, and climatology.42 Local scientific research in Central Eurasia, on the other hand, has been inadequately funded since 1991 with almost complete collapse of the supportive public framework. International donors tend to prioritize “policy relevant” disciplines rather than the physical sciences, with notable exceptions.43 Yet this international augmentation of Central Eurasian government funding for local scientific research is only a fraction of what is needed to support systematic, complete and consistent data collection. Research both local and foreign of the politics of science and the environment is as underdeveloped as post-Soviet local natural science research. Environmental politics has been most often studied as an adjunct to other policy concerns, not as an important independent field of study. Central Eurasian environmental studies can be roughly divided into policydriven pieces with little theoretical value and often participant–observer methodology (when self-identified or identifiable) and narrowly focused scientific works with limited political insight. A handful of exceptional works use broader theoretical themes to allow comparability and insights into political realities, or systematic social science (or interdisciplinary) research methodologies that can inform the field’s development. Political changes driving short-term scholarly interest In the late Soviet period the “safety-value” issue of environmental protection (Weiner 1988, 1992) changed in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident. This event catalyzed internal critical debates and increased access of Soviet society to external information.44 As a result, numerous analyses of the Chernobyl event were published, mostly journalistic accounts relying on eyewitness observations (including G. Medvedev 1991, 1993; Z. Medvedev 1990; Marples 1986, 1988; Shcherbak 1989). In response to the political changes

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wrought by this focusing event, environmental concerns became part of the emerging self-determination debate as well as nascent nationalistic identities, leading or contributing to the emergence of independent political movements in Central Eurasia by the late 1980s (Aves 1992; Dawson 1996; Roy 2000).45 A spate of theoretically useful case study analyses emerged, identifying the mechanisms through which environmental degradation affected social mobilization, pressure for reform (see Gustafson 1981 and Darst 1998 on the 1988–89 “Sibaral” River Diversions Project), incentives for corruption (for example, in the Uzbek SSR cotton industry) and the collapse of the Soviet Union (Komarov 1978; Feshbach and Friendly 1992; Mnatsakanian 1992; Peterson 1993).46 These influential analyses were often faulted for being overly polemical or sensationalist and atheoretical (for example, Sievers 2003a: 48). Despite these drawbacks, this scholarship importantly bridged disciplines and methodologies, linking strategic Western demographic studies to health and environmental policy analysis and political science theories about regime type and state collapse. After environmental mobilization vaporized in the wake of the Soviet collapse, new focusing events have brought attention to environmental politics and driven research interests. Travelogue-type accounts, such as Reznichenko’s Aral’skaia katastrofa (1992), spurred interest in the next hot research topic with international security implications, the Aral Sea disaster, which has dominated environmental research on Central Eurasia since the late 1980s.47 Yet the political analysis of this major environmental catastrophe remains excessively weak in comparison with the magnitude of the problem. Micklin (1991, 1992, 1998, 2000; Micklin and Williams 1996) published numerous geographic analyses of the Aral Sea disaster, establishing a crucial physical science background for understanding the crisis, yet relegating deeper analysis of the political context to an afterthought. The same critique can be made for studies of water resource management in the Caucasus, such as Lake Sevan’s desiccation and Kura-Araks river basin pollution, both understudied scientifically and politically.48 Weinthal (2002a,b, 2004), on the other hand, did engage directly in social (political) science theories and methodologies (process tracing based on regional elite interviews) in evaluating the regional Aral basin regime establishment as a conflict mitigation case. Unfortunately, few scholars have engaged in a theoretical or methodological debate with the foundations of Weinthal’s work, despite debatable assumptions about the likelihood of conflict and level of cooperation achieved in the basin, as demonstrated by the work of other scholars (Micklin 2000; Sievers 2003a,b; Wooden 2002, 2004). Likewise, scholarship on the Aral Sea crisis has not developed on the topic much further in recent years. With increased pessimism about the feasibility of addressing the situation, donor and academic attention has turned elsewhere. A related Central Eurasian water politics literature has emerged focusing on interstate security aspects, including work by Ascher and Mirovitskaya (2000), Gerstle (2004), Sehring (2005), Smith (1995), McKinney (2004), Moldaliev

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(2000), and Spoor and Krutov (2005). Methodological orientation remains mostly unidentified (and thus asystematic) or participant–observer. Almost all of these works evaluate water resource conflict at the interstate level, a significant unit of analysis choice driven more by international security interests than by the realities of more likely intrastate conflict-generating factors in the region.49 Demonstrating the newest environmental topic of broader policy relevance, scholarship has emerged on the politics of hydroelectricity in Central Asia (for example, Peyrouse 2007), and some (but certainly not all) work on regional energy issues tangentially addresses environmental impact and protection policies (Olcott 1998, 2002; Karl 2000 do address these impacts; Gleason 2003, for example, does not). Coverage of energy sector environmental repercussions is likely to increase as the extent of climate changeinduced glacial decline in the Tien Shan and Pamir mountain ranges becomes clearer (see, for example, Aizen et al. 1997; Aizen et al. 2007; Barnett et al. 2000; Khormova et al. 2006) and as new investments in the hydroelectric energy sector move forward. In summary, the limitations of this subfield are clearly first theoretical and second methodological. Bryman (2004) notes that, in conducting social research, “a choice of research design reflects decisions about the priority being given to a range of dimensions of the research process” (p. 27), including the influences of theory, values, practical considerations, epistemology, and ontology. It is therefore important to understand what scholars’ priorities are and which influences have mattered most in how scholars design research. The particular research value of hot topic pursuit has clearly driven research choices and hampered theoretical and methodological development in the environmental politics subfield and our other case study fields. As an indication of how highly scholars of the region rate the policy impact and topicality of their research, Table 2.6 provides the answers from our survey question “Please rank your research values in order of importance to you.”

Table 2.6 Research value rankings (no./%)

Independence of research The organizational affiliation for your research The amount of funding you receive The policy impact of your research How quickly you can conduct your research The research topic is one of high attention/hot topic The research topic is the one of most interest to you The research methodology is the one that is your skill specific Total Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey 2007 by authors.

Local scholars

Foreign scholars

18/36.7 18/37.5 19/38.8 18/40.9 17/44.7 17/48.6 14/43.8 14/45.2 18/36.7

31/63.3 30/62.5 30/61.2 26/59.1 21/55.3 18/51.4 18/56.3 17/54.8 31/63.3

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The political context in many countries in the region has also had a major effect on Central Eurasian research, as our survey responses indicate. Concerns our survey respondents frequently identified for conducting field research were the political situation changing access to countries (especially Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), prompting researchers to avoid politically sensitive topics; access to respondents regarding choice of the season in which research is conducted, as election events, harvest, and summer break can hamper field research; and the particular consequences of extraordinary political events.50 For example, although there was a general agreement that it is easier to obtain primary and secondary data in Kyrgyzstan than other countries in Central Asia, political instability in 2005 resulted in closure of borders, more frequent rescheduling of meetings, and loss of official contacts through administrative turnover. Regime changes, political instability and social unrest caused researchers to reconsider suddenly outdated findings yet also generated new research questions. Political instability also influenced the employment of local researchers, as shifts in research risks occurred, pushing scholars to alter research design and engagement.51 Certainly, political liberalization at the end of the Soviet period significantly influenced both environmental scholarship and the politicization of these issues. Increasingly since 1991, environmental issues have become less safety-value issues and more politicized in some cases (pressure on local environmental organizations in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and “false front” reform issues in other countries (Wooden 2004). Likewise, reduced access to accurate and reliable scientific data and the collapse and limited policymaking influence of the scientific community (Sievers 2003a, 2003b) have combined with limited press freedom to drastically impact systematic evaluation of environmental issues and governmental responses to them. As most environmental problems are long-term, the systematic and sustained nature of data collection is crucial. Given the unreliability of scientific information, many scholars have turned to international donor assessments of environmental problems, making unbiased analysis rare. For example, many donors fund global environmental issues research on topics such as transboundary biodiversity, yet deprioritize local issues such as intrastate drinking water quality. These biases could prove problematic in determining the environmental politics research agenda and moving it away from concerns most serious for local communities and decision-makers. Theoretical and methodological advancements beyond “hot topics” There are examples of scholarship on Central Eurasian environmental politics that are theoretically and/or methodological sophisticated, build on important earlier post-Soviet advances in this field, and utilize interdisciplinary approaches and introduce important methodologies into broader Central Eurasian studies. Research by Werner et al. (2003) (and work by Carlsen et al. 2001) on public perceptions of risk from nuclear testing in Kazakhstan exemplifies the

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importance of interdisciplinary approaches (medical anthropology, health and environmental policy, and education) and theoretical richness. This work highlights the absence of more recent environmental analyses systematically and critically evaluating the impact of Soviet-era decision making on individual level choices today. Continuing the early post-Soviet analyses of the environment as a causal factor in social mobilization, several recent pieces evaluate civil society activity against oil and gas exploration and transportation, such as the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline (Watters 2000; Waters 2004; also discussed by Bayulgen in Chapter 7 of this book). Analyses of sustainable development have been more broadly comparable and have admirably extended the literature (Glantz 1999; Sievers 2003a; Raissova and Sartbayeva-Peleo 2004). Sievers’ work in particular is worth mentioning given the methodological breadth with which research was conducted. In addition to a participant– observer approach, Sievers purposely relies on donor-reported and state data in conducting statistical analysis in order to expose their inadequacy. Other new or creatively applied methodologies integrate social science and physical scientific research approaches and policy-oriented research needs, such as Ludi’s (2003) sustainable development appraisal methodology.52 Finally, environmental policymaking analyses are rare and are in much need of development. There are a few assessments of environmental institutions and policy outcomes in Armenia (Chatrchyan 2003; Greenspan Bell 2000) and Armenia and Georgia (Chatrchyan and Wooden 2005), using legal studies methods, elite interviews, and events analysis.53 The opportunities for environmental political studies to develop include assessing the state of science in the region and the impacts of this sector’s demise on environmental policymaking; moving beyond state-centric approaches by developing local level data collection and analysis; evaluating the policymaking process more directly; and assessing public opinion to contribute to long-term understanding of cultural changes affecting environmental politics.54 Likewise, researchers need to develop better transdisciplinary theoretical foundations for understanding environmental politics outside of temporal policy considerations. As scholars of the region have found, political changes can create opportunities for access that should be seized upon, especially regarding issues critical to human health, ecosystems, and security. This subfield requires deeper, consistent, and sustained theoretical and methodological development in order to seize upon such opportunities.

Conclusion In light of the complexity of regional political and social research, and the common criticism that it is limited in rigor and insight, we began this exploratory evaluation of Central Asia and Caucasus research methodology by identifying trends in scholars’ training and perceptions. Overall, we find that students and research professionals in the region have considerably weaker preparation than foreigners, who employ primarily qualitative

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methods (although they may be skilled in both quantitative and qualitative methods). In all three case studies, qualitative research dominated, but some interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches were seen emerging. Local–foreigner differences, underscored most by the gender research survey results, are crucial for understanding how regional expertise can be developed. Promotion of joint efforts and the valuable programs that fund them are a good starting point for strengthening local research and international understanding and data source development. The politics of the region and of donor countries has affected research in profound ways. Funding from international organizations and manipulating results for audience satisfaction correlate closely. Likewise, the pursuit of “hot topics” as a guiding research value was reported by 35 of our survey respondents (48.6 per cent of foreign and 51.4 per cent of local scholars) and is widely identified by interviewees as an issue of concern. That donors’ interests and policymakers hot topics are determining research questions and outcomes (as is evident from our general survey and particularly our Islam and Environmental Politics cases) is highly problematic for regional research. Also, because so many scholars, in environmental studies, for example, rely on donor assessments for their data, consideration of donors’ or policymakers’ interests also constitutes a problem of evidentiary basis. Some interviewees indicated their frustration that the pursuit of “hot topics” is coming to define Central Asian studies and ingraining low standards of theoretical rigor. Decisionmakers and policy organization staff indicated that this kind of “policy relevance-driven” research was not the most useful for their work anyway. Thus, Western and local scholars driven primarily by concerns of policy relevance or “hotness” much mistake the matter. The needs of scholars—foreign and local—in the future include a clearer understanding about what kind of research is most useful for knowledge generation and a stable political and funding environment in which to generate important conceptual as well as practically applicable work. These needs are felt most acutely by local researchers, who often are unable to engage in all stages of the research process and thus are unable to claim ownership over outcomes—opening the door to the manipulation of results. Several interviewees pointed out what is missing from scholarship on the region: work that has greater depth and that offers a clear picture of cultural political elements; social science perspectives on energy and resource use, moving beyond event and superficial leadership analysis. In general, several key criteria for social research—reliability, replication, and validity (Bryman 2004, among others)— are not systematically applied in the research examined here; many political studies do not even clearly identify their research designs. Quantitative methods are clearly underdeveloped and underutilized, but so are qualitative methods—such as anthropological approaches—which seem to be regarded as most useful by practitioners. Emerging interdisciplinary approaches toward data collection in the unique Central Eurasian context, given the limitations discussed in this chapter, hold promise, especially for subfields such as

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environmental politics. The Russian language remains an important tool for research in the region. However, new students of Central Eurasia can best prepare to meet these challenges by also studying or even focusing on local languages other than Russian, acquiring a more solid theoretical foundation, obtaining interdisciplinary methodological training and hands-on experience early in their careers, and honing their ability to communicate the theoretical and methodological premises of their work. Overall, we find that a unique Central Eurasian political and social research approach is emerging. Currently, that “uniqueness” is most apparent under a minus sign—methodological, theoretical, and analytical weakness and narrowness. However, based on the research values identified by our respondents, the type of methodological training they have received, regional and transdisciplinary network development, and dialogue between regional and non-regional scholars, this uniqueness is likely to change in the future. Theoretical richness and sophisticated insight will likely develop to the point where funding less determines the course of regional scholarship, and Western scholars grasp policy relevance better.

Appendix I Most influential scholars (no. of times mentioned if more than once) Mehrigiul Ablezova Medina Aitieva Roy Allison (2) Dominique Arel Tom Barfield John Beauclerk Yuri Bregel Val Bunce E.H. Carr Alex Cooley Sally Cummings (3) Magreet Dorleijn D.F. Eichelman Jane Falkingham Simon Forrester Paul Geiss Bruce Grant Geoffrey Haig Simon Heap Joel Hellmann (2) Stephen Heynemann Leslie Holmes (2) Eugene Huskey Muratbek Imanaliev Anie Kalyjian Rebecca Katz

S.M. Abramzon Roza Aitmatova Sarah Amsler (2) Anders Aslund Thomas Barrett Mark Beissinger Matthew Bryza Valentin Bushkov Marat Cheshkov Bruno Coppieters Karen Dawisha Tamara Dragadze Tim Ensor Kristina Fehervary Rainer Freitag-Wirminghaus Gregory Gleason (3) Ase Grodeland (2) Lori Handrahan John Heathershaw Edmund Herzig Francine Hirsch Caroline Humphrey Gulnara Ibraeva (4) Stephen Jones (3) Marianne Kamp Michael Kemper

Laura Adams Shirin Akiner (2) John Anderson (3) Bakhtyar Babadjanov Fredrik Barth Gulzat Botoeva Cynthia Buckley Charles Buxton (2) Kathleen Collins (5) Helene Carrere Devin DeWeese (2) Adrienne Edgar Matthew Evangelista F.A. Fiel’strup Stephen Fuchs Marina Glushkova Mehrdad Haghayeghi Stephen Handelmann (2) Lale Heckmann George Hewitt David I. Hoffman Samuel Huntington Elmira Ibraimova Pauline Jones Luong (8) Roger Kangas Tahmanbet Kenensariev

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Adeeb Khalid (3) Russell Kleinbach Hermann Kreutzmann Joseph Kutzin Alena Ledeneva A. Lomakin Erika Marat Henrietta Meyers Anara Moldosheva Ghia Nodia Martha Brill Olcott (7) Uri Ra’anan Madeleine Reeves (5) K. Rosenberg Boris Rumer Nazif Shahrani Iveta Silova Steven Solnick (2) Mairam Sultanbaeva J. Swinnen Harold Takooshian Nurbek Tileshaliev Burul Usmanalieva (2) Marie-Carin von Gumppenberg Erika Weinthal Elena Zubkova

Anatolyi Khazanov S.K. Kojonaliev Kathleen Kuehnast Kunduz Maksutova Zvi Lerman P. Lukovkina Yaron Matras Paula Michaels Florian Muhlfried Douglas Northrop Richard Pomfret Scott Radnitz Andrei Richter Oliver Roy (4) Ed Schatz Seteney Shami N. Sirajiddinov Frederick Starr (2) Ron Suny (3) A. Tabah Richard Tapper Valery Tishkov (2) Tony Verheijen Effi Voutira Amanda Wooden

Charles King (2) Natalya Kosmarskaya Svetlana Kulikova Nick Megoran (4) Petr Lom Paul Manning Eric McGlinchey (3) Ellen Mickiewicz Irina Nizovskaya Eleanor Ochs Bruce Privatsky Harsha Ram T.H. Rigby Vanessa Ruget John Schoeberlein (2) Dilshodbek Sharipov Dan Slobin Christoph Stefes (2) Steve Swerdlow Anara Tabyshalieva Kanayim Teshebaeva Robert C. Tucker Vadim Volkov Jonathan Weatley Natalya Zadorojnaya

Source: CCA Research Methodologies Survey by authors, 2007.

Notes 1 The authors would like to thank Allison Morrill Chatrchyan, Madeleine Reeves, Eric Sievers, and Russell Zanca for reviewing this chapter and providing helpful suggestions. Particular gratitude goes to Margaret Osdoby Katz and Douglas Greenfield for copy-editing early versions. This publication was prepared (in part) under a grant from the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. The statements and views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Special appreciation goes to Murray Feshbach for access to his personal library. The authors would like to express gratitude to all survey respondents and interviewees for their contributions to this study. 2 An estimation of the pool of potential respondents has been difficult to determine, thus we are not able to report an accurate response rate and have engaged in this study as a pilot one, in part to determine the size of the researcher pool for subsequent studies. Central Eurasia Studies Worldwide Web identified a pool of over 3000 individuals on their listserv (see cesww.fas.harvard.edu), and we presume that at least one-third of these are scholars of the region. 3 Scholars who have done research in the Caucasus or Central Asia were approached individually via electronic mail addresses. The body of the message included a letter (in Russian and English) with the description of the study and instructions on how to complete the questionnaire (in Russian and English) and return it to the researchers as an attachment.

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4 These countries and respective number of respondents are: USA (14), Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) (10), France (four), Germany (four), Canada (three), Kazakhstan (three), United Kingdom (three), Armenia (two), Azerbaijan (two), Czech Republic (two), Denmark (two), Greece (two), Uzbekistan (two), Austria (one), Hungary (one), Romania (one), Russia (one), Tajikistan (one), and Turkmenistan (one). 5 The disciplines represented are: International Relations/Political Science (29), Area Studies (24), Sociology (16), Anthropology (14), Economics (14), Gender Studies (13), Public Policy (12), Education (11), History (six), Language Studies (six), Legal Studies (four), Religious Studies (four), Environmental Studies (three), Health Studies (two), Information and Technology Studies (two), Media Studies (one), Methodology (one), and Psychology (one). The majority of respondents identified themselves as researchers of Central Asia (10), others as researchers of the former Soviet Union including the post-Soviet region or Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (six), and the rest as Caucasus (two), Central Eurasia (including Central Asia and the Caucasus or Middle East) (two), and Middle East (one). 6 The local–foreign division reflects scholars’ citizenship. Further studies could distinguish scholars both by citizenship and place of training/degree received. Terminological choice was a difficult process, which the authors carefully and purposefully conducted. It was difficult to determine how scholars should be classified as local or foreign. Though we ultimately settled on citizenship it could also be argued the classification should be made based on whether degrees were received in the Central Asian region or from Western institutions of higher education. In this analysis we only evaluate minimally the differences between local scholars trained in the West and those trained in Central Eurasia, as discussed in the Gender Studies case. The bulk of this more nuanced investigation is left for future study. 7 The disciplines categorized for purposes of this study and part of this survey analysis include Anthropology, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Information Science, Law, Linguistics, Policy Science and Public Administration, Political Science/International Relations, Psychology, and Sociology. 8 It is important to note that the primary aim of this research is social science methodologies as all three authors are social scientists. Yet given the overlapping nature of area studies work, non-social scientists were included in the survey (identifying researchers broadly) and interviews. Those disciplines that bridge humanities and social science are included, such as Anthropology, Area Studies, Communication, Cultural Studies, History and Religious Studies. Anthropologists are noted as playing a particularly important role in influencing decision-makers and social science research, substantively, and methodologically. Future studies should more clearly expand the review of literature to include non-social science and bridging disciplines—such as history and anthropology—for a parallel comparison. 9 At the same time, more than 60 per cent of researchers are proficient in three or four languages. 10 The “Megobrebs” listserv forms a unique network of Western and Georgian scholars as well as practitioners. Some scholars have discussed a unique category of “Armeniology” scholars. The North Caucasus are particularly separated as most often scholars who study the South Caucasus do not include the North Caucasus in their analysis as it is part of the Russian Federation. Yet a growing group of scholars—particularly anthropologists—is extending these boundaries and studying the North Caucasus region separate from studies of the Russian Federation (Paxson and Ruble 2007). In May 2007, the Kennan Institute organized a conference on the meaning and implications of Caucasus studies. A Georgian university held a conference on “Caucausology” (a term used to describe study of the Caucasus region) in 2007 and the Eurasia Foundation established the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) to promote research in the region.

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11 Also, three of our respondents are APSA (American Political Science Association) members. 12 As our survey was disseminated through the CESS listserv, the bias in membership is a clear one. In general, scholars of the region note a generational and thematic division in the memberships of AAASS, ASN, CESS (Freeze et al. 2007). 13 Since 1968 IREX has provided more than 6,000 US scholars, professionals, and graduate students with funding for overseas research opportunities on themes that are “relevant to U.S. foreign policy” (IREX 2005: 11). While difficult to assess the total distribution of grants given for which countries in the region, an estimation of country representation in Central Eurasia and in other post-Soviet countries over the period 2002–5 was ascertained from the grants selected for publicity in the annual IREX “Highlights” newsletter. The distribution of grants selected for publicity by sub-region and country of grants was: Caucasus 12 (eight for Armenia), Central Asia 11 (five for Uzbekistan and three for Tajikistan, one for the remaining countries). For other post-Soviet countries, the following distribution was found: Russia (22), Ukraine (five), Moldova (one) and Belarus (one) (Impacting Global Change: IREX Highlights 2005). 14 Ulam (1976) argued that data access and manipulation were not as serious a limitation for research as assumed. He argued that this limitation was overstated, that at times information was revealed by the Soviet leadership and often “stereotypes and ideological preconceptions” hampered Western scholars more in identifying information sources that were available (p. 4). 15 For example, Political Science debates were often about unit of analysis or behavioralist quantitative versus qualitative approaches and Economics discussions related to the limits of the field’s predictive power revealed by the Soviet collapse (see Wilhelm 2003). Yet earlier, Dallin noted in 1973, “The resting place of American views of Russia and communism is littered with the carcasses of incomprehension and misperception, which, were they not so sad, would be funny”(Dallin 1973). Graham and Kantor (2007) tackled the ongoing academic identity question raised by these debates. 16 This debate within Central Eurasia studies was short lived and “behavioralist” works such as Kanet’s did not come to dominate study of the region and continue to be rare (Paxson and Ruble 2007). 17 In the late Soviet period, works of Western scholars analyzing Soviet research methodologies appeared, such as Snyder’s (1988) “Science and Sovietology: Bridging the Methods Gap in Soviet Foreign Policy Studies.” 18 Two of the 59 respondents to our survey identified themselves as methodologists for either their primary or secondary disciplinary category. 19 See the Soyuz website at www.uvm.edu/~soyuz/frameset.html. 20 One reviewer raised the alternative perspective that bartering may not be a negative aspect of field research and that issue highlights differences between the social sciences and natural sciences in acceptable research conduct. 21 Gender research, in the public discourse, assumes the study of women. Study of men and masculinities, while limited in comparison to women’s studies in Western literature, is growing quickly. Scholarship focusing on men and masculinities in the postSoviet Central Eurasian is almost non-existent. Exceptions include Mkhitaryan (2006) discussing different attitudes of Armenian men and women to the meaning of a “successful life” and the United Nations Development Programme and SorosKyrgyzstan Foundation Report, Gender and Men in the Kyrgyz Republic (2006). 22 Kamp (2003) suggested that, “‘Gender problems are featured in studies supported by international NGOs, and regional researchers tend to adopt their frameworks in defining them. … In the development of scholarly studies of gender in Central Asia, continuities with earlier studies of the ‘women question’ are more evident, and interaction with schools of thought on gender that have developed elsewhere,

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30 31

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especially in the US and Europe, are only beginning to redefine some issues for research” (p. 24). Ibraeva (2006) noted that, “[d]uring the Soviet period the region was closed for Western researchers and was not of sufficient ‘interest’ for leading Russian researchers. The study of Central Asian cultures and societies was a prerogative of the scholars from the region. Newly sovereign Central Asian countries opened a special field of study for Western scholars. During the [past] decade this field … has become actively institutionalized … [as has] the Russian science … interest in the region. However, the interests of Western and Russian social scientists are mainly concentrated on geopolitical and geoeconomic aspects of Central Asian life. Thereby, Kyrgyz Soviet and post-Soviet culture and social processes are … rarely placed within their interests … The Kyrgyzstani state and society … are repeatedly marginalized” (pp. 25–26). It is worth mentioning a growing literature by Russian and Ukrainian authors on gender available in the Russian language and widely used by Central Eurasian scholars. However, these materials are more often textbooks than results of new research. See also Kamp (2004); chapters in Tartakovskaya (2006a) by Badoshvili, Durglishvili, Faradjeva, Ivanova, Kim, Makhkamova, Mkhitaryan, Sakhokiya, Tsereteli, Valitova and Esimova, and Umar (2007). Under the auspices of the International Women’s Program (formally the Network Women’s Program) of the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute (see International Women’s Program) and the Institute for Social and Gender Policy (see Institute for Social and Gender Policy), there is a region-based attempt to “secure women’s rights,” a product of the Gender Education in the CIS Countries Program (Institute for Social and Gender Policy 2006). Also see Asyanov and Grigor’eva (2006) and Kamp 2004. In 2001, the Network Women’s Program (NWP, now the International Women’s Program) of the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute initiated a documentary film project to compensate for the limited sources in the mass media that “look critically at the impact of socioeconomic and political forces that shape patterns of gender in the post-Soviet era” (Open Society Institute 2002). Also see Moghadam 2000. The following section deals mainly with Muslim communities and Islamic tenets with a focus on “political Islam” in Central Asia and the Caucasus and does not intend to present an overview of religious studies in general. Research on the role of the Orthodox Christian church in the societies and politics of Armenia or Georgia follow largely similar methodological approaches; however, writing on “political Christianity” usually does not operate with similar clichés (politicized Islam as a danger for “stability” and “security”). Among the respondents of our survey, four indicated a background in religious studies and one in Middle Eastern studies. In general, Islamic studies research today is primarily integrated in different area studies. The focus of this work was on the rise and fall of regional dynasties as well as on the development of “normative” Islamic thought. Since the spread of Islam in the seventh-century Muslim communities experienced a highly diverse intellectual and religious development without the emergence of a central religious authority therefore categories such as heterodox or orthodox are misleading in an Islamic context. Nonetheless, most Muslim communities refer to a set of generally accepted norms, practices, and principles in religious affairs (Arkoun 2003). The reception of Said’s work in the former USSR, which was interestingly criticized for excluding Russian Orientalist discourses, gained momentum in the 1990s (see Hokanson 1994 and Irwin 2006). The term is taken from issue 24:1 of the Central Asian Survey Special Issue “Discourses of Danger in Central Asia”.

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34 Reviewer comment. 35 Interview with a US government expert on Central Asia, Washington, DC, 2 July 2007. 36 Akiner’s (2005) descriptions and interviews reveal a tendency to take the information provided to her by officials at face value. 37 In Getting Russia Wrong: the End of Kremlinology, Cockburn noted that, “There is nothing necessarily demeaning in the role of messenger, but it does demand a degree of intimacy with the government. In Moscow it was something of a relief to be regarded as a spy, however ineffective; or, at best, as a permanent outsider. This was a disaster only if you believed, as did some Kremlinologists, that everything which made the Soviet Union and its 285 million inhabitants tick was explained by some mechanism located in the Politburo. If this were true, then lack of access through leak or interview with the men at the top was a crippling disadvantage” (1989: 19). 38 This research concentrates on the analysis of primary sources, such as sufi manuals, historical annals, and genealogical or autobiographical works (DeWeese 1999; Gammer 1994; Paul 1991). 39 Scholars have examined the pre-Islamic influence of Buddhism (Klimkeit 1981; Scott 1995) and Zoroastrianism (Stepaniants 2002), as well as the practices of various religious groups including “new” Christian missionaries (Lewis 2000), the role of religion and culture in post-Soviet Georgia (Pelkmans 2006), and Christians as religious minorities in Central Asia (Peyrouse 2007). 40 Interviews with US state department desk officers with Central Eurasian experience, Washington, DC, July 2008. 41 Among the issues that motivate scholarship on regional environmental problems are three that remain the focus of research. First, there are heavily polluted communities and hazardous industrial and nuclear waste hotspots (e.g., Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan; Sumgait, Azerbaijan; the Polygon nuclear weapons testing site, Kazakhstan). Second, there are astounding regional water quality issues (e.g., Kura-Araks transboundary river basin) combined with unresolved water distribution disputes (Lake Balkash, the Aral Sea, Lake Sevan, and Caspian Sea basins), and third, concerns related to minerals exploitation and transportation impacts. Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan and Sumgait, Azerbaijan were listed in the top 10 and top 35, respectively, of Blacksmith Institute’s “The World’s Worst Polluted Places” (Blacksmith Institute 2006). Sumgait has moved up on the Institute’s 2007 report to one of the top 10 world’s worst polluted places (Blacksmith Institute 2007). 42 See Zonn (2000), Micklin and Williams (1996), and the Central Asian State of Environment reports (see United Nations Environment Programme). For an example of environmental health sciences research, see Hooper et al. (1999). 43 From interviews with various US officials with significant field experience in Central Asia, in Washington, DC, June–July 2007. Regarding the collapse of the sciences in Central Asia, see Sievers (2003a,b) and Zonn (2000). The notable exceptions of targeted international funding for the sciences include support from NATO, UNESCO, and bilateral energy, agriculture, environment, and science ministries and agencies. However, these efforts are still limited in scale and consistency. 44 In the Soviet Union, especially the 1960s through the 1980s, environmental issues were often “safety-valve” concerns, considered non-political and thus “safe” for discourse. 45 During this period, there were mass public protests in Tbilisi, Yerevan, Almaty, and Semipalatinsk surrounding issues of nuclear weapons research and testing, nuclear energy, deforestation, and industrial pollution. 46 The “Sibaral” project, intended to divert water from the Ob’ and Enisei rivers to the Aral Sea basin primarily for increased agricultural output, was cancelled with scientists questioning the rationality of the endeavor. Gustafson provided a unique insight into this issue and environmental policymaking in general with his book Reform in Soviet Politics: Lessons of Recent Policies on Land and Water, based on

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field research funded in large part by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). This publication was an account of the first official “scientific-publicity” expedition—“Aral-88”—to assess the lake’s desiccation. A more recent example of the travelogue genre on this topic is Tom Bissell’s 2003 Chasing the Sea. Reviewer comment. Recent international aid efforts have focused on the mutual gains of monitoring water availability and pollution in the international Kura-Aras river basin and promoting systematic sharing of this information between the Caucasus countries (for example, recent NATO–OSCE and USAID river monitoring projects). Future scholarship may be able to utilize this information and fill this significant research gap. A few exceptions to this security focus include work addressing myriad causes and consequences of environmental degradation within broader treatments of the history or politics of the Black Sea and Caspian regions (King 2004; Dekmejian and Simonian 2003). Both the general natural resource conflict literature and regional water resource conflict studies indicate the greater likelihood of internal conflict over water (in contrast with the probability of violent disputes between Central Asian countries), although almost no works evaluate theoretically or at the micro case study level the reasons for this propensity. [0] McGlinchey (2006) clearly evaluates the political limitations for methodological choice in conducting research on Islam. “The constraints that a student of Islam confronts in authoritarian Uzbekistan are greater, though not altogether different, from the constraints that social scientists face in less difficult research settings. In my case, concern for personal safety undoubtedly influenced who did and did not agree to speak with me” (p. 127). Interestingly, scholars claimed that only political subject matter research in Central Eurasia was limited, with the exception of Georgia, where political changes since the 2003 Rose Revolution seemed to have eased pressure even on political research as well as improved access to state archives. Ludi 2003 reports on the well-regarded Swiss Development Corporation funded project, CAMP, and outlines the program’s implementation methodology “sustainable development appraisal.” This methodology was developed by the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Berne, Switzerland. The CAMP approach to information collection is a valuable model for political scientists studying community level behaviors and commons governance mechanisms. This methodology combined with theoretical insights from work by political science scholars—such as Ostrom (1990) on commons governance mechanisms or Keck and Sikkink (1998) on transboundary networks—would be a useful pursuit for Central Eurasia scholars, especially as issues of ownership, privatization and community resource rights are a major part of regional environmental politics discourse. In the Caucasus, the distribution of environmental news and scientific research occurs mostly through the well-regarded and successful Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) and its quarterly publication the Caucasus Environmental Magazine, is utilized by many local and foreign researchers. For examples of successful and useful surveys on environmental health issues, see Medicins Sans Frontier work in the Aral Disaster Zone 1998–2000 including Crighton et al. (1999) and van der Meer (1999).

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Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods, 2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Buckley, M. (1997) “Victims and agents: gender in post-Soviet states,” in M. Buckley (ed.) Post-Soviet Women: From the Baltic to Central Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Carlsen, T., Petersen, L., Ulsh, B., Werner, C., Purvis, K. and Sharber, A. (2001) “Radionuclide Contamination at Kazakhstan’s Semipalatinsk Test Site: Implications on Human and Ecological Health,” Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 7: 943–55. Carrere d’Encausse, H. (1979) Decline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt, New York: Newsweek Books. Chatrchyan, A.M. (2003) “Democratic Transition, Stagnation and its Environmental Consequences: Protection of Lake Sevan and Forestry Resources in Post-Soviet Armenia,” PhD dissertation, University of Maryland. Chatrchyan, A.M. and Wooden, A. (2005) “Linking Rule of Law and Environmental Policy Reform in Armenia and Georgia,” in C.P.M. Waters (ed.) The State of Law in the South Caucasus, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Cornell, S.E. (2005) “Narcotics, Radicalism, and Armed Conflict in Central Asia: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 17: 619–39. Cockburn, P. (1989) Getting Russia Wrong: the end of Kremlinology, London: Verso. Crighton, E., van der Meer, J., Yagodin, V.N., and Elliott, S. (1999) Impact of an Environmental Disaster on Psychosocial Health and Well Being in Karakalpakstan, Médicins Sans Frontières/Vrachi Byez Granits, Aral Sea Area Program. Dallin, A. (1973) “Bias and Blunders in American Studies on the USSR,” Slavic Review, 32–33: 560–76. Darst, R. (1998) “Environmentalism in the USSR: The Opposition to the River Diversion Projects,” Soviet Economy, 4: 223–52. Dawson, J. I. (1996) Eco-Nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, Durham: Duke University Press. Dekmejian, R. H. and Simonian, H. H. (2003) Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, London: I.B. Tauris. DeWeese, D. (1999) “The Politics of Sacred Lineages in 19th-Century Central Asia: Descent Groups Linked to Khaja Ahmad Yasavi in Shrine Documents and Genealogical Charters,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 31: 507–30. Feshbach, M. and Friendly, A. Jr., (1992) Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege, New York: Basic Books. Feshbach, M. (2007) Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, discussion with author, Washington, DC, 27 June 2007. Fletcher, J.F. and Sergeyev, B. (2002) “Islam and Intolerance in Central Asia: The Case of Kyrgyzstan,” Europe-Asia Studies, 54: 251–75. Freeze, T., King, C. and Osdoby Katz, M. (2007) Discussion with author, Washington, DC, 1 July 2007. Gammer, M. (1994) “The Beginnings of the Naqshbandiyya in Da-gesta-n and the Russian Conquest of the Caucasus,” Die Welt des Islams, New Series, 34: 204–17. Gerstle, D.J. (2004) “The Pamir Paradox: Water Insecurity and Hunger at the Source of Central Asia’s Rivers,” Journal of International Affairs, 57:169–78. Glantz, M.H. (ed.) (1999) Creeping Environmental Problems and Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gleason, G. (2003) Markets and Politics in Central Asia: Structural Reform and Political Change, London: Routledge.

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Graham, L. and Kantor, J. M. (2007) “‘Soft’ Area Studies versus ‘Hard’ Social Science: A False Opposition,” Slavic Review, 66: 1–19. Grant, B. (2004) “An Average Azeri Village (1930): Remembering Rebellion in the Caucasus Mountains,” Slavic Review, 63: 705–31. Greenspan Bell, R. (2000) “Legitimacy, trust, and the environmental agenda: lessons from Armenia,” Environmental Law Reporter, 30 (September): 10771–77. Gunn, T. J. (2003) “Shaping an Islamic Identity: Religion, Islamism, and the State in Central Asia,” Sociology of Religion, 64: 389–410. Gustafson, T. (1981) Reform in Soviet Politics: Lessons of recent policies on land and water, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gutbrod, H. (2008) Regional Director of the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) Program, interview with author, Tbilisi, Georgia, 1 January 2008. Heidelbach, O. (Winter 2005) “Surveying Risk in Kazakh Agriculture: Experiences and Observations,” Central Eurasian Studies Review, 4: 46–47. Hokanson, K. (1994) “Literary Imperialism, Narodnost’ and Pushkin’s Invention of the Caucasus,” Russian Review, 53: 336–52. Hooper, K, Chuvakova, T., Kazbekova, G., Hayward, D., Tulenova, A., Petreas, M.X., Wade, T.J., Benedict, K., Cheng, Y.Y., and Grassman, J. (1999) “Analysis of Breast Milk to Assess Exposure to Chlorinated Contaminants in Kazakhstan: Sources of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) Exposures in an Agricultural Region of Southern Kazakhstan,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 107: 447–57. Human Rights Watch (September 2006) Reconciled to Violence: State Failure to Stop Domestic Abuse and Abduction of Women in Kyrgyzstan Vol. 18–19 (D). Ibraeva, G. (2006) “Brachnye Strategii v Kyrgyzstane: Pokolenie Otsov i Detei” [Matrimonial Strategies in Kyrgyzstan: Generation of Fathers and Children], Bishkek: Salam. ——(2007) Department of Sociology, American University of Central Asia, interview with the author, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 20 August 2007. IREX (2005)Impacting Global Change, Washington, DC: IREX. < www.irex.org/ resources/annual/IREX_Highlights_2005.pdf > (accessed 16 August 2008). Institute for Social and Gender Policy (2006) Gender Education: Regional Overview of Eight CIS Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Moscow: Institute for Social and Gender Policy. < www.genderpolicy.ru > (accessed 16 August 2008). International Crisis Group (2003) Youth in Central Asia: Losing the Young Generation; (ICG Asia Report No. 66), Osh: ICG. International Women’s Program, Open Society Institute (2002) >www.soros.org/ initiatives/women/focus_areas > (accessed 16 August 2008). Irwin, R. (2006) Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents, Woodstock: Overlook. Jersild, A. (2000) “Faith, Custom, and Ritual in the Borderlands: Orthodoxy, Islam, and the ‘Small Peoples’ of the Middle Volga and the North Caucasus,” Russian Review, 59: 512–29. Kanet, R.E. (ed.) (1971) The Behavioral Revolution and Communist Studies: Applications of Behaviorally Oriented Political Research on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, New York: The Free Press. Kamp, M. (2003) “Gender Studies in Central Asia,” paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada, November 2003.

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——(2004) “Between Women and the State: Mahalla Committees and Social Welfare in Uzbekistan,” in P. Jones Luong (ed.) The Transformation of Central Asia: Sates and Societies From Soviet Rule to Independence, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Karl, T.L. (2000) “Economic Inequality and Democratic Instability,” Journal of Democracy, 11: 149–56. Keck, M.E. and Sikkink, K. (1998) Activists beyond borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Kemper, M., von Kügelgen, A., and Yermakov, D. (eds) (1996) Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries, Berlin: Klaus Schwarz. Khalid, A. (1998) The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform. Jadidism in Central Asia, Berkeley: University of California Press. Khormova, T.E., Osipova, G.B., Tsvetkov, D.G., Dyurgerov, M.B., and Barry, R.G. (2006) “Changes in glacier extent in the eastern Pamir, Central Asia, determined from historical data and ASTER imagery,” Remote Sensing of Environment, 102: 24–32. Kim, L. (2006) “Izuchenie gendernykh predstavlenii uchitelei shkol Bishkeka i Tashkenta” [The Study of Gender Perceptions of High School Teachers of Bishkek and Tashkent], in I. N. Tartakovskaya (ed.) Gender Research: Regional Anthology of Research Studies from Eight CIS Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Moscow: Social and Gender Policy Institute. Kleinbach, R. (2003) “Frequency of non-consensual bride kidnapping in the Kyrgyz Republic,” International Journal of Central Asian Studies, 8: 108–28. ——and Salimjanova, L. (2007) “Kyz ala kachuu and adat: non-consensual bride kidnapping and tradition in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asian Survey, 26: 217–33. ——, Ablezova, M. and Aitieva, M. (2005) “Kidnapping for marriage (Ala Kachuu in a Kyrgyz Village),” Central Asian Survey, 24: 191–202. Klimkeit, H. J. (1981) “Christians, Buddhists and Manichaens in Medieval Central Asia,” Buddhist-Christian Studies, 1: 46–50. King, C. (2004) The Black Sea: A History, New York: Oxford University Press. ——(2007) Professor of Government, Georgetown University, interview with author, Washington, DC, 3 July 2007. Komarov, B. [Wolfson, Z.] (1978) “Unichtozhenie prirody, obostrenie ekologicheskogo krizisa v SSSR” [The Destruction of Nature in the Soviet Union], White Plains: M.E. Sharpe. Krämer, A. (2002) “Geistliche Autorität und islamische Gesellschaft im Wandel. Studien über Frauenälteste (otin oder xalfa) im unabhängigen Usbekistan” [Spiritual Authority and Islamic Society in Transition. Studies on Female Elders (otin or xalifa) in independent Uzbekistan], Berlin: Klaus Schwarz. Lewis, D. C. (2000) After Atheism. Religion and Ethnicity in Russia and Central Asia, Richmond: Curzon Press. Lom, P. (2004) Bride Kidnapping. Documentary Film. < www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/ stories/kyrgyzstan/thestory.html > (accessed 5 May 2008). Ludi, E. (2003) “Sustainable Pasture Management in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Development Needs and Recommendations,” Mountain Research and Development, 23: 119–23. McGlinchey, E. (2005) “The Making of Militants: The State and Islam in Central Asia,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 25: 554–66.

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Part 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

The countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia are among the world’s most ethnically diverse. Their territorial boundaries were drawn and redrawn through centuries of imperial domination, borders assigned arbitrarily or to sustain tensions in political and economic spheres. As a result, the new states of the Caucasus and Central Asia inherited a legacy of complex ethnic politics. Nonetheless, one key element separates the Caucasian from the Central Asian experience: ethnic separatism through violent conflict. Contrary to the expectations of early observers of the independence movements, the most severe and long-standing conflicts occurred in the Caucasian countries, not those of Central Asia. In Central Asia, scholars expected instability and ethnic strife, borne of anticipated aggression during statebuilding in what had been traditionally authoritarian societies (Rumer 2002). In the Caucasus, where Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost’ and demokratizatsiya led to early nationalist campaigns and the growth of an indigenous civil society, the democratic transition was expected to tame contentious politics (Huttenbach 1995).1 However, the paths of the Caucasian and Central Asian states diverged from these quite logical expectations. In the Caucasus, secessionist struggles in Abkhazia and South Ossetia left stalemated conflicts in Georgia, later to return to active violence in 2008; in Azerbaijan, the NagornoKarabakh conflict has bedeviled both domestic and international policymakers. In Kazakhstan and the Ferghana Valley, both in Central Asia, the expected prolonged ethnic conflicts never appeared. Early skirmishes did not morph into long-term, strategic political turmoil. This chapter examines the ethnic and political trajectories of both regions and argues that three factors best explain the presence of continued and protracted nationalist separatism in the Caucasus and its absence in Central Asia. First, the Soviet institutional legacy, which organized ethnic minorities into administratively designated homelands, helped mobilize minority groups and supplied entrepreneurial elites with the infrastructure and means of constructing ethnic differentiation strategies. Autonomous republics were more prevalent in the Caucasus than in Central Asia, enhancing the institutional impact for ethnic groups. Second, nationalist ethnic responses (majority and minority) to democratic reform processes enhanced the likelihood of strategic

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violence. In the Caucasus, central governments used ethnic identities to mobilize statewide constituencies at the expense of minority actors, while local nationalist minority leaders did the same on a regional scale. In Central Asia, the central state government limited democratization reforms through centralizing state authority and restricting the growth of civil society. Moreover, the ethnic message of state-building reforms in Central Asia was typically more internationalist than that in the Caucasus, and thus less violently divisive. Third, external actors impacted both state policies and separatist capabilities. In the Caucasus, Russian and Armenian policies helped mobilize national actors in the separatist regions, enhancing their probability of success in violent interactions. In Central Asia, Russia’s economic interests and perception of a growing Islamic threat in the area pushed the regional leaders toward a policy promoting central government stability rather than regional separatism. This chapter explores the theoretical underpinnings of the early expectations of conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus and provides a mechanism by which to understand why protracted ethnic separatist wars developed in some cases but not others. In doing so, the chapter offers a brief account of the trajectories ethnic politics took in five critical cases: Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, the Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan, and the Ferghana Valley (whose tensions derive primarily from its division between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan). The framework developed here contributes to scholarly work on the region by providing a systematic way to conceptualize how ethnic politics has worked in postSoviet societies. Moreover, the framework identifies conditions that may increase or decrease the likelihood for future conflicts.

Expectations of conflict: theoretical approaches and practical applications Early predictions: primordial and instrumentalist expectations Predictions of how ethnic politics would emerge in the newly independent Caucasus and Central Asia relied to a large extent on the consideration of primordial and instrumental factors. Primordial explanations emphasized the ethnic diversity of the region, particularly in Central Asia, as a potential destabilizing factor for the transition from the Soviet system (Saidbaev 1992; Slim 2002). Analysts at the time warned of sparring ethnic groups and protracted instability. The primordialist interpretation of ethnic conflict leads scholars to expect conflict where differentiation exists among groups, particularly if the minorities exist in significant enough numbers to oppose majority group policy generation and implementation. Thus, one might anticipate that very diverse populations, containing more groups of substantial numbers, might be linked with more conflicts. Three demographic concerns drove the predictions of violence in Central Asia. The simplest pointed to the diversity of the region. The second predicted

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tensions and violence where minorities were significant in proportion to the rest of the population. The third anticipated tensions if certain ethnic minorities dominated certain geographic space, in the post-Soviet context, often in autonomous territories (Toft 2003). Given that separatist violence emerged in the Caucasus but not in Central Asia, if these demographic theories are correct, we should find that the Caucasus region is more diverse, its separatist minorities more demographically robust, and its separatist regions dominated by their titular groups. However, when comparing the states of the Caucasus and Central Asia, one finds that the effective number of ethnic groups (a statistic that combines the number of ethnic groups with their relative proportion of the population), the Central Asian states contain more demographically significant minority groups than the states of the Caucasus.2 Table 3.1 presents the effective number of ethnic groups for each state in the Caucasus and Central Asia, noting whether that state experienced protracted ethnic violence upon its independence. The largest ethnic groups were not necessarily the most active in affecting the ethnic political circumstances of a state. In fact, the demographic argument Table 3.1 Central Asian and Caucasian states, ethnic groups demographics, 1989 Country

Effective number of ethnic groups

Nationality

Per cent of Experienced total population strategic ethnic violence

Uzbekistan

1.92

Uzbek Russian Tadzhik Kazakh

71.39 8.35 4.71 4.08

No

Kazakhstan

3.25

Kazakh Russian German Ukrainian Uzbek

39.69 37.82 5.82 5.44 2.02

No

Kyrgyzstan

2.95

Kyrgyz Russian Uzbek Ukrainian

52.37 21.53 12.92 2.54

No

Azerbaijan

1.45

Azeri Russian Armenian Lezgin

82.68 5.59 5.56 2.44

Yes

Georgia

1.97

Georgian 70.13 Armenian 8.10 Russian 6.32 Azerbaidzhanian 5.69

Yes

Source: Goskomstat 1989.

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can do little to explain why it was the Abkhazians and the South Ossetians in the Caucasus that engaged in ethnic secessionism. Neither the Abkhazians nor the Ossetians appear in the four most populous groups in Georgia. In Azerbaijan, Armenians, the ethnic majority of separatist Nagorno-Karabakh, accounted for a mere 5 per cent of the country’s population. Likewise, there is no consistent relationship between population density and separatist war in the Caucasus and Central Asia. According to the 1989 Soviet census, the Ossetians constituted 66 per cent of South Ossetia and the Armenians 77 per cent of Nagorno-Karabakh, however the Abkhazian population was a mere 18 per cent of Abkhazia (see Table 3.2). But all three of these regions have engaged in violent separatism, Abkhazia doing so despite its minority status in its titular republic. So while the ethnic differentiation is certainly a critical element of politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the primordial conceptions analyzed above give little concrete picture regarding which conditions are most likely to lead to ethnic conflict and separatism. Instrumentalist scholars argue that ethnic tensions emerge not because of mere ethnic differences, but because of mechanisms of ethnic mobilization. Some instrumentalist scholars focus on regime type, arguing that systemic political repression of ethnic groups can cause ethnic mobilization (Dunlop 1998; Gurr 1993). One implication of this approach is that authoritarianism exacerbates ethnic tensions, while democracies permit greater minority representation, allow an outlet for ethnic identity and mobilization, and expand the political conversation past ethnic interests (Linz and Stepan 1996; Gurr 2000). But political liberalization in the region did not bring these anticipated effects. The Caucasus, which started their process of political liberalization through Gorbachev-era policies of glasnost’ and demokratizatsiya, should have been able to ameliorate minority concerns more effectively than Central Asia, whose democratic campaign was less robust. Georgia was the first Soviet successor state to have fair and free presidential elections, electing Zviad Table 3.2 Caucasus: ethnic group population per autonomous region, 1989 Region

Total population

Nationality

Nagorno-Karabakh

189,085

Azeri Russian Ossetian

40,688 1,922 65,232

21.52 1.02 66.21

98,527

Georgian Russian Abkhaz

28,544 2,128 93,267

28.97 2.16 17.76

52,5061

Georgian Armenian Russian

239,872 76,541 74,914

45.68 14.58 14.27

South Ossetia

Abkhazia

Source: Goskomstat 1989.

Population

Per cent of republic population

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Gamsakhurdia to the post in 1991. Likewise, in Azerbaijan, the 1992 election of Abulfaz Elchibey, the head of the Popular Front movement, was fair and competitive. However, both Azerbaijan and Georgia experienced violent ethnic regional secession movements despite these democratic processes. With regard to Kazakhstan and the Ferghana Valley, although both experienced ethnic tensions and some sporadic violence, they did not suffer the anticipated crises. As will be discussed in detail below, there are reasons to believe that democratization campaigns exacerbate, rather than mitigate, ethnic tension. Expectations of ethnic violence and separatism The applications of instrumentalism and primordialism led analysts to what turned out to be reverse expectations for the states upon their independence from the USSR. What caused protracted ethnic instability in the Caucasus? What explains the relative Central Asian stability? I argue that the ethnically based Soviet federal institutions, combined with nationalizing central statebuilding policies and foreign intervention, spurred ethnic politics in the Caucasus into protracted conflict. Likewise, the absence of autonomous units representing key ethnic minorities, the less democratic but also less ethnically divisive politics of transition and state-building, and differing strategic interests by external actors created less favorable conditions for strategic ethnic violence by minority leaders in Central Asia. Institutional framework: autonomous territories Previous autonomous regional status, defined according to national identity, has been a common factor in strategic ethnic violence in the Caucasus and Central Asia. A growing literature in ethnic studies emphasizes the role of institutions that organize ethnic groups within a governing structure, in particular the role of federal arrangements (Bunce 1999; Roeder 1991; Cornell 2002). The Soviet federal structure organized ethnic groups into territories, often according to their historical homelands, and assigned an administrative level relative to their perceived status in the Soviet system. Thus, ethnic groups were divided into layers of hierarchical territorial autonomy. The higher levels, such as Union or Autonomous Republics, received greater power to determine local policies and politics. This created a republic-wide constituency for the leadership, albeit unelected. The enhanced legitimacy of national political leaders increased national ethnic elites’ potential to mobilize followers, in part simply because the federal structure legitimized political demands associated with ethnic identity. Within the Soviet Union, the first regions to secede were the Union Republics, all of which achieved independence by December 1991. Among the Soviet successor states, increased levels of ethnic separatism occurred most consistently with ethnic groups that dominated ethnofederal administrative units during the Soviet period (Treisman 1997). In the Caucasus and Central Asia, seven autonomous territories had been established by the

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Soviet Union. Six sought greater power and autonomy from the central government. Three of these, all in the Caucasus, fought wars of independence. Democratization processes and nationalist messages The institutional explanation does not, however, fully explain the processes of ethnic mobilization; rather, it merely provides a locus for ethnic politics to occur. As noted above, although autonomous status was highly correlated with increased ethnic mobilization, such mobilization did not always escalate to violent separatism. The character of successor states’ state-building policies helps explain why some regions used secessionist tactics while others did not. In particular, a close examination of how politics emerged in these regions and how new political actors penetrated once-closed political institutions shows how the institutional structure of the regions merely channeled ethnic politics. Soviet-era policies glasnost’ and demokratizatsiya helped expand political possibilities for regional ethnic leaders, although ethnic elites’ strategies varied. Subsequent state independence also enabled central government leaders to establish state-building policies that either exacerbated or diminished ethnic divisions. One causal factor of this variance has been the states’ implementation of democratic reforms. Despite the aforementioned theorized linkages between democracy and lessening of ethnic tensions, transitioning states carry no such guarantees. Jack Snyder (2000) has argued that the period of democratization is the very time when we should expect greater levels of radical ethnic mobilization. The opening of the media, the emphasis on free speech, and the enlargement of the political system to new political actors enables elite tactics that engage public support and invite a vibrant and active constituency. Nationalist appeals, he argues, are likely as politicians seek to energize and attract constituencies. Consequently, contrary to the common expectation that democracy will bring stability, increased political pluralism enhances volatility given political entrepreneurs’ incentives to manipulate the new media structures and speech freedoms (Snyder 2000). In the Soviet Union, politics in many republics took a nationalist flavor when their titular groups proclaimed an end to the imperial power of the Soviet Union. These efforts, although successful in the primary goal of eroding Soviet power, affected the political environment of these same republics by constructing identities that conflated the ethnic identity of the titular ethnic group with the governance of the state; the state itself was conceived as the mechanism by which the titular group should realize its political goals. Central governments that emphasized this idea, particularly when combining it with the institutions of a democratic transition, were more likely to mobilize not only the states’ majority group against minority groups, but also enhance animosity and fear among them. Combined with autonomous regional structures, the state-building process thus became one of zero-sum nationalist mobilization with real territorial and political divisions, making

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separatism one clear political alternative for concerned minority groups or entrepreneurial elites. External influences: homelands and interested parties The third component affecting the national politics of the Soviet successor states is the foreign policy interests of invested external actors. As Rogers Brubaker has noted, the interests of a third party can have exacerbating influence on internal conflicts. In particular, ethnic homelands for other states’ minorities became lightning rods for enhanced domestic ethnic demands and increased opportunities for separatism (Brubaker 1996). Moreover, the foreign policies of non-homeland states affected both regional and central government perceptions of risk and possibility. Powerful outside actors can act as non-neutral parties, at times exacerbating regional minority separatism in their zeal to establish their foreign political or economic goals (King and Melvin 2000). Definitions and expectations The remainder of this essay assesses the trajectory of ethnic politics in four states, tracking five ethnic flashpoints. An ethnic flashpoint is an area where ethnic tensions either developed or were expected to develop by observing analysts. Separatist war occurs when violence is used as a mechanism to separate from a territory. Hence, mob riots, even if violent, without clear political intent attached to the use of force are not considered strategic. I use the Correlates of War threshold of 1000 or more battle deaths to determine whether a separatist war has occurred (Sarkees 2000). The cases considered represent an exhaustive survey of ethnic flashpoints in Central Asia and the Caucasus that emerged in the decade following the Soviet collapse.3 Thus, case studies include all separatist wars of the Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as areas where ethnic separatism and violence were expected, the Russian population in northern Kazakhstan and the Uzbek population in Kyrgyzstan, in particular in the Ferghana Valley. Table 3.3 offers the list of ethnic flashpoint cases, noting the three causal elements of the framework and subsequent separatist outcome (or lack thereof).

The Caucasus: protracted ethnic separatism The three cases of the Caucasian region experienced extensive strategic ethnic violence, with separatist movements spurring the outbreak of war between combatants from the autonomous region and those of the central governments. The 1992 war in Abkhazia claimed an estimated 10,000 lives, the 1990 war in South Ossetia 1,000, and the 1988 war in Nagorno-Karabakh 25,000. In each of the separatist territories, the de facto authorities have set up

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institutions of independent governance, for example with constitutions, executives, ministries, legislatures, and militaries. Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia Three factors stand out in the ethnic politics that have challenged the Georgian state. First, the separatist movements emerged from ethnically based regional autonomies. Second, glasnost’ permitted ethnic Georgian nationalist mobilization that continued into the early state-building period, which in turn spurred minority ethnic group mobilization within Georgia. Third, the role of Russia in these conflicts enhanced the military and political power of the separatist regions, weakening the territorial stability of Georgia. Institutional structures in Georgia Even before Georgian independence, Abkhazia and South Ossetia began their efforts to obtain greater status and power within Georgia. In June 1988, Abkhazian activists appealed to Moscow to allow Abkhazian secession from Georgia; in September 1990, the leadership of Abkhazia declared sovereignty (not independence) within Georgia. In September 1989, South Ossetian leaders appealed to the Soviet government for their consideration of unification of North Ossetia (part of the Russian republic) with South Ossetia, to be administered through Russia. There are few clear and objective mechanisms for assessing the territorial claims of the two minority groups, as well as those of the Georgian state. Abkhazia had not always been part of Georgia, as the territory of Georgia was partitioned and exchanged from various imperial powers over several Table 3.3 Cases and preliminary findings: characteristics of ethnic flashpoints and separatist outcomes Ethnic flashpoint (listed according to territorial affiliation prior to any declaration of independence)

Causal factor 1: Causal factor 2: Autonomous Unambiguous status nationalization policy by central government

Causal factor 3: External actor support for minority group

Key question: Did the ethnic flashpoint engage in separatist war?

Caucasus Georgia: Abkhazia Georgia: South Ossetia Azerbaijan: NagornoKarabakh

Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Central Asia Kazakhstan: Russian population Kyrgyzstan: Uzbek population in Ferghana Valley

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centuries (Suny 1994). The administrative unit of South Ossetia was established in April 1922 by the Soviets. South Ossetia is not considered the homeland of the Ossetian people. North Ossetia, the Ossetian homeland, is in Russia, and has its own autonomous status. Although the census data indicate that these ethnic groups were demographically weak vis-à-vis other minority groups in Georgia, these regions have been the foci of ethnic politics since even before Georgian independence. The institutional structure of both regions helped national leaders structure their message of autonomy and independence, as well as a mechanism for making demands of the central government: both Abkhazia and South Ossetia requested greater autonomy from Moscow. Their argument centered on the legitimacy of their political autonomy based on the linkage of their ethnic heritage with the territory (Pliev 2002; Lakoba 2002). Georgian nationalist movement and regional responses As the Georgian nationalist independence movement from the USSR raged in Tbilisi, Abkhazia and South Ossetia escalated their demands for autonomy within Georgia. This was in part a response to Georgian national politics. A leader of the Georgian opposition movement, Zviad Gamsakhurdia (who became president in April 1991), actively supported a unitary state structure for Georgia, a policy that he interpreted to require the eradication of all federal units, a blow to the autonomous territories (Khoshtaria 2002). On 11 November 1990, in an initial step for Georgia’s anti-federal policy, the Georgian parliament voted to remove South Ossetia’s autonomous status, in part a response to South Ossetia’s request to Moscow that it join the Soviet Union as part of the Russian republic the day before. Later, after the Soviet government rejected its request, South Ossetia declared its intention to become an independent state in September 1990. Violence ensued as the Georgian government sought to control the separatist province. To date, neither party has agreed to a political resolution to the conflict, and violent interactions periodically resurface. Moreover, Gamsakhurdia’s successor, Eduard Shevardnadze, maintained the anti-federal policy of his predecessor, even though participants in the subsequent conflict resolution process contend that the South Ossetian leadership would have accepted Georgian sovereignty if their autonomous status had been restored (Zugaev 2002).4 Gamsakhurdia matched his anti-federal rhetoric with secessionist slogans casting the Georgian independence movement as a necessary element to heighten the political and cultural position of the ethnic Georgian population. These policies provoked Vladislav Ardzinba, an emergent political figure in Abkhazia, who responded to Gamsakhurdia’s unification policy with extensive ethnic mobilization and increased autonomy demands. In August 1990, the Abkhazian Supreme Soviet declared sovereignty within Georgia; by July 1992, Ardzinba had declared Abkhazian independence from Georgia. That August, Georgian troops, now under the new Georgian president Eduard

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Shevardnadze, entered Abkhazia and began fighting with Abkhaz separatists. Spurred by the United Nations and the USA, Georgia and Abkhazia signed a ceasefire agreement on 14 May 1994; however, a negotiated political resolution has not been achieved. Abkhazia, like South Ossetia, is de facto independent, although most international actors consider the regions part of the Georgian territory de jure.5 External actors: the role of Russia Russia invested significant interest and money into the politics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia throughout the early 1990s. Not only did Russia supply monetary and military support during periods of active conflict in the early 1990s, it did so in an obvious attempt to bring Georgia back into its sphere of influence—Russia ceased its overt military intervention in Abkhazia once Georgia truculently joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1993. Russian troops have remained as a peacekeeping force in Abkhazia ever since. Moreover, Russia’s official policy on the de facto independent regions was mixed through the years; Russia was a member of the United Nations Friends of Georgia group, which recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia as inclusive of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Even so, Russia positioned itself as a protector of both regions, especially once it granted Russian citizenship to those living in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Boris Yeltsin’s 1992 decree “On the Protection of the Right and Interests of Russian Citizens outside the Russian Federation,” established legal imperatives for Russian policy to protect the interests of its citizens living outside its state boundaries (King and Melvin 2000: 120). Moreover, Russian Duma deputies took active interest in Abkhazian and South Ossetian self-determination; for example, in November 2003 when Vladimir Zhirinovsky introduced a resolution calling for Abkhazian associate membership into the Russian Federation. Although this resolution was tabled and Russia at the time did not positively acquiesce to Abkhaz and South Ossetian requests to join the country, Russia opened the door to further interaction by granting internal passports and offering social services to the titular populations of both regions. Approximately 90 per cent of South Ossetians and 80 per cent of Abkhazians declared themselves citizens of Russia (Freese 2004; van der Schriek 2004). In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia through South Ossetia and Abkhazia, militarily establishing a buffer zone that reached close to Tbilisi and included Poti, one of Georgia’s most important port cities. The Russians were responding in part to a summer-long simmering of violence between South Ossetian and Georgian soldiers and villagers, as well as to some success on the part of the Georgians to re-establish control over the southern half of the territory (although the precise timing of Russian action remains disputed). The Russian military action precipitated Moscow’s recognition of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and its announcement that it planned to install military bases in the regions.

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Russian influence undoubtedly provided moral, political, economic, and military support for the separatist movements in Georgia. For Abkhazians and South Ossetians, this support provided a mechanism for economic development and trade, a way to maintain physical control over the territories, and for opportunities within a dire economic environment, given the dearth of real tax collection potential for the Abkhazian and South Ossetian governments. For Georgians, the Russian protection of the territories amounted to essential annexation and imperialism, most profoundly demonstrated in the August 2008 war. Azerbaijan: Nagorno-Karabakh The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan emerged as a territorial dispute over the Armenian dominated enclave within Azerbaijan. (According to the 1989 Soviet census, Armenians accounted for 76.9 per cent of the territory’s population; Azeris constituted 21.5 per cent.) Like Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh had autonomous status within the Soviet federal structure. In 1987, the leaders of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) initiated a political movement to join with the Union Republic of Armenia, obtaining a great deal of popular support for the effort in both Nagorno-Karabakh and in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. This movement grew into coherent political strategy in August when Armenian leaders sent a petition to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev requesting that NKAO be located under the administrative territory of the Armenian republic. The leaders of Azerbaijan protested the effort, citing the Soviet Constitution’s Article 78, which stipulated that any change of one republic’s boundary be approved by all republics involved, as well as by the government in Moscow. The government of the Azerbaijan Union Republic refused to consider a Nagorno-Karabakh union with Armenia, but also refused any political self-determination for the Armenians in the region (Croissant 1998). The Soviet leadership muddled the decision-making process, at one point seeming permissive of the Armenian desires, although ultimately deciding that NKAO should remain in Azerbaijan. War over Nagorno-Karabakh broke out in 1988. Like the conflicts in Georgia, there has been no political resolution to the problem of the disputed territory. Also similar to Georgia, three key factors affected both the outbreak of ethnic tensions and the protracted nature of the conflict: a pernicious Soviet federal legacy, mobilized nationalist politics leaders on both sides that equated Nagorno-Karabkakh’s status with government legitimacy, and the continued involvement of Armenia and Russia in both the policymaking and execution of conflict. Institutional conditions in Azerbaijan Soviet Nagorno-Karabakh was contested territory long before the Soviet empire annexed the Caucasus. However, imperial powers, particularly Russia

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and the Ottoman Empire, permitted few opportunities for the dispute to be resolved or even aired as a question of national self-determination. Both ethnic groups, Armenians and Azeris, maintain historical claims to NagornoKarabakh. The Armenian claim to the territory also stems in part from their greater demographic hold over the territory. The Armenians argue that the western territory of today’s Azerbaijan belonged to the Armenians in the second century BC. That territory, including what is now Nagorno-Karabakh, maintained its autonomy and thus the traditions of Armenian national sovereignty were preserved. The Azeri claim to the territory derives not only from current politics— Nagorno-Karabakh currently resides de jure within Azerbaijan—but also from historical accounts. The Azeri argument rests on the culture that existed in the territory prior to Armenian migration. They argue that the indigenous population, who eventually became the Azeris, experienced assimilation as a result of the Armenian immigration. (Some proponents of this interpretation contend that the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are actually assimilated Azeris.) The Soviet federal system extended the likelihood for conflict over the region once Armenia and Azerbaijan achieved independence. The nationalization and independence movements of the Union Republics provided the smaller regions with a precedent for political behavior. Moreover, ethnic Armenians, whose interest in joining Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia had not diminished in the decades of Soviet rule, dominated the bureaucratic administration of Nagorno-Karabakh. As the politics of glasnost’ unfolded in the USSR and the Union Republics engaged in increasingly secessionist politics, the idea of changing the structure of Nagorno-Karabakh began to seem feasible for both the regional population and the Armenian population. The fact that the territory was an autonomous oblast increased the theoretical and the practical argument, providing both the means for making such a change, but also a rationale. The nationalist movements: Nagorno-Karabakh a national symbol in new electoral politics During the late 1980s, Nagorno-Karabakh quickly dominated the political debate in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the leaders of both parties appealed to the Soviet leadership under Gorbachev for a resolution to the territorial controversy. However, Gorbachev responded indecisively with regard to its status and future. At one point, he seemed to suggest to the Armenian leaders that Moscow would be willing to entertain a petition for NKAO to join the Armenian territory, but later argued that NKAO should stay within the territory of Azerbaijan, albeit with a greater level of self-determination and special development credits administrated by Moscow. This satisfied neither party, and Armenian and Azeri political moods turned against Moscow.

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Even more than those in Georgia, the regional politics of NagornoKarabakh highlighted the scope of national politics in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Armenia, the Soviet “compromise” over Nagorno-Karabakh engendered opposition against the Armenian Communist Party; most prominent among the opposition was the Karabakh Committee, composed of members of the Armenian intelligentsia. For the Armenians, the status of Nagorno-Karabakh emerged as a symbol of the national fervor that characterized the politics of independence from the USSR. According to Gerard Libaridian, “as important as the issue of Karabagh was (or became) for most people, what mattered was the symbolism of effectively articulating opposition to the state for the first time” (Libaridian 1999: 232). Thus, popular mobilization concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh question had become a mechanism to reject the repression of the Soviet regime altogether. The processes of glasnost’ and demokratizatsiya permitted such mobilization, and Armenian political elites took advantage of it. Soon, electoral legitimacy in both Karabakh and in Yerevan was tied to the intransigence of the message of Karabakh. Ethnic Armenian leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh earned legitimacy in their positions, the president of Armenia, Robert Kocharian, a notable example. Born in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, he was a leader of the initial Karabakh separatist movement, becoming president of the republic’s de facto government in 1994. His success in Nagorno-Karabakh enhanced his legitimacy in Armenian politics. Similarly, the force of the Azeri national movement grew in response both to the growth of Karabakh-oriented nationalism in Armenia, enhanced by the Soviet inability to respond satisfactorily to the NKAO question (Croissant 1998). According to Michael Croissant, the Azeris “had come to realize that comparable means [as the Armenian national movement] could be used to voice their own grievances and to guard their republic’s territorial integrity” (Croissant 1998: 31). Political entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan also used Nagorno-Karabakh as a mechanism to oppose political rivals. After an Armenian offensive took the strategic town Kelbajar, outside Nagorno-Karabakh territory but linking the region to Armenia, military leaders ousted then Azeri president Abulfaz Elchibey, replacing him with Heidar Aliyev (De Waal 2003). Enhancing the power of the institutional status of Nagorno-Karabakh, leaders of NKAO itself, Azerbaijan, and Armenia all used its territorial status to legitimize their national movements. Nagorno-Karabakh was a mechanism for the independence movements of the republics and a source of legitimacy for their independence. The logic of this rationale, however, has had devastating consequences, for it was exclusive. Leaders in both Armenia and Azerbaijan had promised their citizens that Nagorno-Karabakh would be returned to their respective jurisdictions. Since the conflict framed both countries’ independence movements, the legitimacy of state governance depended on the territory’s status. If either administration failed to establish power within or for the region, then that administration lost its credibility and claim to power.

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External actors: the role of Russia and Armenia Like the South Ossetian and Abkhazian conflicts in Georgia, external actors have been crucial for the prolongation of the conflict in NKAO. The most significant player in supporting the case of the separatists, both politically and economically, has been Armenia (King 2001). In addition to economic support from abroad, Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence movement has received military aid, in various forms, from Armenia and Russia. The Armenian support has been overt. Russia’s role has been less blatant, and not necessarily part of the stated foreign policy of the central government. Even so, members of the Russian Seventh Army, a remnant of the Soviet Army based in the region, fought in support of Karabakh’s independence, some Army officers even receiving Russian military honors for their efforts (King 2001). Uncertain future: continuing conflict or resolution? In both Georgia and Azerbaijan, three factors have been crucial for the initiation and prolongation of violent ethnic separatism: the mobilization capacity of the autonomous regions, the casting of the independence movement from the Soviet Union as the realization of nationalist or ethnic goals, and the interests of external actors in the success of the separatist movements. At the time of writing, the ongoing conflict resolution efforts sponsored by international groups have been largely ineffective. Several rounds of talks in 2006 between Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Robert Kocharian ended without any movement toward political settlement, despite initial optimism (Corwin 2006). In Georgia, especially, extensive political change in the central government through the Rose Revolution gave observers reason to anticipate renewed vigor in negotiations between the Georgian government and leaders in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.6 Eduard Shevardnadze’s successor, Mikheil Saakashvili, promised extensive autonomy to both regions (a departure from the central government’s standard policy toward South Ossetia) and professed his intention to denationalize Georgian politics such that all ethnic minorities had a real opportunity to engage the political system. Leaders in both regions largely eschewed Saakashvili’s advances, citing ambiguity in the government’s rhetoric, which at times highlighted Georgian national interests at the expense of other ethnic groups (George 2008). The August 2008 war exacerbated conditions and cemented animosity even further.

Defying expectations: the relative peace of central Asia In Kazakhstan and the Ferghana Valley, ethnic tensions in the early 1990s caused unrest and, particularly for Ferghana, violence. In Kazakhstan, a Cossack separatist movement ended with the arrest of 22 individuals. In the Ferghana Valley, clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz over land rights led to the

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deaths of 120 Uzbeks and 50 Kyrgyz (Tishkov 1995). Relative to the experiences of the Caucasus, however, these ethnic tensions and clashes did not constitute strategic ethnic violence. Long-term separatist goals and extensive nationalist mobilization have been conspicuously absent. The absence of separatism does not mean that ethnic tensions do not continue to exist in these areas, nor does it intend to understate the concerns of ethnic minorities in the region. However, the question remains: given clear ethnic tension in the area, what accounts for the absence of prolonged ethnic separatism or systematic ethnic violence? Kazakhstan As the dissolution of the Soviet Union continued, Kazakhstan emerged early as a potential source of instability in Central Asia. Upon Kazakhstan’s independence, the Russian population made up 38 per cent of the country’s population. Currently, there are Russians living in every single oblast in Kazakhstan, although they are more densely populated in nine oblasts located in the northern part of the country. Writing in 1996, Martha Brill Olcott stressed that Russians made up over 50 per cent of these oblast populations, remarking that “the threat of secession is so obvious that it does not need to be stated” (Olcott 1996: 60). But a secessionist policy akin to those in the Caucasus never developed. Ethnic tension in northern Kazakhstan In 1999, Cossack leaders (ethnically Russian) agitated for secession, advocating the construction of a “Russian Altai” republic from the territory of Eastern Kazakhstan. As a response to this mobilization (which was not violent itself), the Kazakhstan authorities arrested the organizers (Zardykhan 2004). However, the secessionist movement never expanded into a larger effort, and non-Cossack Russians did not join the fray. Instead of remaking the political arena of Kazakhstan, the Russian-speaking population for the most part either has remained part of Kazakhstan’s political structure or has emigrated from the country. Indeed, Kazakhstan has witnessed a population exodus. According to reports in the late 1990s, over 2.2 million people emigrated from Kazakhstan since 1991, the majority of whom went to Russia. Analysts attribute the migration to economic as well as political factors. At the same time of this exodus, however, ethnic Kazakhs living abroad returned home in high numbers, with over half a million Kazakhs repatriated from 1991 to 2001. In 1989, the Russian population of Kazakhstan represented 38.5 per cent of the total population; by 2002, that proportion had declined to 30 per cent. Lack of administrative divisions One explanation for the lack of a Russian independence movement is that they have no autonomous administrative district to unify ethnic Russians and

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provide a mechanism for mobilization. Like the Armenians in NagornoKarabakh, the Russians in Kazakhstan have a homeland outside the territory in which they live. However, unlike the violent ethnic flashpoints of the Caucasus, the Russians of Kazakhstan have not had the entrenched bureaucratic infrastructure that could represent interests of the Russian ethnic minority. Instead, Russian groups with varying alliances (the Cossacks, for example) are dispersed across the territory with little political solidarity. Without an administrative territorial structure serving as a political and ethnic unifier and legitimizer of special political rights for the titular ethnic group, the Russian population in Kazakhstan is dispersed and fragmented. Unifying independence message Unlike in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, the message from the central government elite in Kazakhstan was not one that divided ethnic Kazakhs from the Russian population. This is not to say that the government did not tacitly promote (or permit) policies that enhanced the standing of ethnic Kazakhs. Rather, the Kazakhstani regime proclaimed an official policy to be one of building multiculturalism within the state. This, although certainly not consistently applied to the Russian population, was implemented such that no clear ethnic mobilization emerged at the central government level. This lack of an ethnic nationalist mobilization message (such as “Georgia for the Georgians,” heard from Gamsakhurdia) helped reduce any strategic ethnic separatism by minorities within Kazakhstan. The internationalist (or Eurasian) multicultural policy, which began even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, was particularly effective given the centrality of power in the Kazakhstan executive. Gennadi Kolbin, the General Secretary of Kazakhstan’s Communist Party and a Russian, aggressively suppressed Kazakh nationalism during the 1989 election of candidates for the Congress of Peoples Deputies. Kolbin’s successor, Nursultan Nazarbayev, worked aggressively to “span the gaps between the republic’s two major nationalities during a period of rising nationalism,” soon exerting “virtually complete control of political life in Kazakhstan” (Olcott 1997: 553–54). Nazarbayev established the policy of internationalism by linking any economic and political success of the country to the eradication of ethnic tensions. Kazakhstan’s vast landmass, containing significant oil and gas reserves as well as remnants of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, gave urgency to Nazarbayev’s stabilizing mission (Schatz 2000). As a result, Nazarbayev cast the Kazakhstani population (inclusive of all ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan) as Eurasian, linking them to the common purpose of creating a prosperous and stable Kazakhstani state. Analysts of the Kazakhstani transition caution that this policy, while overtly multicultural, did not necessarily negate a concomitant policy agenda of developing the Kazakh identity as that of the country’s titular ethnic group (Dave 2004). Rather, Nazarbayev actively pursued both in such a way that obscured any single mission of the state regarding ethnic mobilization (Schatz 2000).

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Upon its independence, Kazakhstan extended full citizenship to all people within its borders, including the ethnic minorities. This policy contrasted greatly with the first citizenship policies of other successor states, in particular Estonia and Latvia, which limited the citizenship power of their extensive Russian populations. Nazarbayev copied key multicultural policies of the Soviet regime, in particular establishing national-cultural centers endowed with the mission to enhance ethnic representation for all groups. The goal of the centers was to establish the “cultural heritage” of the community. The centers drew their budgets from the Kazakhstan central government and donations from kin countries. Critics of the soothing effects of the centers point to the meager government funding as a signal that the centers would lack the facilities to bring any meaningful ethnic representation for minority groups (Dave 2004: 92–93). Although the mission of these centers was more cultural than political, the government projected these centers as key elements of representation in Kazakhstan’s transition to democracy (Schatz 2000). The key to Nazarbayev’s simultaneous Eurasianization and Kazakhenhancement strategies, according to Edward Schatz, has been their ambiguity, particularly with regard to implementation. Nazarbayev, while constructing an authoritarian regime, framed ethnic multinationalism with a stated program of democratization, placing the national-centers at the center of this campaign. Schatz points out further that the Kazakhstan government used state media in both Russian and Kazakh language to its advantage, constructing dual messages depending on the linguistic audience. While a Kazakh-language broadcast might emphasize “the norm of linguistic, democratic, political, and cultural redress [against Soviet era Russian oppression],” the Russian language state message “underscored the norm of citizenship and civicness” (Schatz 2000: 86). The dual approach masked the impact of the ethnic favoritism policy toward Kazakhs at the expense of the Russian population. Because of the weakness of the transitioning institutional structure in Kazakhstan, overt acts of discrimination (which did commonly occur) could be excused as acts of local authorities not following the national level policies. Unlike the Transcaucasian countries, where titular ethnic mobilization was a legitimizing force for the central governments often at the expense of ethnic minority interests, Nazarbayev trod a blurred policy line that permitted certain benefits for the Kazakh population while simultaneously maintaining a policy of internationalism and ethnic inclusion. External actors: Russia Kazakhstan’s economic position, combined with Nazarbayev’s internationalist policies, helped smooth relations with Russia. Unlike Georgia, whose initial refusal to join the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) frustrated the Russian central government, Kazakhstan joined the organization on December 13 1991, signaling a willingness to cooperate with Russian interests. Kazakhstan has participated in agreements regarding ownership of the Caspian oil fields

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and remains a steady trading partner for Russia. Ian Bremmer notes that Kazakhstan has been and will continue to be a “strategically significant countr(y) viewed as inextricably tied to Russia’s orbit,” a consideration “reflected in Putin’s increasing willingness to use economic levers of power to keep a Russia-led bloc of countries together” (Bremmer 2003: 238). Complementing the economic cooperation with Russia was Nazarbayev’s relatively benign and inclusive nationality policy, which has mitigated the kind of intervention we have seen in Nagorno-Karabakh by the Armenians or by the Russians in Georgia. With regard to the imprisonment of the separatist Cossacks in Kazakhstan, Russian legislators and diplomats observed the court proceedings and requested shorter prison terms, although the Kazakhstan government did not comply (Zardykhan 2004: 2). However, the Russian response has not been the kind of aggressive posturing that we see regarding its interests in Georgia. But economic ties with Kazakhstan have considerably more wealth potential than they do with Georgia. Thus, although tensions do exist between the Russians and Kazakhs of Kazakhstan, they have not done so sufficiently to overwhelm Russia’s desire to maintain a stable and economically beneficial relationship with Kazakhstan. Ferghana Valley Scholars of Central Asia continue to anticipate serious ethnic violence within the Ferghana Valley. The sizable ethnic Uzbek and Kyrgyz populations in the region present the most significant source of ethnic tension; more than a decade after the Soviet dissolution, one of the Kyrgyz government’s most pressing security concerns is the anticipation of an Uzbek secessionist movement (Albion 2001). A pernicious legacy of Soviet colonialism, the geographic political configuration of the Ferghana Valley ensures intense multicultural and multiethnic contact. Before the Bolsheviks drew administrative borders in Central Asia, the Ferghana Valley was a unified space (Tabyshaliyeva 1999). Now, the Ferghana Valley includes portions of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and contains a mosaic of ethnic differentiation (see Table 3.4). The predominant ethnic tensions in the Ferghana Valley have occurred between Uzbek and Kyrgyz populations, which are mixed in the area, with some Uzbek villages lying in Kyrgyzstan, and Kyrgyz villages in Uzbekistan. Ethnic crises in the Ferghana Valley in the early 1990s legitimated early scholarly concerns regarding the ethnic instability of Central Asia. In June 1990, ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks both participated in ethnic cleansing campaigns in Osh and Uzgen (both in Kyrgyzstan). Ostensibly a response to the reallocation of economic and land resources between Kyrgyz and Uzbek villages during a period of economic instability, members of each ethnic group acted to punish rumored crimes in other villages, as well as to deter future attacks. Kygyz villagers moved into Osh in order to expel Uzbeks from the city. A total of 171 people died during violent confrontations during one week (June 4–10 1990), thousands others fell victim to rape and assault (Tishkov 1995).7

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Table 3.4 Ethnic composition (%) of the Ferghana Valley Territory

Uzbeks

Tajiks

Kyrgyz

Russians

Uzbekistan Ferghana Valley Andijan Ferghana Namangan

75.8 84.2 85.0 83.6 85.1

4.8 5.0 1.4 5.5 8.8

0.9 4.2 4.2 2.1 1.1

6.0 3.0 3.9 4.9 1.9

Kyrgyzstan Ferghana Valley Osh Jalalabad Osh City

14.2 26.7 28.0 24.5 40.9

0.8 1.6 2.1 0.6 0.4

60.3 73.5 63.8 67.3 29.1

15.7 2.7 2.4 3.3 –

Source: Lubin (1999: 35).

A critical factor in these massacres was their lack of a concrete political mission. Valery Tishkov, the former Minister of Nationalities under Boris Yeltsin, points out that in the Osh riots, “the purpose of violent action in ethnic clashes is not immediately related to the realization of long-term goals and strategies” (Tishkov 1995: 139). Although local leaders led the Osh– Uzgen massacres, their primary intent was to cleanse the territories of the out-group to enhance land use potential for their preferred group. The Osh– Uzgen crisis escalated into vengeance killings for rumored events in neighboring towns. In his analysis of the subsequent court proceedings, Tishkov observed that most participants (on both sides) claimed to regret their behavior, attributing it to a combination of lack of critical thinking regarding unsubstantiated rumors, alcohol, youth, and a mob mentality (Tishkov 1995). Although similar circumstances were certainly present in the crises of the Caucasus, the lack of a strategic political objective among the participants deprived the Osh–Uzgen crisis of a lasting message that could prolong the fighting. The trials provided an outlet for justice. Even with a judicial resolution to the Osh–Uzgen crisis, current observers of the Ferghana Valley still anticipate ethnic violence (Slim 2002; O’Hara 2000). Such long-standing predictions of conflict assert various causal elements. The first, similar to the primordial reasoning in the Kazakhstan case, emphasizes the ethnic diversity of the territory and the fact that Soviet-drawn borders did not coincide with the region’s ethnic geography. Changing demographic trends add to these insecurities as Kyrgyz and Uzbeks have emigrated to Russia for better economic opportunities, while the Ferghana Valley houses a substantial proportion of ethnic Tajiks immigration (Kyrgyzstan is a destination for 3 per cent of Tajikstan’s emigrants) (Mansoor and Quillin 2007). From the primordialist perspective, these changes in the demographic make up of an already tense area might conceivably enhance the insecurity of minority groups. The focus on demography, however, limits deeper analysis of the mechanisms that cause separatist conflict (Reeves 2005). But observers also

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point to instrumental factors that might enhance tensions and conflicts in the area. For one, the population of the Ferghana Valley is dense and faces scarcity due to overpopulation and paucity of water and land resources. These factors, according to Kyrgyz civil society scholar Anara TabyshAliyeva, have contributed to increased tensions among ethnic groups in the regions, particularly in ethnic minority dominated villages (Tabyshaliyeva 1999). Second, there is no legal agreement over the precise territorial boundary between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Both countries dispute current boundaries, leaving groups of people being claimed by both. This criss-cross of ethnic diversity and territorial disputes increases and solidifies ethnic tensions. The territorial confusion enhances ethnic mobilization by exacerbating political and economic insecurities as members of groups are thwarted in their efforts to visit families or trade goods across the border (McGlinchey 2000). International policies of both countries have aggravated tensions. In recent years, both countries have strengthened their border security and instituted visa regimes. Uzbekistan’s decision to place landmines in the disputed territory furthered the land dispute, causing local casualities and livestock damage (International Crisis Group 2002). Uzbekistan defended its actions as part of its struggle against Islamic guerrilla fighters, but nonetheless the landmines and later air strikes against suspected guerrilla enclaves in southern Kyrgyzstan have intensified its already strained relationship with its neighbor. The increasing salience of political Islam, particularly as a mechanism for opposition against central governments of both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, complicates ethnic matters in the Ferghana Valley. One factor pressing this is the growth of the Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir, whose focus has been to mobilize ethnic Uzbeks into political action (Albion 2001). But as will be discussed below, the Islamic factor, while critical to politics in both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, has brought less central government nationalization and also increased incentives for both countries to normalize their relationship. Despite the chorus of quite logical pessimism regarding ethnic interactions in the Ferghana Valley, there has been none of the strategic separatist ethnic violence that has persisted in the Caucasus. The reason for this, I argue, is that the Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in the Ferghana Valley lack the mobilizing infrastructure of autonomous regions. Moreover, the Kyrgyz and Uzbek governments have generally followed state building policies eschewing unambiguous majority group nationalization. Finally, bilateral negotiations between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in recent years have helped lighten the border tensions, while Russia has pursued policies seeking to quell nationalist and religious divisions within both countries. Absence of autonomous regions The Ferghana Valley tensions do not involve separatist regions that considered their administrative territory a homeland endowed with legitimacy for self-determination. Consequently, Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz in

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Uzbekistan had no administrative territory that endowed them with a rationale for separatism. Indeed, Kyrgyzstan’s Uzbeks, by some accounts, have little interest in joining Uzbekistan and “generally have negative attitudes to the Uzbek political and economic system” (International Crisis Group 2002). Identity separation between Uzbek and Kyrgyz groups has been blurred in the last decade. Both identities encompass complex amalgamations of regional, clan, tribal and religious affiliations, in addition to the more general ethnic designations. These intricacies defuse stark differentiations between the groups and help lessen tensions. Public opinion studies conducted in Kyrgyzstan indicate some feelings of positive ethnic relations between Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations. Regina Faranda and David B. Noelle, who conducted the study, report that 82 per cent of Kyrgyz assess ethnic relations to be good or very good, 84 per cent of Uzbeks reporting the same. Although the authors note that the Uzbeks are still the key “out-group” within Kyrgyzstan, they indicate that other identity markers decrease the distance between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, for example among those who were devout Muslims (Faranda and Nolle 2003: 179, 188). Of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, only Uzbekistan has an autonomous region, the Karakalpak Autonomous Republic, whose titular ethnic group stems from a Turkic-speaking nomadic people strongly related to the Kazakhs. Although the top regional elites are closely allied to Uzbekistan’s executive Islam Karimov, a small separatist Karakalpak movement emerged in the early 1990s (Fane 1996: 280). Area experts attribute the lack of strategic ethnic violence to date to the authoritarian unifying state-building policies of the Karimov regime. In practice, the region lacks any practical autonomy; its leaders are selected by Karimov and thus remain loyal to the central government (Gleason 1997). Even so, some scholars have not dismissed the possibility of Karakalpak separatism in the future (Hanks 2000: 942, 951). State-unifying message Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have followed quite divergent paths in terms of post-Soviet state-building, although both have sought to create a state unified and stable in the face of ethnic diversity. Kyrgyzstan’s path was more liberal than Uzbekistan’s, and in terms of central government ethnic policies, was similar to Kazakhstan’s. Uzbekistan under Karimov emerged as the most authoritarian polity of the three. Notably, neither Kyrgyzstan nor Uzbekistan framed their state-building process as an effort primarily to further the prospects of a titular ethnic group. Particularly in Uzbekistan, the lack of democratic reforms decreased elite entrepreneurial incentives to use nationalist messages to attract constituencies. In response to the Osh–Uzgen crisis in the Ferghana valley, central government leaders in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan spoke out against the violence, rejecting both the retaliatory rhetoric that spurred the killing and the ethnic charges that fostered it. Rather than using the ethnic tensions to exploit differences and achieve political gain,

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the states’ political leadership used the courts to resolve the disputes and bring criminal charges. In Kyrgyzstan, President Askar Akayev established immediate citizenship for all living in the state upon its independence, regardless of ethnic identification. One controversial policy, harmful in particular to the Russian population of Kyrgyzstan, was the language law passed in September 1989 requiring Kyrgyz as the working language for the Russian-dominated management and professional sectors. The law was postponed in May 1994 to stop the emigration of Russians from the country (Huskey 1997: 632–33). In 2001, the government amended its constitution to include Russian as the second official language of Kyrgyzstan (Faranda and Nolle 2003: 178). Uzbekistan’s state-building policies have concentrated on stifling the perceived dangers of cultural identification, whether ethnically or religiously construed. Uzbekistan’s president Karimov presented his policies of authoritarianism within the context of addressing both domestic and external influences that might otherwise jeopardize Uzbekistan’s political stability and economic prosperity (Gleason 1997: 587). As such, Uzbekistan has not developed media and speech freedoms that often catalyze the growth of civil society; nor have democratization programs been implemented that could spark ethnic nationalism among political entrepreneurs seeking power at high levels. Karimov’s most explicit cultural policy has been a response not to internal political competition by ethnic movements, but rather to forces he perceives as encroaching from outside Uzbekistan’s borders, namely radical Islam. The growth of Islam in Uzbekistan began early in the 1990s. Politically motivated Islamic groups emerged as potential competitors to Karimov’s power. For example, in 1992, some Islamic groups began mobilizing to construct an Islamic state for Uzbekistan, which marked the beginning of Karimov’s repression of Islamic organizations. To combat what he perceives as dangerous Islamic radicalization within Uzbekistan, Karimov’s policy has been to construct himself as the model of Islam, casting himself as a modern-day Timur and the spokesman of the true Islam (Naumkin 2006: 129–30). This rejection of any Islamic message not state approved, combined with authoritarian policies, led to the controversial events in Andijan in 2005, where government troops killed at least 169 civilians protesting the incarceration of 23 businessmen, held for allegedly practicing radical Islam and membership in the Islamist Akramiya group. (Human rights organizations and Uzbek political opposition groups estimate the number to be between 750 and 1,000 civilians killed.) Unlike Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan’s state-building policy has been overtly authoritarian and hostile to identity politics. However, rather than exacerbating ethnic differentiation (in particular with regard to the anticipated ethnic flashpoints between Kyrgyz and Uzbek in the Ferghana Valley), the regime has quelled it. However, as the events in Andijan have shown, the problem of Islamic radicalism, real or perceived, remains a critical factor for Uzbekistan’s state-building process.

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Outside actors In the Caucasus, external actors exacerbated ethnic separatism, catalyzing violent means. In Kyrgyzstan, where experts (and Kyrgyz state officials) anticipated an Uzbek separatist movement, none has developed. Nor has Uzbekistan sought to use its homeland status to incite rebellion. In fact, policy analysts have observed that although some local Uzbeks do protest the arbitrary nature of the Soviet drawn borders it would be inaccurate to “accuse Uzbekistan of irredentist sentiment,” noting that “if anything, Uzbekistan has viewed its compatriots in Kyrgyzstan with some suspicion” (International Crisis Group 2002). Likewise, the Russian influence has been one of stabilization. Russia’s interest in the Ferghana Valley was primarily dominated by concerns regarding the civil war in Tajikistan from 1992 to 1997. Russian foreign policymakers worried that the war in Tajikistan was due to the growth of Islamic forces in the area, as well as the growing influence of the Taliban from Afghanistan. Political officials in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan thought similarly, and took measures to decrease the role of Islamic fundamentalism in the area. To do so, they invited a Russian military presence to the region, and participated in the CIS Peacekeeping Force that was deployed in Tajikistan (Hunter et al. 2004). The fear of Islamic fundamentalism enhanced Russia’s role as a stabilizing force for the central government leaders of both countries. In the case of Uzbekistan, external actors played a key role in how the presidential administration understood its options for creating an ethnicity or religion policy. Karimov responded not merely to Russia’s interests, but also to events unfolding in Tajikistan, in the midst of a civil war, and in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime had defeated the mujahedeen fighters to establish control. Karimov viewed the growing Islamic movements in the region as possible future competition for leadership, and so pursued policies reducing the impact of identity politics. Conclusions on the Ferghana Valley At this writing, the protracted ethnic violence anticipated by scholars of the Ferghana Valley regions has not emerged. I argue that such violence is unlikely, given the lack of autonomous regions to provide infrastructure for mobilization, the avoidance of clear-cut nationalizing policies by central state leaders, and the current interests of external state actors to maintain territorial and governmental stability in the region. Even so, the ethnic tensions identified by Central Asian experts concerning demographic trends, resource scarcity and boundary disputes are real and paramount within the Ferghana Valley political environment. As such, we might still observe ethnic violence in the region of the type of the Osh riots in 1990: small-scale clashes that lack the larger political motivations we see among separatist groups in the Caucasus but that nonetheless exact a brutal toll on the livelihoods of those in close proximity.

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Another arena to watch is the nationalizing policies of the central states. Kyrgyzstan, which in the 1990s followed a deliberate policy of secular internationalization, has in recent years pursued policies trending toward Kyrgyz nationalization. A language law passed under Akayev in February 2004 requiring Kyrgyz proficiency for those in the highest government offices (rather than Russian, as had been permitted previously) (Albion 2004). Even with increased nationalization of this sort, however, the Uzbek population seems unlikely to resort to violent separatism, given the dearth of support by the Uzbek government. Decreasing political liberalism in Kyrgyzstan, which has characterized the state since the Tulip Revolution led to the resignation of Akayev in 2005, may also limit the ability of ethnic or religious entrepreneurs to use separatism as a mobilization tool for a disgruntled Uzbek constituency (although such appeals might also be made outside of democratic frames).

Conclusions Central Asia and the Caucasus inherited the legacy of Russian and Soviet imperialism and contain a mosaic of ethnic groups that are dispersed across territories and boundaries that have been drawn and redrawn for decades, if not centuries. The demise of the Soviet Union and the accompanying politics of nationalism and separatism provided unique opportunities and incentives for political actors to penetrate the once closed political environment. Even so, ethnic politics and conflicts manifested themselves differently in both regions. The Caucasian states of Georgia and Azerbaijan, cast early on as emerging democratizers, have experienced prolonged and still unresolved ethnic conflicts with separatist regions. In Central Asia, the lack of democratic reforms helped depress secessionist tendencies, while the central government elites often cast their policies in terms of allaying, not heightening, ethnic differentiation. External states aggravated the impact of the nationalizing policies of the Caucasian states. The autonomous status of the regions themselves helped national actors mobilize their message; national actors in Central Asia lacked similar infrastructural and external support. For the cases in Central Asia, the Russian population in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz–Uzbek tensions of the Ferghana Valley, groups lacked the unifying structures of autonomous republics. Moreover, the most powerful external actor, Russia, found that its interest lay in increasing, rather than decreasing, the stability of the central government regimes in Central Asia. One compelling insight into the ethnic politics of Central Asia and the Caucasus involves the process of political liberalization in the region. In both cases, political leaders proffered overt and fairly radical strategies by which to contend with ethnic diversity. In the Caucasus, political leaders used nationalist messages to protest Soviet repression, in essence linking the growth of societal outcry against the Soviet system with the cultural and political rights of their ethnic group. This “populist” message, combined with institutions

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that provided no obstacles to the titular nationalist policy and a Russian government eager to destabilize former and current rivals, led to a violent outcome. In Central Asia, where little nationalist civil society grew, the repressive Soviet machine had a softer evolution into highly centralized regimes where political elites used their authority to mandate cooperation among ethnic groups and implement an internationalist message (or outlaw a nationalist one). Without civil society reform, this was possible. Thus, the less liberal political policies led to more peaceable outcomes. One must note, however, that events such as the massacre in Andijan might be rationalized by the stability argument. It is instructive to see the actions governments deem necessary to maintain ethnic and religious stability, as well as to recognize the possibility that the noble goal of avoiding ethnic violence might lead to tragic strategies for doing so (Rubin 2006; Fumagalli 2007).

Notes 1 Glasnost’ and demokratizatsiya were both part of the perestroika reform that started in 1986. Perestroika, or “restructuring”, was an economic policy designed to stimulate the flagging Soviet economy by energizing managers and creating new incentives for production (in part through market-based initiatives). Glasnost’ (“openness”) lessened government censorship and permitted some criticism of both the economic and political system. With demokratizatsiya (“democratization”), Gorbachev permitted the first truly competitive elections in the Soviet Union, albeit in a limited number. 2 The effective number of ethnic groups, a weighted measure of ethnic differentiation, is derived from the formula commonly used to measure the effective number of political parties in a system, calculated by adding the squared proportions of each ethnic minority population and dividing by one (Moser 2001). 3 One additional case arguably to include is the civil war in Tajikistan. It is excluded as a case here not only because of space considerations, but also because the conflict was not indisputably ethnic. For a discussion on the regional (rather than ethnic) sources of the Tajikistan civil war, see Rubin (2006) and Fumagalli (2007). My analysis also does not consider autonomous territories that did not provoke expectations of ethnic tensions: the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in Azerbaijan (whose population in 1989 was 96 per cent Azeri), the Karakalpak Autonomous Republic in Uzbekistan (although the text does touch on events there), and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast in Tajikistan (for the same reasons that I exclude Tajikistan altogether). 4 Notably, this willingness applied to South Ossetia under Lyudwig Chibirov. His successor, Eduard Kokoity, has vociferously rejected this position since he became president in 2000. 5 Russia and Nicaragua recognized both Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence in 2008. However, the United Nations still considers Georgia’s borders to conform to those established by the Soviet Union. For insight into the processes of governance in these de facto states, see Lynch (2004). 6 The Rose Revolution, a peaceful overthrow of President Eduard Shevardnadze in November 2003, occurred after falsified election returns led to extensive popular mobilization against the embattled leader. Mikhail Saakashvili, Shevardnadze’s former Justice Minister who carried the namesake rose to the parliament building,

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succeeded Shevardnadze, promising extensive democratization and anti-corruption reforms. 7 There are different casualty numbers reported for the Osh riots. Eugene Huskey (1995) reports a slightly higher number than does Tishkov here, noting 230 deaths.

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Hanks, R.R. (2000) “A Separate Space?: Karakalpak Nationalism and Devolution in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan,” Europe-Asia Studies, 52: 939–53. Hunter, S., Thomas, J.L. and Melikishvili, A. (2004) Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and Security, Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe. Huskey, E. (1997) “Kyrgyzstan: The Politics of Demographic and Economic Frustration” in I. Bremmer and R. Taras (eds) New States, New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ——(1995) “The Rise of Contested Politics in Central Asia: Elections in Kyrgyzstan, 1989–90,” Europe-Asia Studies, 47: 813–33. Huttenbach, H.R. (1995) “Post-Soviet Crisis and Disorder in Trauscaucasia: The Search for Regional Security and Stability,” in V. Tismaneanu (ed.) Political Culture and Civil Society in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe. International Crisis Group. (2002) “Central Asia: Border Disputes and Conflict Potential,” ICG Asia Report, No. 33, 4 April 2002. Khoshtaria, G. (2002) Minister of Foreign Affairs under Zviad Gamsakhurdia, interview with the author, Tbilisi, November 2002. King, C. (2001) “The Benefits of Ethnic War: Understanding Eurasia’s Unrecognized States,” World Politics, 53: 524–52. King, C. and Melvin, N.J. (2000) “Diaspora Politics: Ethnic Linkages, Foreign Policy, and Security in Eurasia,” International Security, 24: 108–38. Lakoba, S. (2002) Historian and former First Deputy Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of Abkhazia, interview with the author, Sukhum(i), September 2002. Libaridian, G.J. (1999) The Challenge of Statehood: Armenian Political Thinking since Independence, Watertown, MA: Blue Crane Books. Linz, J.J. and Stepan, A.C. (1996) Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lubin, N. (1999) Calming the Ferghana Valley: Development and Dialogue in the Heart of Central Asia, New York: The Century Foundation Press. Lynch, D. (2004) Engaging Eurasia’s Separatist States: Unresolved Conflicts and de facto States, Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Mansoor, A. and Quillin, B. (eds) (2007) Migration and Remittances: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, Washington, DC: The World Bank. McGlinchey, E. (2000) “Powerless in Kyrgyzstan,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, 13 July 2000. Moser, R. (2001) “Ethnic Diversity, Electoral Systems, and the Number of Parties in Post-Communist States,” paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. Naumkin, V. (2006) “Uzbekistan’s State-Building Fatigue,” The Washington Quarterly, 29: 127–40. Olcott, M.B. (1996) Central Asia’s New States: Independence, Foreign Policy, and Regional Security, Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. ——(1997) “Kazakhstan: Pushing for Eurasia,” in I. Bremmer and R. Taras (eds) New States, New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations, New York: Cambridge University Press. O’Hara, S.L. (2000) “Lessons from the Past: Water Management in Central Asia,” Water Policy, 2: 365–84. Pliev, A. (2002) Deputy Foreign Minister, South Ossetia, interview with the author, Tskhinval(i).

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Ragin, C. (1987) The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies, Berkeley: University of California Press. Reeves, M. (2005) “Locating Danger: Konfliktologiia and the Search for Fixity in the Ferghana Valley Borderlands,” Central Asian Survey, 24: 67–81. Roeder, P.G. (1991) “Soviet Federalism and Ethnic Mobilization,” World Politics, 43: 196–232. Rubin, B.R. (2006) “Central Asia and Central Africa: Transnational Wars and Ethnic Conflicts,” Journal of Human Development, 7: 5–22. Rumer, B. (2002) “The Search for Stability in Central Asia,” in B. Rumer (ed.) Central Asia: A Gathering Storm? Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe. Saidbaev, T. (1992) “Inter-Ethnic Conflicts in Central Asia,” in K. Rupesinghe, P. King and O. Vorkunova (eds) Ethnicity and Conflict in a Post-Communist World. The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China, London: The Macmillan Press. Sarkees, M.R. (2000) “The Correlates of War Data on War: An Update to 1997,” Conflict Management and Peace Science, 18: 123–44. Schatz, E.A.D. (2000) “Framing Strategies and Non-Conflict in Multi-Ethnic Kazakhstan,” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 6: 71–94. Slim, R. (2002) “The Ferghana Valley: In the Midst of a Host of Crises,” in M. Mekenkamp, P.V. Tongeren and H.V.D. Veen (eds) Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building Activities, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Snyder, J.L. (2000) From Voting to Violence: Democratization and Nationalist Conflict, New York: Norton. Suny, R.G. (1994) The Making of the Georgian Nation, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Tabyshaliyeva, A. (1999) “The Challenge of Regional Cooperation in Central Asia: Preventing Ethnic Conflict in the Ferghana Valley,” Peaceworks, 28, Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Tishkov, V. (1995) “‘Don’t Kill Me, I’m a Kyrgyz!’: An Anthropological Analysis of Violence in the Osh Ethnic Conflict,” Journal of Peace Research, 32: 133–49. Treisman, D. (1997) “Russia’s ‘Ethnic Revival’: The Separatist Activism of Regional Leaders in a Postcommunist Order,” World Politics, 49: 212–49. Toft, M.D. (2003) The Geography of Ethnic Violence: Identity, Interests, and the Indivisibility of Territory, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. van der Schriek, D. (2004) “Fertilizing Tensions,” Transitions Online, 7 June 2004. Zardykhan, Z. (2004) “Russians in Kazakhstan and Demographic Change: Imperial Legacy and the Kazakh Way of Nation Building,” Asian Ethnicity, 5: 61–79. Zugaev, K. (2002), South Ossetian Minister of Information and Press, 1998–2002, former Member of Parliament, interview with the author, Tskhinval(i), South Ossetia.

4

State power and autocratic stability Armenia and Georgia compared Lucan Way1

This chapter compares regime development in two most similar cases. Armenia and Georgia are both small states in the same region, with similar levels of economic development that witnessed the rise of powerful ethnic nationalist movements in the late 1980s. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, both cases were plagued by violent ethnic conflicts and independent paramilitaries that threatened to undermine all central state control. Finally, both countries were hybrid or competitive authoritarian regimes throughout the 1990s and 2000s.2 At the same time, the two countries have differed considerably in terms of regime stability since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Armenia, governments faced down several enormous opposition protests to hang onto control. Throughout the post-Soviet period, incumbent governments or their chosen successors managed to stay in power. By contrast, Georgian governments have suffered greater instability (including several years of total state breakdown) in the face of relatively modest challenges. Since 1991, oppositionist forces have forced two incumbents from power. I argue that these divergent outcomes are the result of different interactions between ethnic nationalism and state building. In Armenia, the conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh generated a unified ethnic nationalist response that contributed to successful state-building efforts and sufficient coercive state capacity necessary to thwart even a highly mobilized opposition. By contrast, Georgian leaders lacked such a salient unifying issue. As a result, Georgian politics remained extremely fragmented, which in the context of emerging ethnic conflict resulted in total state collapse. Georgia’s weak state in turn was unable to cope with even modest opposition challenges in 1991–92 and 2003.

Organizational power and autocracy: lessons from the Caucasus Most discussions of autocratic breakdown in the post-Communist world have focused on the importance of opposition protest (Bunce and Wolchik 2006; Beissinger 2007; Thompson and Kuntz 2004; Howard and Roessler 2006; Tucker 2007). Yet, a rough comparison of post-Cold War Armenia and Georgia suggests the limits of this approach. As we see in Figure 4.1, below,

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Figure 4.1 Opposition protests in Armenia and Georgia, 1992–2005. Sources: For Armenia: Goldenberg (1994: 149); Mitiaev (1998: 86, 91, 101); Masikh and Krikorian (1999: vi); Danielian (1996–97:128); Magdashian (2001); EurasiaNet (2002); Petrosian (2003), Fuller (2003b,c,d), Hakobyan (2004); and Karapetian (2004). For Georgia: Wheatley (2005: 155, 184); Civil. Ge Daily News Online, Politics (2005). Notes: This figure is drawn from a list of major opposition demonstrations solicited from at least two country experts in each case. The figures represent the highest estimates of demonstration size the author could find in a non-partisan news source for each demonstration.

Armenia has witnessed far more frequent and sizable opposition mobilization than has Georgia (despite the former’s smaller population). Yet, Georgia has suffered notably greater regime instability. While Armenian governments have been able to hold onto power in the face of often massive opposition protest, two Georgian governments have collapsed since 1991 when confronted with relatively weak opponents. In order to understand the sources of stability and instability in the two cases, we need to examine two essential tools that are often key to maintaining incumbent power: states and ruling parties. Strong states and ruling parties have translated into greater autocratic stability (Way 2002, 2005a; Slater 2003; Levitsky and Way 2007; Geddes 1999; Brownlee 2007; Slater 2008). While Armenian and Georgian regimes have both possessed relatively weak ruling parties, the two cases have differed dramatically in terms of state strength. A stronger state in Armenia has led to greater regime stability. First, as Barbara Geddes and Jason Brownlee argue, strong ruling parties are often essential to autocratic stability. Strong ruling parties “encourage continued cooperation over defection” (Brownlee 2007: 57), by institutionalizing the distribution of patronage to supporters and providing credible commitments that rewards will be distributed to those who invest time and resources in the party’s future.

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Sources of party cohesion vary (Levitsky and Way 2007). The most common—but also the weakest—source of cohesion is patronage. Parties based exclusively on short-term patronage ties are vulnerable to elite defection during periods of economic crisis. When economic downturns threaten incumbents’ capacity to distribute patronage, or when incumbents appear politically weak and vulnerable to defeat, patronage-based parties often suffer massive defections. Patronage is a particularly weak source of cohesion when parties are new and lack a long track record of electoral success. Thus while parties with proven success—such as the PRI in Mexico or UNMO in Malaysia—have been able to maintain cohesion even in the face of crisis, newer parties such as Putin’s “United Russia” confront much greater challenges. In addition, while almost all parties use some form of patronage to maintain cohesion, they also may draw on other sources of cohesion to bolster patronage—including a robust ideology, or ethnic ties in the context of ethnic polarization/civil war.3 Parties relying on these other forms of cohesion are more likely to retain cohesion in the face of crisis. Both Armenia and Georgia have suffered from relatively weak ruling parties that threatened regime instability in the 1990s and 2000s. Thus, while the ruling Armenian National Movement (ANM), founded in 1990, had wide elite and popular support, it suffered from weak cohesion as a new party. The party consisted of a broad nationalist coalition that included nonconformist intelligentsia from the Communist era, younger activists, and figures from the Communist establishment (Aves 1996: 4). The result was relatively weak cohesion (Sarafyan 1994: 30). Throughout the early 1990s, major leaders of ANM broke off to form their own parties (Libaridian 1999: 10, 23–24; Masih and Krikorian 1999: 45–46). In 1998, the party completely disintegrated after Prime Minister Robert Kocharian took power from President Levon Ter-Petrosian in an internal coup caused in part by disagreements over policies toward Nagorno-Karabakh. Under Kocharian, the former head of the Karabakh region who replaced Ter-Petrosian as President in 1998, the ruling party became even weaker. Kocharian has based his rule on a coalition of multiple parties rather than one party. At the same time, at least one of these parties—the Dashnaks—has an extensive party organization throughout the country (Mitiaev 1998: 108; Sarafyan 1994: 31). Governing parties have been similarly weak in Georgia. Under the first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia (1990–91), the Georgian regime had a very weak ruling party. The “Round Table” created haphazardly by Gamsakhurdia in the run-up to the first legislative elections in 1990 lacked virtually any organizational structure. Although it won an overwhelming share of seats (155 of 250) to the Georgian Supreme Soviet, it was formed primarily on the basis of self-appointed Gamsakhurdia supporters lacking particular ties to the leader (Aves 1992: 165–66; Slider 1997: 177). Ruling-party capacity notably improved under Eduard Shevardnadze (1992–2003). In stark contrast to his counterparts in other post-Soviet countries, Shevardnadze resisted early misgivings and decided to build a single, relatively coherent ruling party—the

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Citizen’s Union of Georgia (CUG)—that more or less controlled parliament from 1995 until 2001–2. Having been the Georgian Communist Party First Secretary 1972–85, Shevardnadze was able to create an organization from a series of economic and political nomenklatura ties as well as members of the intelligentsia who saw Shevardnadze as key to ending the Georgian civil war (Wheatley 2005: Chapter 4). The party made a significant effort to encompass the elite at all levels in the country. Thus, mayors of towns and even heads of schools felt it was necessary to join the CUG (Wheatley 2005: 131). At the same time, party cohesion was not extremely strong. The party was never more than a relatively loose coalition of highly diverse interests and “uneasy bedfellows” (Wheatley 2005; Jones 1999). In addition, the CUG lacked any serious ideology or source of cohesion outside of patronage distribution (Wheatley 2005: Chapter 5). In 2001–3, the CUG fragmented into several competing ruling parties. Finally in 2001, Saakashvili created a relatively centralized party—United National Movement—that dominated the legislature after elections in 2004. While governing party cohesion has been about the same in Armenia and Georgia, the two cases have differed dramatically in terms of state power— another important source of regime stability. Recent scholarship has focused overwhelmingly on the critical role that state power plays in the creation of a stable democracy. As Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan (1996), Guillermo O’Donnell (1993, 1999) and Stephen Holmes (1997) among others4 have argued, effective state power is necessary to support democratic institutions. Thus Stephen Holmes (1997) has noted that “the largest and most reliable human rights organization is the liberal state. Beyond the effective reach of such a state, rights will not be consistently protected or enforced.” In the absence of a functioning central state, it is virtually impossible to protect civil liberties, hold free and fair elections, or secure minority rights that are core to any procedural democracy.5 Indeed, Georgia, which suffered from civil war in 1991–94, provides a classic example of how weak states make democracy impossible. Certainly, elections can hardly be free and fair when competing paramilitaries and armed criminal gangs dominate the country—undermining normal street commerce or travel between cities. Yet, if Georgia provides a stark example of the dangers of state weakness, Armenia shows us that the successful construction of a centralized state in no way ensures democracy. In fact, as I have shown elsewhere (Way 2002, 2005a, 2006), state building is as crucial for authoritarian consolidation as it is for democratization (see also Slater 2008). The creation of a functioning centralized state hierarchy in Armenia was a key prerequisite for relatively stable autocratic rule. The war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh provided both the impetus for the creation of relatively robust centralized rule and gave leaders essential coercive and organizational tools to steal elections, and suppress even massive opposition protest. By contrast, state collapse in Georgia undermined democracy but also made the regime more competitive and vulnerable to outside challenges.

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Below, I compare the evolution of organizational power and democracy in Armenia and Georgia—focusing on the character of state building in the two cases. I show how the two cases are similar in a number of important ways. However, divergent patterns of ethnic conflict in the two countries led to state collapse in Georgia and the creation of relatively centralized state institutions in Armenia. The different degrees of state capacity had a direct impact on autocratic stability. In Armenia, leaders were able to withstand several serious outside challenges. By contrast, Georgian incumbents fell twice to relatively modest oppositionist forces in 1991–92 and 2003.

Ethnic conflict and state building in Armenia and Georgia Armenia and Georgia represent most similar cases along virtually any dimension imaginable. They are both small countries in the same region that adopted Christianity in the first thousand years AD. Both have poor, aid dependent,6 and underdeveloped economies—with per capita gross domestic products (GDPs) of about 10 per cent that of the USA in the early 2000s (World Development Indicators). Both countries experienced roughly similar patterns of extreme economic collapse in the early 1990s but consistently positive growth beginning in 1995 (although Armenia’s growth appears to have been a bit more robust according to official figures).7 Their recent political histories are also quite similar. In the late 1980s, Gorbachev’s political liberalization fed the rise of powerful ethnic nationalist movements led by the cultural intelligentsia. In Georgia in 1987–90, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a literary scholar and dissident who had spent years in prison for nationalist and human rights activity, helped to lead mass protests in favor of Georgian independence. In the republican elections of October 1990, Gamsakhurdia’s “Roundtable—Free Georgia” won 64 per cent of seats in the legislature. In May 1991, Gamsakhurdia was elected President with 87 per cent of the vote. Similarly in Armenia in 1987–90, Levon Ter-Petrosian, a historian, led a mass movement to support Armenian ethnic rights in the neighboring Nagorno-Karabakh region that was densely populated by Armenians but under the political control of Azerbaijan. In 1987–88, the Committee helped organize a series of strikes and mass demonstrations—reaching close to a million in February 1998 (Malkasian 1996: 37–47). In the first Armenian legislative elections in May 1990, the Committee—now calling itself the ANM—overwhelmingly defeated the Communist Party (winning of 110 of 245 seats) and installed Ter-Petrosian as head of parliament. In 1991, Ter-Petrosian was overwhelmingly elected President with 83 per cent of the vote. Armenia and Georgia also both witnessed the outbreak of ethnic violence and the growth of paramilitaries that threatened state collapse in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In Georgia, Georgian nationalist paramilitaries emerged in 1988–90 to battle secessionist efforts by leaders of the autonomous regions of South Ossetia and then Abkhazia. In Armenia, independent paramilitaries under weak central control were created in 1988–90 to battle Azerbaijan

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for control over Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus both cases were threatened by state collapse. Despite such important similarities, regime stability has differed significantly in the two cases. In Armenia, the government and its chosen successors were able to centralize de facto control over the country and survive in power through mid-2009. While 1989–90 witnessed a collapse in central state control and growth in semi-independent paramilitaries (De Waal 2003: 111), Ter-Petrosian effectively subdued independent military formations in the country (Masih and Krikorian 1999: 20–22; Mitiaev 1998: 77–78; Goldenberg 1994: 144). One of the largest paramilitaries, the Armenian Army of Independence, agreed to lay down its arms to declare loyalty to the Ministry of Interior (De Waal 2003: 111). The war that had until then been spontaneously organized by volunteers became more systematically controlled by a centralized state apparatus (Aves 1996). Subsequently the leadership was able to build a powerful coercive apparatus. The government generously funded the military (De Waal 2003: 257, 122) and was able to draw on a strong sense of national identity to impose a highly effective draft (Aves 1995: 223; Aves 1996). The Armenian central state also maintained firm control over regional governments (Hakobyan 2004) and has built an extensive coercive apparatus that penetrates the country (Stefes 2006: 114–16). Simultaneously, incumbent governments have maintained power in the face of significant mass protest. In the context of large significant opposition mobilization, an economic blockade from neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan and a violent attack on parliament in 1999, incumbents won in Presidential elections in 1991, 1996, 1998, 2003, and 2008, and the executive was never overthrown by an outside challenger. While President Levon Ter-Petrosian left office in early 1998, he was replaced by officials from within his own government, including Prime Minister Robert Kocharian, whom Ter-Petrosian had appointed several months earlier. In 2008, Serzh Sargsyan, Kocharian’s chosen successor was elected President. In stark contrast, the end of the Soviet Union in Georgia witnessed neartotal state collapse as well as the failure of two incumbent governments in the face of outside oppositionist forces. First, the Georgian state has remained relatively weak throughout the post-Soviet period. Under Gamsakhurdia, the army consisted of competing and poorly trained paramilitary formations (Jones 1996: 36). Several significant forces such as Jaba Ioseliani’s Mkhedrioni (Knights) never even came under the nominal control of Gamsakhurdia (Wheatley 2005: 135). As a result, Georgia had lost military battles for control over both South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the early 1990s. Unlike Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze actively sought accommodation with Russia and was gradually able to reestablish central control over the militias. By 1995, Shevardnadze had sidelined most major paramilitaries and consolidated at least basic control over the Georgian police (Stefes 2006: 42–43; Wheatley 2005: 84–85). Yet, Georgian state weakness persisted. In contrast to Armenia, the Georgian central state confronted immense difficulty controlling regions despite the country’s small size. In addition to Abkhazia and Ossetia,

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the Pankisi Gorge, Ajaria, Kodori Gorge and Mingrelia were all weakly controlled by the central state (Welt 2000). In contrast to Armenia, governments in Georgia twice fell to relatively modest opposition challenges. In late 1991 and early 1992—just months after his overwhelming victory in the presidential elections—Gamsakhurdia was forced from power when key paramilitaries turned against him. Shevardnadze, who came to Georgia in 1992, was able to hold onto power for much, much longer. However in 2003, despite years of consistently positive economic growth Shevardnadze fell in the face of sporadic protests that reached a maximum of “tens of thousands” of protestors (Karumidze and Wertsch 2005: 13; De Waal 2003) in late November.8 What explains such significantly different outcomes in the two cases? I argue that the key difference was that in Armenia the new government benefited from a single issue—battle with Azerbaijan over control over NagornoKarabakh—that united disparate forces and greatly facilitated successful construction of a centralized state apparatus (Stefes 2006: 113). By contrast, the Georgian government lacked such a unifying issue—permitting the descent of Georgia into full-scale civil war and persistent state weakness. While many diaspora Armenians had never heard of Karabakh prior to 1988, the issue became the single overriding conflict that united the vast majority of population and elite—greatly facilitating state-building efforts in the republic in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nagorno-Karabakh, dominated by Muslims in the nineteenth century, became majority Armenian by the early twentieth century (Goldenberg 1994: 158). In 1923, the region was officially placed under Azerbaijani republican control—a decision made with Joseph Stalin’s consent. By the 1960s, Armenians began to protest perceived economic underdevelopment in the territory and called for the transfer of control over the region to neighboring Armenia. In 1987–88, protests began taking place calling for the unification of Armenia and Karabakh. In February 1988, the Karabakh Soviet voted overwhelmingly to transfer their territory to Armenia. In Erevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands demonstrated on behalf of Karabakh. While protest demands ranged from democratization to ending corruption to the creation of a memorial to recognize the 1915 genocide, “the focus [of the protests] was on Karabakh” (Goldenberg 1994: 162). Subsequently, anti-Armenian riots took place in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait—killing at least 32 Armenian residents. By the end of the year, both countries had expelled large numbers of Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities from their territories—creating enormous refugee problems. Soviet efforts to control the situation utterly failed. The arrest of 11 members of the Karabakh Committee headed by Ter-Petrosian, significantly enhanced the popularity of the movement. By 1990, the Communist Party had totally lost control over Armenia—culminating in Ter-Petrosian’s selection as head of parliament and government in August and election as president a year later. The fight against Azerbaijan over Karabakh was able to unify the Armenian national movement because it tapped into highly resonant antipathy

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towards Turkey grounded in the 1915 Armenian genocide (Goldenberg 1994: 154; Malkasian 1996). Azerbaijani identity and language are closely tied to Turkey. The imprint of suffering left by the slaughter of 1915 has given each stage of the [Karabakh] conflict an added dimension. Armenians regularly refer to the Azerbaijanis Turks or Tatars, an identity interchangeable with their tormentors from the past. (Goldenberg 1994: 154) The conflict pressed “well-known emotional buttons” that united Armenians behind a single cause (Malkasian 1996: 37, 128). “Armenia’s pro-democracy movement … merged completely with the Karabakh issue” (Goldenberg 1994: 165). The 1988 pogrom in Sumgait further reinforced links to the 1915 massacre—making Karabakh the overwhelmingly central priority in Armenia. Leaders were able to use the battle with Azerbaijan to subordinate other issues and conflicts within Armenia. This battle took precedence over concerns for Armenian independence. Most notably, the Armenian movement was willing to put off demands for secession in order to secure Moscow’s support for territorial demands. Further, the military success in Nagorno-Karabakh generated an elite set of cadres highly skilled in violence and coercion that became an important bulwark for relatively stable autocratic rule. As we shall see below, veterans from this conflict provided key support to the regime when it successfully quelled mass opposition protests in the mid 1990s and early 2000s (Stefes 2006: 48–50). In stark contrast, the Georgian nationalist movement lacked any single overriding issue that could unite disparate factions. Like the Armenians, the Georgians also confronted violent ethnic conflict. However, the Georgian fights with the secessionist regions of Abkhazia and Ossetia did not tap into salient identity issues in any way comparable to Armenia’s conflict with Turkey. Thus, many leaders broke with Gamsakhurdia over his decision to engage Ossetia because they felt that Georgian independence from the Soviet Union should take priority (Wheatley 2005: 27–28). In the absence of any single unifying issue, the movement quickly collapsed into hostile competing factions.9 Thus, the movement split over core issues—such as whether to participate in the official 1990 parliamentary elections or take part in alternative parallel elections organized without the support of Soviet authorities (Wheatley 2005: 27). While Gamsakhurdia ran for a position in the government-sponsored elections, other major leaders—including Giorgi Chanturia— ran for seats in the alternative “National Congress,” that later became a base of opposition in the violent fight against Gamsakhurdia for power (Wheatley 2005: 29–32). While state collapse in Georgia was caused by several factors—including Gamsakhurdia’s erratic behavior—the lack of a single salient issue made it more difficult for leaders to unite the movement and halt the disintegration of

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Georgia into chaos. By the mid-1990s, the Georgian government had lost two wars of secession, had only limited control over a number of other territories within its borders and suffered from frequent and open rebellion by agents of coercion and other officials (Fuller 1998; Devdariani 2002; Welt 2000; Jones 1999).

Sources of regime stability These different patterns of ethnic conflict and state building had a direct impact on regime stability. In Armenia, the powerful coercive apparatus that arose from the war in Nagorno-Karabakh was highly effective in putting down major protest. By contrast, Georgia’s weak state meant that incumbents were often vulnerable to even weakly mobilized opponents. Organizational power and autocratic stability in Armenia Two major factors have directly shaped regime stability in Armenia: ruling party and state capacity. While Armenia’s relatively weak ruling parties have generated important sources of instability, the strong state has successfully prevented any outside opposition challengers from seizing power. Armenia has remained a stable competitive authoritarian regime since the ANM seized power from the Communist Party after the 1990 elections.10 Under President Ter-Petrosian, the regime engaged in widespread pressure on media—instituting politically motivated legal proceedings against numerous journalists and shutting down 11 major outlets—including the largest circulation paper in the country (Fuller 1995; Mitiaev 1998: 99). In 1994, the government outlawed the Armenian Revolutionary Party or Dashnaks (Mitiaev 1998: 99; Dudwick 1997). Finally, the government engaged in serious electoral fraud—both in parliamentary elections of 1995 (Dudwick 1997: 94–95) and most spectacularly in Presidential elections in 1996. In 1996, the former Defense Minister Vasgen Manukian mounted a serious challenge to TerPetrosian—possibly beating the President in the first round on September 21 1996 (Astourian 2000–1: 45; Mkrtchian 1999). As later admitted by the Interior Minister at the time—Vano Siradeghian—the Armenian leadership met after receiving “distressing news” of Ter-Petrosian’s failure and decided to falsify the results in order to give Ter-Petrosian a first round victory (Danielyan 1998). Subsequently, the regime carried out mass arrests of Manukian supporters that were “accompanied by forced closures of opposition parties, numerous police beatings, and an army presence on the streets of the capital” (Human Rights Watch 2003: 5). In 1998, disagreements within the government over policy towards Karabakh led to the resignation of Ter-Petrosian in favor of his Prime Minister, Robert Kocharian, who remained in power through 2008. In 1998, Kocharian defeated the former Armenian Communist Party Chief Karen Demirchian in a Presidential election marred by “serious irregularities” (Organization for

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Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 1998: 3). Kocharian continued to engage in serious democratic abuses: harassment of major media (including the closure of the oppositionist A+ television station in 2001) (Grigorian 2000; Petrosian 2003); regular persecution of opposition activists (Danielyan 2004); and serious electoral fraud in the 2003 Parliamentary and Presidential elections that returned Kocharian for a second term (OSCE 2003a, 2003b; Giragosian 2004).11 In February 2008 Kocharian’s chosen successor, Serzh Sargsyan, won elections that were characterized by widespread intimidation and fraud. In reaction to subsequent protests, the government cracked down on opposition killing seven and imposing a state of emergency. The dynamics of political development in Armenia since 1991 have reflected the fact that the regime has on the one hand possessed a strong state apparatus that was able to put down frequent and strong protest but on the other hand has had a relatively weak ruling party that suffered from frequent elite defection. As we see in Figure 4.1, the Armenian opposition was extremely mobilized. The opposition organised protests of about 100,000 in 1993 and 50,000 in 1994 and 1995 (Masih and Krikorian 1999: vii; Mitiaev 1998, 86, 91, 101). Following the fraudulent 1996 Presidential election, opposition candidate Vasgen Manukian led a demonstration of 150,000–200,000 (Danielian 1996–97: 128). While the Armenian government faced a far more mobilized opposition than in Georgia, it was able to draw on a highly effective state to crack down on outside challenges. Thus, after Manukian mobilized over a 100,000 against the fraudulent election in 1996, the military plus divisions of the Yekrapah Union of Karabagh veterans were able to squash the protest by arresting over 200 opposition activists throughout the country, closing roads leading to the capital Yerevan, and shutting down the headquarters of opposition parties (Mkrtchian 1999; Bremmer and Welt 1997; Zakarian 2005; Minasian 1999). As a result, the government was able to put down one of the largest demonstrations (relative to the size of the country’s population) in the former Soviet Union since 1992. While the size of the protests after 1996 became smaller, the opposition still mobilized protests that were at least as large as those of Georgia. Thus in 2003, an estimated 25,000 to 100,000 came out against fraud in the first round of Presidential elections that pitted Kocharian against Stepan Demirchian (Hoel 2003; Petrosian 2003; Fuller 2003a). However, coercive forces in Armenia continued to demonstrate remarkable capacity to shut down opposition action. Thus, in between the first and second rounds, the government detained several hundred Demirchian activists throughout the country – thereby forcing the campaign into hiding and squashing the protest (Human Rights Watch 2003: 10). Subsequently, the Rose Revolution in Georgia inspired Armenian opposition to take the streets again – with demonstrations of 10,000 to 25,000 against the government in early 2004 (Hakobyan 2004; Karapetian 2004). However, again, the Armenian state was strong enough to quickly put down

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these protests. The police knew the location of just about every opposition activist and thus were easily able to find and harass anyone who might present threaten the regime (Danielyan 2004). Military and thugs supporting the government detained hundreds of oppositionists and raided opposition headquarters (Danielyan 2004). As during previous demonstrations, the police were able to block access to the capital and thus prevent the protests from growing (Hakobya 2004; Human Rights Watch 2004). Finally, the military and security services were easily able to suppress protests of 20,000–25,000 that emerged following disputed elections in February 2008. The regime’s success at putting down opposition protests in the 2000s was partly the result of its ability to pre-empt protest activity through widespread “prophylactic” arrests of leaders before protests took place (Grigorian 2000; Stepanian and Kalantarian 2005). Thus, mass arrests of opposition leaders before the second round of the Presidential elections in 2003 effectively disabled the opposition before it could mount a serious challenge (Human Rights Watch 2004: 3). At the same time, Armenia’s relatively weak ruling party structure has created a potentially serious obstacle to autocratic consolidation. In the early and mid-1990s, defections from the ruling coalition generated the most serious opposition to the regime (Astourian 2000–1: 49–50). Thus, in the 1996 Presidential elections the three main candidates had all been leaders of the Karabakh Committee (the organizational precursor to the ANM). Under Kocharian, the ruling coalition has been even more fragmented—consisting of multiple (and often competing) autonomous political parties. The ruling group has suffered high volatility and numerous crises—particularly in 1998– 99 when the President was challenged from within the government (Fuller 1998; Simonian 2000; Danielyan 2004; Giragosian 2004). Kocharian continued to face a great deal of open dissent from within the government in the mid-2000s. In the run-up to the 2008 elections, the “Prosperous Armenia” party supported the political ambitions of President Kocharian; the “Republican Party” supported Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan; and the Dashnaks gave their support primarily to Kocharian. Such a situation often made it hard to figure out who the “incumbent” is and would seem to make defection easier. The weakness of parties and reliance on the security apparatus has meant that the government has had to use police harassment and open threats of prosecution to keep some parliamentarians in line (Khachatrian 2006b). Following the disputed February 2008 elections, high-level regime officials—including the deputy head of the parliament (from the Dashniak party), the deputy prosecutor-general, and nine officials in the Foreign Ministry—defected to the opposition (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 2008a,b). Thus, despite Armenia’s powerful state, the regime continues to face serious potential threats of instability. In sum, Armenia maintained a stable competitive authoritarian regime 1992–2007 in the face of powerful opposition protest by relying on a strong coercive apparatus that emerged from its successful war with Azerbaijan in

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the early 1990s. At the same time, the regime faces potential instability from a highly fragmented and weak ruling coalition. Weak organizational capacity and autocratic failure in Georgia Georgia represents a case of unstable competitive authoritarianism. Relatively weak party and state structures have contributed to regime instability in the post-Cold War era. Thus, in 1992 and 2003, Zviad Gamsakhurdia and then Eduard Shevardnadze fell in the face of only moderately strong opposition challenges. Such turnover, however, has not led to full democratization. The regime of Zviad Gamsakhurdia represents one of the most short-lived and disastrously failed efforts at authoritarian state building in the former Soviet Union. After being elected head of parliament in 1990 and then President in 1991, Gamsakhurdia sought to impose strict censorship on the media and arrest leaders opposed to his regime (Jones 1997: 516–2; Slider 1997: 162–64). However, the regime rapidly disintegrated and Gamsakhurdia was forced into exile in January 1992 after several small militia armies attacked the capital. The combination of weak organizational capacity and hostile relations with Russia effectively doomed Gamsakhurdia’s autocracy-building efforts in 1991. The loosely organized Round Table bloc rapidly disintegrated in 1991 and many former supporters began calling for Gamsakhurdia’s resignation. Simultaneously, the already weak Georgian state had severely hemorrhaged by mid-year. In late August 1991, Gamzakhurdia was discredited when he appeared to succumb to the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. Following a decree abolishing the post of head of the Georgian National Guard, the National Guard Commander Tengiz Kitovani broke form the President and led his troops out of the capital. After the coup failed, protests broke out in Tblisi against Gamsakhurdia. Gamsakhurdia responded by attempting to impose martial law. However, the state completely disintegrated. Kitovani, who had been encamped outside Tblisi, marched into the capital and fought Gamsakhurdia forces in the center of the city. The warlord Jaba Ioseliani also led his paramilitary units into the capital. Gamsakhurdia holed himself up in a bunker below the parliament building until he was forced to flee in early January 1992. In February–March 1992, the leaders of the coup that ousted Gamsakhurdia convinced Eduard Shevardnadze to return to Georgia as the head of state. However, the Georgian state by this point had almost totally broken down. Rival militias—including paramilitaries loyal to Gamsakhurdia in western Georgia—fought one another for control throughout the country (Wheatley 2005: 77).12 No effective Georgian military existed at this point and Shevardnadze had to rely on Ioseliani and other warlords to put down a Gamsakhurdia-led rebellion in October 1993 (Wheatley 2005: 78). Only in 1995 was Shevardnadze able to sideline the militias and establish a semi-functional Georgian central state (Wheatley 2005: 84–85). In 1995, Shevardnadze was elected President with 77 per cent of the vote.

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The Shevardnadze era was characterized by both competitive elections and widespread civil liberties violations and electoral manipulation. In the 1995 Presidential elections, the authorities reportedly manipulated the vote count to ensure a convincing victory over the former Communist Party head Dzhumber Patiashvili (Wheatley 2004). Again in the 1999 parliamentary and 2000 Presidential elections, witnesses reported widespread ballot stuffing and vote count manipulation (OSCE 2000a,b). The government also inflated turnout figures in order ensure that a major opposition party did not pass the minimum threshold to enter parliament (OSCE 2000a: 27). Finally, the 2003 parliamentary elections that led eventually to Shevardnadze’s overthrow witnessed widespread ballot stuffing, multiple voting, and manipulation of the vote count (OSCE 2003c). Further, most media were highly biased in favor of the government—both during and in between elections (Jones 1999; Fuller 1996; OSCE 2000a: 27; 2000b: 15). In the mid- and late 1990s, Shevardnadze was able to maintain relatively secure control over Georgia. In part, such success was rooted in the creation of a relatively robust (by post-Soviet standards) patronage machine centered in the ruling Citizens Union of Georgia (CUG).13 Equally as important, the opposition in Georgia was relatively weak and divided. Like most other postCommunist countries (Howard 2003), Georgia had a relatively weak civil society that was highly dependent on foreign financing.14 The opposition in the late 1990s was split between a regional patronage network in Ajaria and dissidents in the capital (OSCE 2000a; Wheatley 2004). However, the CUG’s lack of ideology or other mechanisms of cohesion outside patronage made it vulnerable to crisis. Thus, when Shevardnadze began to lose popularity in the early 2000s, the party rapidly hemorrhaged— leading eventually to the disintegration of the Shevardnadze regime.15 After the successful 1999 parliamentary elections when the CUG gained over half of the seats in parliament, the party began to disintegrate. In the spring and summer, a group of younger officials within the party began openly criticizing Shevardnadze and charging various government ministers with corruption (Wheatley 2005: 103–6; Devdariani 2002). By the fall, the party suffered massive defections and, after Shevardnadze had resigned, the party split apart permanently (Devdariani 2001). In particular, three formerly close allies of Shevardnadze emerged as major challengers: Nino Burdjanadze, Zurab Zhvania, and Mikhail Saakashvili. In 2003, these figures all challenged a reformed ruling party in parliamentary elections. Following widespread falsification of the vote that appears to have resulted in lower results for opposition parties, the opposition led by Saakashvili called for mass demonstrations against the government that eventually led to Shevardnadze’s resignation in late November 2003. Most accounts of these events have emphasized the importance of mass protest and mobilization in Shevardnadze’s overthrow following the oppostion’s seizure of parliament on November 22 (cf. Beissinger 2007; Tucker 2007). Certainly, by Georgian standards, the demonstrations were relatively large. Yet, the protests

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were smaller than those in Armenia in 1996 and about the same size as antiregime actions in Armenia in 2003 and 2004, and 2008. For most of November, protests against the fraudulent election were small and sporadic (Mitchell 2007, 345). Attempts to organize a general strike failed (Wheatley 2005: Chapter 6). On November 22 when the opposition seized parliament, the demonstrations according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reached 20,000–30,000 (Fuller 2003b); while others estimated the size to be in the tens of thousands (Karumidze and Wertsch 2005: 13). It is not entirely clear where the sometimescited figure of 100,000 comes from. But such estimates may have been made on the basis of the much larger street celebrations – televised worldwide – that took place after the parliament had been occupied. Indeed, the opposition appears to have succeeded in overthrowing the legislature less because of its ability to mobilize especially large numbers of committed protestors and more because Shevardnadze’s coercive apparatus was strikingly weak. Accounts of the storming suggest that the police simply dissolved in the face of protests that were not especially large by the standards of the region. When opposition activists decided to enter the parliament building, police did nothing to stop them (Karumidze and Wertsch 2005: 15) – at least in part because they had not been paid in months (Stefes 2006: 131). As a result, Saakashvili was able to march into the building, rose in hand, and take charge of the legislature after reportedly drinking a glass of tea left behind by a fleeing Shevardnadze. After escaping parliament Shevardnadze attempted to declare martial law. Yet, as he complained, “[t]he Georgian state apparatus did not stand up to the challenge before it” (quoted in Karumidze and Wertsch 2005: 29). High-level officials resisted taking action against the opposition and Shevardnadze resigned the next day. In sum, mass protest certainly played a role in the fall of Shevardnadze. Yet, the scale of protest cannot explain why the regime fell in Georgia but not in neighbouring Armenia. Instead the critical factor was Georgia’s much weaker state apparatus.16 Once in power, Saakashvili immediately took measures to strengthen central state control. He increased Presidential power, jailed corrupt officials, radically reformed the traffic police, and subordinated a breakaway government in Ajaria that had remained largely outside central control throughout the Shevardnadze era (Stefes 2004). However, as in Russia (Way 2005a), “strengthening the state was accompanied by certain setbacks in democratic freedoms” (Nodia 2005: 1). Through 2008, observers noted systematic violations of democratic norms that make it impossible to label the new regime democratic. The opposition has suffered periodic harassment through politically motivated prosecutions on the basis of corruption and treason charges (Devdariani 2004). There was also systematic pressure on independent media: including tax raids of television stations critical of the government; prosecution of critical journalists, and pressures to cancel programs critical of Saakashvili (Fuller 2005; Corso

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2006b). In the 2005 “Reporters Without Borders” media freedom report, Georgia fell five places from ninety-fourth to ninety-ninth out of 167 countries surveyed (Corso 2006a). In addition, Georgia continued to suffer important levels of electoral fraud in 2004.17

Conclusion Armenia and Georgia shared many characteristics at the end of the twentieth century. Both were relatively underdeveloped small countries in the Caucasus region that experienced robust ethnic nationalist movements in the Gorbachev era. Yet, the two countries experienced very different levels of regime stability in the 1990s and 2000s—with Georgia suffering much greater instability than Armenia. A comparison of the two cases demonstrates how different patterns of ethnic nationalist conflict may generate very different types of state power and autocratic stability. In Armenia, the leadership was able to draw on the single overriding issue of Karabakh to unite an otherwise disparate nationalist movement and build a relatively powerful state apparatus. The strong state in turn contributed in important ways to autocratic stability in the face of a robustly mobilized opposition. As a result, incumbent governments or their chosen successors maintained power through the late 2000s. By contrast, the absence of such a single issue in Georgia contributed to state division and collapse. Partly as a result, incumbents fell from power in 1992 and 2003. Nevertheless, Georgia remained non-democratic through 2008.

Notes 1 The author thanks Christoph Stefes, Cory Welt, and Jonathan Wheatley for their assistance on this chapter. 2 Competitive authoritarian regimes are civilian regimes in which elections are the primary means of gaining and keeping power but in which electoral and civil liberties abuses are so severe that the country cannot be called a democracy. In such cases, oppositions face significant abuses—including harassment by tax and other authorities, violence, and mild electoral fraud. However, oppositions can and sometimes do win. Elections are highly unfair but simultaneously remain competitive. See Levitsky and Way (2002, 2007). 3 For a much more extensive discussion, see Levitsky and Way (2007) and Smith (2005). 4 Also see Sperling (2000);, De Waal (2003: 76), Bunce (2003: 180–81), and Stefes (2005). 5 I refer here to a standard procedural definition of democracy that includes the protection of civil liberties, and free and fair elections. See Dahl (1971). 6 In 2003, aid accounted for just over 50 per cent of central expenditures in both countries (World Development Indicators). 6 Armenia’s average growth was 9 per cent in 1995–2005. Georgia’s was 6.3 per cent (World Development Indicators). 7 Georgia’s official growth rate was 5 per cent, 6 per cent, and 11 per cent in 2001, 2002, and 2003 (World Development Indicators). 9 The battle for Georgian independence might have provided such a unifying issue. However, the failed coup in August 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet state from within meant that Georgia attained independence without having to fight for it.

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10 Competitive authoritarian regimes are civilian regimes in which elections are the primary means of gaining and keeping power but in which electoral and civil liberties abuses are so severe that the country cannot be called a democracy. In such cases, oppositions face significant abuses—including harassment by tax and other authorities, violence, and mild electoral fraud. However, oppositions can and sometimes do win. Elections are highly unfair but simultaneously remain competitive. See Levitsky and Way (2002, 2007). 11 Both elections suffered from significant harassment of opposition, biased media coverage, ballot stuffing, and vote counting fraud (OSCE 2003a,b). 12 For example, the author was significantly delayed in his efforts to leave Georgia in April 1992 when a militia group absconded with jet fuel intended for a flight from Tbilisi to Moscow. 13 For an opposing view, see Stefes (2006) who argues that unlike the Armenian government, the Shevardnadze government was not able to create a durable and reliable patronage structure. 14 While “civil society” groups were often considered powerful (see Mitchell 2004), their influence seems to have been rooted more in their ties to particular government officials rather than any autonomous organizing capacity (Wheatley 2005: 127). 15 By the late 1990s the party had suffered from “prominent defections and poor discipline” (Jones 1999, 2000: 53). 16 Comparing Georgia and Armenia, Richard Grigorasian argued that “[t]he key difference … lies in the power of the state, as the Georgian transition was marked by the cumulative effects of a loss of state authority and power and a devolution of power from the central government in Tbilisi to the increasingly assertive and restive regions, leaving a power vacuum” (quoted in Hakobyan 2004). 17 Thus, the OSCE report on the repeat parliamentary elections held in March 2004 noted “irregularities observed during the tabulation of results, implausible voter turnout, the mishandling of some complaints and the selective cancellation of election results … The lack of political balance on election commissions remained a source of concern” (OSCE 2004b).

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Bremmer, I. and Welt, C. (1997) “Armenia’s new autocrats,” Journal of Democracy, 8: 77–91. Brownlee, J. (2007) Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization, London: Cambridge University Press. Bunce, V. (2003) “Rethinking Recent Democratization: Lessons from the Postcommunist Experience,” World Politics, 55: 167–92. ——and Wolchik, S. (2006) “Favorable Conditions and Playing Favorites,” Journal of Democracy, 17: 5–18. Civil. Ge Daily News Online, Politics (2005) “Zourabichvili Gears Up for Politics,” 20 October. < www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id = 11010 > (accessed 6 October 2008). Corso. M. (2006a) “Georgia: Pressure to Report,” Transitions Online, 27 February. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). ——(2006b) “Georgia: Free Enough?” Transitions Online, 5 April. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). Dahl, R. (1971) Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, New Haven: Yale University Press. Danielian, M. (1996–97) “Elections in Armenia: a funeral for democracy,” Uncaptive Minds, 9: 125–31. Danielyan, E. (1998) “Ter-Petrossian Rigged 1996 Election, Fell Into ‘Depression’, Says Top Ally,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenia Report, 30 December. ——(2004) “Armenia: A Dictator in the Making,” Transitions Online, 24 June. < www. tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). Devdariani, J. (2001) “Georgia: CUG Hopelessly Divided: The dismissal of the Georgian government last week highlights the growing rift between conservatives and reformers,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 104, 6 November. ——(2002) “Georgia: stormy year breeds uncertainty,” Transitions Online, 24 January. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). ——(2004) “Georgia’s Rose Revolution Grapples with Dilemma: do ends justify means?” Eurasia Insight, 26 October. De Waal, T. (2003) Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War, New York: NYU Press. Dudwick, N. (1997) “Political Transformations in Armenia: images and realities,” in K. Dawisha and B. Parrott (eds) Conflict Cleavage and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus, New York: Cambridge University Press. EurasiaNet (2002) “Thousands Rally to Protest Shutdown of Independent Armenian TV channel,” Armenia Daily Report, 8 April 2002, original from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. < www.eurasianet.org/resource/armenia/hypermail/200204/ 0018.shtml > (accessed 6 September 2008). Fuller, L. (1995) “MEDIA: Independent Press in Armenia and Georgia,” Transition Magazine, 6 October. ——(1996) “MEDIA: Georgia’s Remotely Controlled Television,” Transition Magazine, 18 October. ——(1998) “Coup attempt in Georgia,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report, 1: 34. ——(2003a) “Armenian presidential campaign kicks off,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report, 6: 4. ——(2003b) “Thousands protest Armenian election falsification,” Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Caucasus Report, 7: 35. ——(2003c) “When is a coup attempt not a coup attempt?” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report, 6: 14.

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——(2003d) “Shevardnadze resignation resolves constitutional deadlock,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report 6: 41. ——(2005) “Some Georgian journalists feel less equal than others,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report, 5: 3 January. < www.rferl.org/reports/mm/ 2005/01/1–030105.asp > (accessed July 2007). Geddes, B. (1999) “What do we know about democratization after twenty years?” Annual Review of Political Science, 2: 115–44. Goldenberg, S. (1994) Pride of Small Nations: The Caucasus and Post-Soviet Disorder, London: Zed Books. Giragosian, R. (2002) “Armenian media under assault,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Endnote, Thursday, 24 October, 6: 201. ——(2003) “Armenia: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back,” Transitions Online, 9 April. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). ——(2004) “Armenia 2003: burdened by the unresolved,” Transitions Online, 15 April. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). Grigorian, M. (2000) “Armenian Political Upstart Arrested: an inglorious protest meeting in Yerevan could mark the end of Arkady Vardanian’s brief political career,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 56. Hakobyan, A. (2004) “Armenia: Authorities Hit Back as Opposition Campaign Mounts,” Transitions Online, 13 April. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). Hoel, J. L. (2003) “Armenian: Presidential Elections 2003 Report,” Norwegian Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights, September 2003. < http:// unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/untc/unpan014969.mht > (accessed 18 June 2008). Holmes, S. (1997) “What Russia Teaches Us Now: How weak states threaten freedom,” American Prospect, 8, July–August: 30–39. < www.prospect.org/cs/articles? article=what_russia_teaches_us_now > (accessed July 2007). Howard, M. M. (2003) Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe, New York: Cambridge University Press. ——and Roessler, P.G., (2006) “Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes,” American Journal of Political Science, 50: 365–81. Human Rights Watch (2003) “The Use of Administrative Detention in the 2003 Armenian Presidential Election,” Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper, 23 May. < www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/armenia/index.htm. > (accessed 15 June 2008). ——(2004) “Cycle of Repression: Human Rights Violations in Armenia,” Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper, 4 May 2003. < www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/armenia/ 0504/armenia-election.pdf > (accessed 16 June 2008). Jones, S.F. (1996) “Adventurers or commanders? Civil military relations in Georgia since independence,” in C. Danopolous and D. Zirker (eds) Civil-Military Relations in the Soviet and Yugoslav Successor States, Boulder: Westview Press. ——(1997) “Georgia: the Trauma of Statehood,” in I. Bremmer and R. Taras (eds) New States, New Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ——(1999) “Georgia: A Difficult Year,” Transitions Online, 9 January. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008). ——(2000) “Democracy from Below? Interest groups in Georgian society,” Slavic Review, 59: 42–73. Karapetian, R. (2004) “Armenian President Cracks Down: Dozens are hurt or arrested in the centre of Yerevan as the Armenian opposition calls for the resignation of President Kocharian,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 227, 15 April.

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Khachatrian, R. (2005) “Dashnaks ‘Not Responsible for Referendum Fraud,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenia Report, 22 December. ——(2006a) “Parliament Fails to Elect New Human Rights Defender,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenia Report, 8 February. ——(2006b) “Parliament Leaders Condemn ‘Illegal’ Police Actions Against MP,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenia Report, 2 March. Karumidze, Z. and Wertsch, J. (eds) (2005) Enough! The Rose Revolution in the Republic of Georgia 2003, New York: Nova Science Publishers. Kuzio, T. (2000) “Non-military security forces in Ukraine,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 13: 29–56. Levitsky, S. and Way, L.A. (2002) “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy, 13: 51–65. ——“International linkage and democratization,” Journal of Democracy, 16: 20–34. ——(2007) “Competitive Authoritarianism: The Origins and Evolution of Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War,” unpublished manuscript. Libaridian, G. (1999) The Challenge of Statehood: Armenian Political Thinking Since Independence, Watertown, MA: Blue Crane Books. Linz, J. J. and Stepan, A. (1996) Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Magdashian, P. (2001) “Armenia: The Teflon President: Opposition parties accuse Robert Kocharian of untold number of wrongdoings but to no avail,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 100, 5 October. Malkasian, M. (1996) “Gha-ra-bagh!” The Emergence of the National Democratic Movement in Armenia, Detroit: Wayne State Press. Masih, J. R. and Krikorian, R. (1999) Armenia at the Crossroads, Newark: Harwood Academic Publishers. Minasian, L. (1999) “The Role of the Army in Armenia’s Politics,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 5: 4 November. Mitchell, L. (2004) “Georgia’s Rose Revolution,” Current History, 103: 342–48. ——(2007) “Inside Track: Beacon of Democracy or Khachapuri Republic?” National Interest, 13 December. Mitiaev, V.G. (1998) “Vnutripoliticheskie protsessy v nezavisimoi Armenii,” in E.M. Kozhokina (ed.) Armeniia: Problemy Nezavisimogo Razvitiia, Moscow: RISI. Mkrtchian, N. (1999) The Place and the Role of Parliamentary Elections in the Process of Establishment of Democratic Practices in Armenia: The Peculiarities of the 1999 Parliamentary Elections. < www.forum.am/groups/pol/mat/17.doc > (accessed July 2007). Nodia, G. (2005) “Freedom House Nations in Transit 2005 Georgia.” < www. freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=47&nit=363&year=2005 > (accessed July 2007). O’Donnell, G. (1993) “On the state, democratization, and some conceptual problems: a Latin American view with some postcommunist countries,” World Development, 21: 1355–69. ——(1999) “Polyarchies and the (Un)rule of Law in Latin America: A Partial Conclusion,” in J. Mendez, G. O’Donnell, and P. S. Pinheiro (eds) The (Un)rule of Law and the Underprivileged in Latin America, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (1998) Republic of Armenia: Presidential Election March 16 and 30, 1998 Final Report, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR.

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——(2000a) GEORGIA: Parliamentary Elections October31 and November 14 1999 Final Report, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2000b) Republic of Georgia Presidential Election APRIL 9, 2000 Final Report, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2003a) Republic of Armenia: Presidential Election March 16 and 30 1998 Final Report, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2003b) Republic of Armenia: Parliamentary Elections May 25 2003 Final Report, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2003c) Georgia: Parliamentary Elections November2, 2003 Election Observation Mission Report, Part 1, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2004a) Final report on the extraordinary presidential election in Georgia, January 4, 2004, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2004b) Final Report on Partial Repeat Parliamentary elections, March 28, 2004, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. ——(2008) Georgia: Extraordinary Presidential Election, January 5, 2008, Warsaw: OSCE/ODIHR. Petrosian, S. (2003) “Armenian Election Clash Looms: Government and opposition are set on a collision course following the disputed first round of Armenia’s presidential election,” Caucasus Reporting Service, 168, 27 February. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (2007) “Georgian Opposition Broadcaster Shuts Down as Political Scandals Heat Up,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reports, 27 December. ——(2008a) “Armenia: Opposition Protests Gain Momentum with High-Ranking Support,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reports, 22 February. ——(2008b) “Armenian Protests Continue Amid Arrests and Resignations,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reports, 24 February. Rochowanski, A. (2004) “EU extends cooperation with Georgia, but expresses caution on accession issue,” Eurasia Insight, 17 June. Sarafyan, M. (1994) “Armenia,” in B. Szajkowski (ed.) Political Parties Of Eastern Europe, Russia, And The Successor States, Stockton: Essex. Simonian, H. (2000) “Armenia: Pessimistic Stability,” Transitions Online, 15 January. < www.tol.cz > (accessed 15 June 2008) Slater, D. (2003) “Iron Cage in an Iron Fist: Authoritarian Institutions and the Personalization of Power in Malaysia,” Comparative Politics, 36: 81–101. ——(2008) “State Power and Staying Power: Malaysia and Singapore Compared,” paper presented at The New Authoritarianism: Challenges and Obstacles to NonDemocratic Rule After the Cold War conference, University of Toronto, 25, 26 April. Slider, D. (1997) “Democratization in Georgia,” in K. Dawisha and B. Parrott (eds) Conflict, Cleavage, and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus, New York and London: Cambridge University Press. Smith, B. (2005) “Life of the Party: The Origins of Regime Breakdown and Persistence under Single-Party Rule,” World Politics, 57: 421–51. Sperling, V. (ed.) (2000) Building the Russian State: Institutional Crisis and the Quest for Democratic Governance, Boulder: Westview Press. Stefes, C. H. (2004) “The Legacies of Transition: Georgia’s State Collapse and Democracy,” paper presented at the Central Eurasian Studies Society 5th Annual Conference, Bloomington, IN. ——(2005) “Clash of Institutions: Clientelism and Corruption versus Rule of Law,” in C.P.M. Waters (ed.) The State of Law in the South Caucasus, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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5

Central Asian protest movements Social forces or state resources? Eric McGlinchey

State capacity and political protest are two variables which are seen as closely if not directly linked. Variations in state capacity, particularly coercive capacity, are thought to be inversely related to variations in the degree of political protest. For example, Theda Skocpol writes in her influential study of revolutions, as Tsarist Russia saw its coercive powers eroded by “massive defeat in total war,” so too did it suffer a rise in political protest and, ultimately, political revolution (Skocpol 1979: 94).1 Conversely, states which maintain or deepen their coercive capacities, Skocpol instructs, are “insulated from, and supreme against, the forces of society” (Skocpol 1979: 94). This causal relationship between institutional strength and social opposition, though intuitive and, in many cases, empirically grounded, nevertheless does not always hold. Social movements in seemingly strong states often catch us by surprise. In Communist Eastern Europe, one author writes, for example, the mass opposition movements of 1989 appeared “out of nowhere” (Kuran 1991). Two years later the superpower USSR itself imploded, much to the shock of Soviet citizens and Western political scientists. With the benefit of hindsight, some scholars have attributed mass demonstrations and Moscow’s resulting collapse of authority to a “loosening of controls” (Dallin 1992, 284–85). Elsewhere in the former Soviet world, though, opposition movements continue to puzzle. In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, for example, variations in political protest appear to have little relation to what institutional theories of political capacity would predict. Thus, while the Kazakh and Kyrgyz governments share similar coercive powers, political opposition remains largely nonexistent in Kazakhstan whereas opposition has become increasingly pronounced in Kyrgyzstan. And in Uzbekistan, the Central Asian state with perhaps the greatest ability to repress, both Islamist groups and human rights defenders continue to challenge authoritarian rule. These three cases are even more puzzling given that political protest throughout Central Asia was rare during the Soviet period. In short, not only are variations in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek political opposition puzzling in that they do not follow what institutional theories of state capacity predict, these differences are also surprising given that, despite these countries’ shared political and, indeed, cultural histories, protest has assumed such diverging

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outcomes. In this chapter I address these unexpected outcomes. More specifically, I highlight where existing institutional explanations of state capacity fail to explain variations in Central Asian political opposition and offer, in their place, an alternative explanation which sees political protest as shaped as much by an independent, society-based logic as it is by state coercive capacities. My study of political opposition proceeds in three steps. I begin by outlining variations in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek political protest from the late 1980s to the present. I begin in the 1980s rather than with the Soviet collapse because protest in all three polities first emerged during Gorbachev’s perestroika years, well before independence in 1991. As this first section demonstrates, however, while all three polities experienced turbulence during the final years of the Soviet empire, instability has largely subsided in Kazakhstan whereas it continues to define the Kyrgyz and Uzbek political landscapes. In the section “Institutional and society: centered explanations of authoritarian instability” I turn to potential explanations for these variations in political opposition. More specifically, I find that institutional explanations fail to explain differences in Central Asian protest movements. Rather, I argue, variation in Central Asian political opposition is a product of socially produced norms of cooperation. Thus, I demonstrate how opposition groups in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan learned to unite in political protest while those in Kazakhstan remained fragmented and ineffective. In short, in contrast to both those who argue political culture is slow to change and to those who contend institutions and coercive capacity alone determine political opposition, I argue that strategies of protest are learned and though they may develop in one institutional environment they persist even when the coercive capacity of authoritarian regimes increases or decreases. Lastly, in conclusion, I explore the insights my Central Asian comparison may hold for broader theories of protest and political stability. In particular, I suggest that the existing literature, perhaps understandably given its focus on institutional weakness, overemphasizes state variables while underemphasizing the causal role of social opposition movements. Institutional capacity, of course, has a pronounced influence on regime stability. And while it remains crucial that we continue to research what makes some institutions strong and others weak, so too must we address that which makes some social opposition movements more coherent and capable of effecting political change than others.

Challenges to Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek political stability: Gorbachev to the present Though Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan share similar institutions, they have not shared similar degrees of political protest. All three countries are authoritarian states with power concentrated in the hands of a presidential executive. The Kazakh executive, Nursultan Nazarbayev, however, has enjoyed 16 years of largely uncontested power whereas his Uzbek and (now multiple)

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Kyrgyz counterparts have become frequent targets of domestic opposition. The following paragraphs detail this variation in Central Asian political opposition. Kyrgyzstan: political opposition and executive overthrow The Kyrgyz government, in contrast to the Kazakh state, has had to abide sustained political opposition. In Kyrgyzstan political protest against personalist rule began before the Soviet collapse and, one could convincingly argue, was in part responsible for one of what thus far has been the only peaceful, opposition-driven regime change Central Asia has seen in the past 16 years.2 Initial efforts at cooperative political protest in Kyrgyzstan emerged in the wake of violent ethnic conflict. In June 1990 riots between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern cities of Osh and Uzgen left more then 200 dead and 300 homes destroyed (Razakov 1993: 77). The riots themselves had little to do with national politics and they did not target the Kyrgyz leader at the time, First Secretary A. MasAliyev. Rather, local politics—in this case a housing deficit and an incompetent official’s attempt to resolve this deficit by allotting land from an Uzbek collective to a group of homeless Kyrgyz—sparked the deadly conflict (Razakov 1993: 44–46). The tremors of local conflict, however, ultimately would produce fissures among the once unified Kyrgyz elite. The Kyrgyz leadership was slow to respond to the riots and the Kyrgyz public, horrified by the bloodshed, angered by the government’s inaction, and emboldened by the glasnost’ and perestroika reforms, took to the streets in the first ever mass demonstrations that polity had ever seen (Erkebaev 1997: 51). Hunger strikers lined the walls of parliament and activists from a spectrum of newly formed political groups filled the city streets. The capital was placed under a state of emergency as demonstrations engulfed the universities and central squares (Erkebaev 1997: 61–63). The Kyrgyz First Secretary, unable to silence the demonstrators, found he was also unable to control his once pliant communist cadres. Thus, whereas the parliamentary session prior to the riots was, according to one MP, marked by “nothing special. … everything moved along calmly and according to tradition like in the pre-perestroika times,” the session following the riots led to a political revolt in which the Kyrgyz MPs unseated Masaliyev and installed Askar Akayev—then perceived as a reformer—as the new president of Kyrgyzstan (Erkebaev 1997: 32). Unfortunately, Akayev’s reformist tendencies were short lived.3 The Kyrgyz president’s good relations with newly politicized pro-reform movements did not last. The 1990 protests which brought Akayev to power, ironically, would prove to be only the beginning of what ultimately has been sustained, coordinated and ultimately successful social mobilization against the Kyrgyz executive. In October 1991, Akayev submitted his presidency to a popular vote in an effort to silence a growing chorus of detractors in the parliament and in society at large. Though Akayev won with 95 per cent of the vote, protestors

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alleged that the ballot was rigged. Indeed, as the leader of the opposition Erkin party, T. Turgunaliyev, quipped: “it’s difficult to have a democratic election when there is only one candidate” (Tett 1991). Akayev faced further challenges in 1992, when oppositionists in the Kyrgyz parliament forced an early adjournment so as to shelve new constitutional amendments which would have increased executive powers (Sydykova 1997: 26). This cooperative protest was followed in December 1993 by another coordinated action in which 190 MPs joined to oust the Kyrgyz prime minister in a no confidence vote; this after parliamentary investigations revealed the executive administration had used Kyrgyz gold reserves to re-outfit the presidential motorcade.4 Nine months later, in September 1994, an unlikely alliance of democrats, nationalists, and communists united to protest Akayev’s early dismissal of the parliament (Razgulyayev 1994). And in February 1995, 200 demonstrators—including both political figures and social activists—gathered to protest what they said was ballot rigging in elections to the new parliament (Deutsche Press-Agentur 1995). Protestors gathered once again in March to jeer Akayev’s hand-picked MPs as they entered the parliament (Itar-Tass 1995). The president’s new parliament obligingly passed laws and constitutional amendments to buttress the executive’s hold on power. By the late 1990s, the Kyrgyz president had built many of the coercive institutions and adopted many of the repressive strategies his counterparts elsewhere in Central Asia had long been using. Akayev pressed these new powers against the political opposition. Thus, in contrast to the first half of the decade, where political demonstrators only rarely faced coercive state attacks, protestors and opposition leaders in the second half of the 1990s were regularly intimidated, coerced, and arrested for publicly challenging executive rule. In January 1997 the leaders of the umbrella opposition group “For the Salvation of the People” were jailed for participating in what the government deemed illegal public protests (Razgulyayev 1997). In September 1998 several human rights activists were imprisoned for organizing a protest in Kyrgyzstan’s southern Dzhalal-Abad oblast (Amnesty International 1998). And in late 1999 and early 2000, the Akayev government—despite condemnation from the US Department of State and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—began legal proceedings against leading oppositionists D. Usenov, F. Kulov, M. Aliyev, M. Kaipov, and I. Kadyrbekov in an effort to prevent any real political contestation in the upcoming 2000 parliamentary and presidential elections (US Department of State 2001; OSCE 2000a).5 Akayev’s seeming transformation from political liberal to repressive autocrat was so complete that one Russian paper led its coverage of Kyrgyzstan’s 2000 elections with the headline: “Entire Kyrgyz Opposition Locked Up—Only the Communists Remain Free” (Otorbayeva 2000). State coercion, however, did not achieve Akayev’s desired goal of silencing the many critics of executive rule. Indeed, social protest not only continued but became evermore widespread. In March 2000 thousands of demonstrators

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gathered in the capital and in regional cities to protest the government’s rigging yet again parliamentary elections. And thousands more would later block traffic along Kyrgyzstan’s north–south highway in protest of the similarly rigged October 2000 presidential ballot (Agence France Presse 2000).6 Ironically, public protest, instrumental to Akayev’s own ascent to power in 1990, ultimately unseated the president in Kyrgyzstan’s March 2005 “Tulip Revolution.” Moreover, since Akayev’s departure, mass public demonstrations have proven a steady threat to the tenure of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s regime. At the time of writing, President Bakiyev has thus far staved off opposition challenges through a mixture of negotiation, compromise and, in response to April 2007 protests, a heavy police response. That Bakiyev’s strategy for political survival will continue to be effective, though, remains uncertain. Kyrgyzstan has yet to have free and fair elections and, as the ongoing protests indicate, a new political culture is emerging where political change is achieved not through polls and the ballot box, but through protests and bullhorns. Uzbekistan Protests against authoritarian rule, similar to the demonstrations in Kyrgyzstan, have been a constant of post-Soviet Uzbek politics. Importantly, however, opposition in Uzbekistan has differed in several critical ways. Uzbek demonstrations against the Karimov leadership, for example, have, with a few exceptions, been considerably smaller in size than those against the Akayev government. Moreover, Uzbek protests have been less sustained than those in Kyrgyzstan. And perhaps most significant, the Uzbek opposition has not been able to coordinate nation-wide cooperation. Rather, in those cases where cooperation has emerged, it has been among opposition forces at the local and regional level, most notably among secular human rights defenders and moderate Islamist oppositionists. In the initial years following independence, Islam Karimov’s position appeared at times as precarious as that of his Kyrgyz counterpart. In January 1992, in what has been dubbed the “Tashkent Tiananmen,” Uzbek police fired on students who, angered by price hikes, were demanding Karimov’s resignation (Musin 1995). Six students were killed and 30 were injured in the violence (Iams 1992). In November 1992, 10 months later, Karimov was physically detained by hundreds of angry demonstrators in Namangan, a city in the Ferghana Valley. In contrast to the Tashkent events, this time the opposition had the upper hand; Karimov was not released until he agreed to the demonstrators’ demands and promised to make Uzbekistan an Islamic republic (Namangan Human Rights Activists 2004). For the next two years, opposition continued to grow, particularly in the independent-minded mosques of Uzbekistan’s Ferghana Valley. Representative of this opposition were the supporters of Mukhammad Radzhab, the head Imam of Quqon city. Radzhab, prior to his arrest in August 1994 on charges of possessing weapons

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and narcotics, inspired hundreds of Quqon residents by his refusal to bow to President Karimov’s increasing bureaucratization and institutionalization of an “official” Islam (Quqon Activists 2004). Radzhab’s arrest would be the first of what has proven to be sustained government repression of independent Islamic leaders and their supporters (Human Rights Watch 2004). Uzbek activists have pursued diverging strategies in response to the government’s growing persecution of Islamic elites. Militant Islamists have responded in kind to the government’s repression, bombing state buildings in the capital, Tashkent, in February 1999 and again in August 2004. The paramilitary group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, thought to be behind the February 1999 bombings, launched armed incursions into Uzbekistan in November 1999 from bases in Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. Not to be overshadowed by this violence, importantly however, are the many peaceful protests activists have staged both in Tashkent and in the regions. In contrast to Kyrgyzstan, where demonstrations have typically been staged by political oppositionists, these Uzbek protests are typically led by human rights defenders together with women whose husbands have been imprisoned for “anti-constitutional” activity—a charge levied both against members of the radical Hizb-ut Tahrir Islamist organization as well as against independent, though by no means radical, Islamic leaders and their followers.7 These Uzbek protests, moreover, though widespread, rarely attract large numbers. Given Uzbekistan’s press restrictions, it is difficult to assess the exact size of these demonstrators. Interviews with Islamist activists and human rights defenders in Qarshi, Namangan, Andijan, and Quqon, however, suggest that these demonstrations typically involve at most dozens and not hundreds or thousands of protestors seen in the Kyrgyz demonstrations (Qarshi Activists 2004; Namangan Activists 2004; Andijan Activists 2004; Quqon Activists 2004). It is unclear if these localized protests might eventually develop into country-wide demonstrations. The Andijan protest of May 2005, now sadly remembered as the Andijan Massacre, suggests that even on rare occasions when thousands do gather in a city, protests are unlikely to spread to other regions (McGlinchey 2005). The Karimov regime’s demonstrated readiness to shoot its own citizens undeniably dampens what might otherwise be a widely shared inclination to protest. Importantly though, factors other than the Uzbek government’s willingness to repress and imprison oppositionists currently make united mass protests unlikely. Most important, differing groups within the Uzbek political opposition, unlike groups within the Kyrgyz opposition, have not demonstrated any real ability to cooperate. Abdurahim Polat, the leader of the Uzbek opposition party, Birlik, noted as much when, in March 2002, he stated that the “unconsolidated Uzbek opposition could have used the Uzbek president’s visit to the USA as a ‘pretext’ for taking at least a step towards unity” (BBC Monitoring of International Reports 2002). Rather than coordinating a mass demonstration in front of the US embassy as had been previously planned, however, Birlik and Erk, Uzbekistan’s other opposition party, focused their energies on insulting one another. As Polat

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explains, “the initiative to hold united opposition pickets fell through. … Everybody knows that Erk members can do nothing in practice on their own” (BBC Monitoring 2002). Uzbekistan’s human rights defenders, another group which could potentially mobilize nationwide opposition against government repression, are similarly divided (Gill 2004). As a result, although opposition to the Karimov regime is widespread, there is little indication that this opposition will cohere into an effective national movement in the near future. Kazakhstan In contrast to Akayev’s travails in Kyrgyzstan or even to the localized opposition to authoritarian rule Karimov faces in Uzbekistan, the Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev has encountered few public challenges to his hold on power. This is not to say protest was or currently is non-existent in Kazakhstan. In December 1986, for example, thousands of Kazakhs gathered in the republic capital Alma-Ata to protest the replacement of the long-serving Kazakh First Secretary with an ethnic Russian. In the late 1980s, social groups also mobilized in opposition to nuclear testing on Kazakh territory. And immediately following independence, 5,000 protestors gathered in the capital to demand the parliament, elected under Soviet rule, be disbanded (Seward 1992). These early protests are representative of what has become a trend in Kazakh mass demonstrations—although groups may mobilize around ethnic and economic issues and although they may protest against their local representatives, rarely do public protests directly target the Kazakh president in the way they do in Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan. Thus, while Kazakh citizens have demonstrated against, among other things, wage and pension arrears, rising gas prices, the declining social welfare state, language laws, fewer hours of Russian programming on television and the removal of the Lenin statue from the capital’s central square, President Nazarbayev himself has thus far been little bothered by mass mobilization. Indeed, the few occasions where Kazakhs have directly challenged Nazarbayev’s rule have been fleeting and have garnered minimal public support. The first and, as of yet, only substantial demonstration against Nazarbayev’s rule took place on 8 December 1996 and lasted three hours. The protest, in which 3,500 people gathered, was described by one reporter as a case of “rare unity among the opposition” (Grabot 1996). Smaller anti-Nazarbayev demonstrations occurred in 1997 (600 people), 1999 (200 people), and 2004 (50 people), the first a protest against government intimidation of opposition parties (Economist 1998), the second a protest against the government’s rigged parliamentary elections (Interfax-Kazakhstan 1999), and the third a protest against the imprisonment of opposition leader, Galymzhan Zhakiyanov (Interfax-Kazakhstan 2004). Even more notable than the protests that occurred, however, are those demonstrations that did not materialize. The Nazarbayev leadership, like Akayev’s government in Kyrgyzstan, has manipulated multiple elections. The

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Table 5.1 Satisfaction with governance, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, June 1999

Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan

1 No (%) 2 To some extent (%)

3 Yes (%)

Do not know1

Mean score2 N3

70.3 50.4

6.1 16.8

3.7 3.7

1.3 (.02) 1.7 (.02)

19.9 29.2

1174 1156

Source: The Kazakh and Kyrgyz surveys were commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and conducted by the Almaty-based Central Asian polling agency Brif. For more on Brif and its survey methodology, see www.brif.kz. Data analysis is my own. Notes: 1 “Do not know” responses are not used in calculating mean scores. 2 Standard errors are in parentheses. 3 Sample size used for calculating mean scores.

Nazarbayev regime has imprisoned, intimidated, and coerced the political opposition. President Nazarbayev himself, moreover, has been exposed by both domestic and international watchdogs as corrupt, as using his country’s oil reserves to fund authoritarian rule (Johnston 2000; Romanovskii 2002). Yet, whereas such excesses have sparked widespread anti-Akayev protest in Kyrgyzstan, President Nazarbayev has seen few challenges to his autocratic rule. One potentially straightforward explanation for this variation is that Kazakhs simply are more content with the Nazarbayev government than either Kyrgyz or Uzbeks are with their leaders’ autocratic rule. Comparisons of survey data with the Kyrgyz case, however, suggest the opposite. In Table 5.1 I summarize the results of public opinion surveys conducted in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in June, 1999. As the table demonstrates, Kazakhs are considerably less satisfied with governance than are their Kyrgyz counterparts. In the next section I turn to potential explanations other than satisfaction with governance for why political protest is greater in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan than it is in Kazakhstan. My goal in exploring these alternative explanations is not to disprove some while inductively attempting to prove others. Rather, my goal is to demonstrate (1) that existing institution-centered theories, while they may explain regime instability in some cases, provide incomplete guidance for the three Central Asian states studied here and, I suspect, for other countries in the developing world, and (2) to offer a society-centered hypothesis of opposition which, through further testing in other settings, may provide new causal insights for mass mobilization and political protest.

Institutional and society-centered explanations of authoritarian instability Among the most explored explanations of political protest is weak institutional capacity. Weak institutions, political scientists have found, encourage social groups to mobilize against perceived injustices. Repressive government institutions, in

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contrast, limit the ability of social groups to mobilize popular support. As Timur Kuran writes, for example, in cases where states have high coercive capacity, people are unlikely to openly oppose the government because the “personal risk of joining a revolutionary movement could outweigh the personal benefit that would accrue were the movement a success” (Kuran 1991: 14). Conversely, should coercive capacity weaken, the likelihood that people would be willing to oppose the government is thought to increase (Kuran 1991: 38). As I next describe, however, this inverse relationship between the coercive capacity of state institutions and the extent of political protest, though it may explain initial levels of opposition in newly independent Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, fares less well in the years following the Soviet collapse. The Kazakh and Uzbek governments, in contrast to the chaos which beset elite politics in Kyrgyzstan in the early 1990s, remained steadily under the control of Soviet-era apparatchiks as Moscow retreated from Central Asia. This relatively smooth transition from Soviet to post-Soviet coercive rule was the product of Nazarbayev and Karimov’s ascendancy to power at a time when the Communist Party still maintained a monopoly over political control and of both leaders’ intimate familiarity with the reigns of power. Nazarbayev and Karimov’s three decades long apprenticeship in the Communist Party not only brought them into contact with all levels of the republic-level political elite, it provided them with first-hand lessons in how to control these elite. Nazarbayev, for example, joined the Communist Party in 1962 and, for the next three decades, steadily climbed the ranks, advancing from factory manager (1972) to Kazakh Secretary of Industry (1979), to Chairman of the Kazakh Council of Ministers (1982) and, finally, to Kazakh First Secretary (1989) (McGlinchey 2003: 101–8). Karimov began his apprenticeship in Uzbek central planning in 1966, working his way from senior specialist to Minister of Finance (1983) and finally to Uzbek First Secretary (1989). By the time Nazarbayev and Karimov changed their titles from First Secretary to President, both leaders had built both extensive networks of clients as well as viable and tested instruments of repression.8 President Akayev, in contrast, built his career in Soviet academia, spending a considerable period (1962–76) away from Kyrgyzstan studying physics in Leningrad (McGlinchey 2003: 109). Akayev returned to Kyrgyzstan and achieved some prominence as the head of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences in the late 1980s. In 1990, however, Akayev suddenly and surprisingly ascended to the peak of Kyrgyz power. As discussed in the section “Challenges to Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek political stability: Gorbachev to the present,” a wave of ethnic riots engulfed southern Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 1990. Such ethnic riots, it should be noted, were not unique to Kyrgyzstan. In December 1986, thousands of Kazakhs clashed with Soviet police as they took to the streets to protest the Mikhail Gorbachev’s appointment of an ethnic Russian as republic First Secretary. And in June 1989, over 100 died in ethnic rioting between Meskhetian Turks and Uzbeks in Uzbekistan’s Ferghana valley. Whereas the riots in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were quickly

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resolved by the Moscow leadership, however, the 1990 riots in Kyrgyzstan led to a different and decidedly less stable political outcome. In 1989, Gorbachev was still very much in control of cadre politics in Central Asia. In the spring of 1990, however, Gorbachev, in an effort to accelerate political reform and to dissipate the power of conservative challengers in the Communist Party, devolved cadre politics to the local level. Most dramatically, in February of 1990, Gorbachev repealed Article 6 of the Soviet constitution, the provision which granted the Communist Party monopoly power and the Moscow leadership ultimate authority in political appointments. For the first time in Soviet history, constituent republics were free to elect their own parliaments and, these parliaments, in turn, were free to appoint new presidents independent of Moscow’s rule (Brown 1997: 193–98). In short, whereas Moscow restored political order in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after the 1986 and 1989 ethnic violence, there was no external arbiter to calm Kyrgyz politics in the wake of the 1990 ethnic riots. Instead, competing groups within the Kyrgyz political elite, emboldened by mass demonstrations in the republic capital and opposed to their leadership’s inaction in the wake of ethnic conflict, put aside their differences and banded together to oust the Communist First Secretary and install the compromise candidate and political outsider, Askar Akayev, as the new Kyrgyz president. The lessons of 1990 have continued to motivate united political protest in Kyrgyzstan, this despite an institutional environment where the Kyrgyz executive enjoys growing coercive capacity. In the early 1990s, this opposition united under the umbrella group, the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan. Later, in the second half of the 1990s, new and often overlapping opposition coalitions emerged. The opposition bloc, “For the Salvation of the People” brought together Communists, nationalists, and liberals in 1997 in opposition to Akayev’s rule (Razgulyayev 1997). In September 1998 the Kyrgyz Human Rights Committee, the Patriotic Party, the Communist Party, and the Youth Humanist Union joined together to stage protests against the Akayev government (Vechernyi Bishkek 1998). In January 2000 members of the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan joined with the Ar-Namys (Honor), Kayran El (the Poor and Unprotected), and Kyrgyz Republican parties to protest what they declared was the “threat of sliding into totalitarianism” (Res Publica 2000). Two months later the non-governmental organization For Democracy and Free Elections, the Kyrgyz Democratic Movement, the Ar-Namys Party, and the Popular Party united their supporters in demonstrations against what they said were rigged parliamentary elections (Interfax 2000). And in August 2003, the Peoples Congress of Kyrgyzstan, an opposition bloc uniting five political parties, adopted a resolution demanding President Akayev’s resignation in the wake of the fatal shooting of five demonstrators and the continued incarceration of Kyrgyzstan’s leading oppositionist, Felix Kulov (AKIpress 2003). The culture of cooperative protest which emerged in 1990, in short, persists in Kyrgyzstan despite the reality that the weak political institutions which produced this new culture have ceased to exist.

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In Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, in contrast, where ethnic riots preceded Moscow’s retreat from Central Asia, the Nazarbayev and Karimov leaderships faced few sustained challenges from their republics’ fragmented political opposition. And in the years since the Soviet collapse the Kazakh and Uzbek opposition movements, as a result of their not having had any experience with united political contestation, continue to remain divided and ineffective. This is not to say that opposition movements in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan cannot learn to cooperate so as to provide more effective challenges to authoritarian rule. Indeed, as discussed in the section “Institutional and society: centered explanations of authoritarian instability,” in Uzbekistan we are beginning to see growing cooperation between Islamist activists and secular human rights defenders. Thus far, however, this cooperation has been limited to the local level. Cooperative political protest has yet to become an embedded norm capable of mobilizing opposition at the nationwide level in Uzbekistan. Cooperative Kyrgyz opposition, in contrast, though it emerged under a no longer extant institutional environment, persists because it has become a learned political behavior. Cooperative opposition is a shared norm in Kyrgyzstan. In contrast to what is often argued in the democratization and political culture literatures, the Kyrgyz case demonstrates that new modes of behavior are both quickly learned and enduring.9 Indeed, much as International Relations scholars have demonstrated that patterns of behavior— norms—often run counter to international power structures, so too at the domestic level do actors continue to cooperate, even when cooperation would seem unlikely given the growing coercive nature of domestic power structures.

Conclusion: institutions, society and political protest The new institutionalist literature has convincingly demonstrated that political behavior is “molded through political experiences, or by political institutions” (March and Olsen 1984: 739). And indeed, if one were to look at opposition movements in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan in the early 1990s, a new institutionalist logic would seem sufficient for explaining variation in political protest. Thus, in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan states with considerable coercive capacity, political opposition was limited and, at best, sporadic. In Kyrgyzstan in contrast, where the collapse of Communist rule was exacerbated by concomitant ethnic riots, state institutions proved considerably weaker and political protest, as a result, much more widespread. Beyond this initial starting point, however, institutionalist logics provide limited insight into variations in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek political protest since the mid-1990s. In Kazakhstan, where coercive capacity has remained relatively constant, cooperative political protest indeed has remained muted. In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, however, where state institutions have become more coercive since the Soviet collapse, cooperative protest has increased. In sum, political behavior in the Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek cases appears only

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intermittently to be molded by political institutions. This in itself does not mean institutionalist explanations should be abandoned. It does suggest, however, that a more complex causality is needed to explain political opposition. In this chapter I have attempted to outline the foundations of such causality. More specifically I have demonstrated that cultures of political protest are enduring. Developed in response to the incentives of one institutional environment, practices of political protest persist long after government bureaucracies strengthen or weaken and associated institutional incentive structures change. Political protest then may paradoxically have little to do with the state or the state’s immediate coercive capacity, but rather may be grounded in a self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating dynamic of learned cooperation.

Notes 1 Similarly, Jeff Goodwin (2002: 24) writes, “successful revolutions necessarily involve the breakdown or incapacitation of states.” 2 There have been two other Central Asian leadership changes. These, however, have either been motivated by armed conflict or the death of the prior president. In 1992, Tajik president Imomali Rakhmonov’s ascent to power in 1992 came as a result of civil war. Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov came to power in December 2006 following Saparmurat Niyazov’s death. 3 Indeed, it is unclear if Akayev was ever truly a reformer. I have argued elsewhere that Kyrgyzstan’s initial years of political pluralism were the product of Akayev’s lack of resources to fund authoritarian rule. See McGlinchey (2003). 4 Earlier parliamentary investigations by Kyrgyz oppositionists revealed the prime minister and other close Akayev associates shipped to Switzerland, undercover of night and with a private Swiss plane, 1.6 tons of Kyrgyz gold as collateral for a loan to purchase, among other things, a fleet of Volvo limousines and Westernmade weapons for the President’s armored motorcade. For a Kyrgyz account of the president’s gold scandal, see Sydykova (1997: 42–47). For an English-language account of the Kyrgyz gold scandal, see Boulton (1994). 5 US State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said of the Kulov arrest: “The closed nature of these military proceedings, which involves an appeal of charges on which he was originally acquitted, do contravene international human rights standards and make it impossible to judge the fairness of the trial. The charges and the proceedings give every appearance of being politically motivated” (US Department of State 2001). The OSCE noted of the other arrests and court cases: “the manipulation of the legal system for political advantage, the lack of independence of election commissions, bias of state media and interference by state officials in the electoral process” marred the electoral process (OSCE 2000a). 6 The OSCE said of the 2000 presidential elections: “executive authorities’ interference in the activities of opposition candidates undermined free and fair campaigning” (OSCE 2000b: 4). 7 The Uzbek government has used the “anti-constitutional” charge to bludgeon independent Islamists. The charge comes from article 159 of the Uzbek constitution: “Public appeals to unconstitutionally change the existing government system, to seize power to remove from office legally elected or appointed representatives, or to unconstitutionally disrupt the territorial unity of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as distribution of material with such content are punishable with a fine of up to fifty times of the minimum wage or imprisonment of up to three years.”

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8 In the 1980s Nazarbayev, for example, used his personal networks, both in Kazakhstan and in Moscow, to devastating ends, engineering both the ouster of Kazakh First Secretaries D. Kunaev in 1986 and G. Kolbin in 1989. 9 Almond and Verba (1963: 4) note, for example, that democratic culture will “spread only with great difficulty, undergoing substantial change in the process.” Similarly, Diamond (1999: 250) writes that the development of civil society is strongly predicated on a “liberal-pluralist past,” something, Diamond observes, “which most developing and postcommunist countries states lack.”

References Agence France Presse (2000) “Kyrgyz Opposition Supporters Renew Protests of Parliamentary Elections,” 16 March. Almond, G. and Verba, S. (1963) The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations, Princeton: Princeton University Press. AKI press (2003) “Kyrgyz Opposition Congress Calls for President’s Resignation,” 25 August. Amnesty International (1998) “Human Rights Activists Punished for Organizing Peaceful Protest,” 30 September. Andijan Activists (2004) Personal communications, August and November. Ashimbaev, A. (2002) Kto est’ kto v Kazakhstane, Almaty: Credo. Asian Development Bank (2004) Asian Development Outlook 2004, New York: Oxford University Press. BBC Monitoring of International Reports (2002) “Uzbek Opposition Fail to Unite During Leader’s US Visit,” 16 March. Brown, A. (1997) The Gorbachev Factor, New York: Oxford University Press. Boulton, L. (1994) “The Soviet Insider, the Gold, and Kyrgyzstan’s Political Innocents,” The Financial Times, 28 January: 4. Dallin, A. (1992) “Causes of the Collapse of the USSR.” Post Soviet Affairs, 8: 279–302. Deutsche Press-Agentur (1995) “Second Round of Kyrgyz Poll Begins Despite BallotRigging Charges,” 19 February. Diamond, L. (1999) Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Economist (1998) “A United Front in Kazakhstan,” 17 January: 37. Erkebaev, A. (1997) 1990: prikhod k vlasti A. Akayeva, Bishkek: Izd. Dom Kyrgyzstan. Evans, P. (1995) Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Gill, A. (2004) Personal communication, 16 August. Goodwin, J. (2001) No Other Way Out: States and Revolutionary Movements, 1945– 1991, New York: Cambridge University Press. Gorbachev, M. (1999) On My Country and the World, New York: Columbia University Press. Grabot, A. (1996) “3,500 Demonstrate Against Kazakh President,” Agence France Presse, 8 December. Human Rights Watch (2004) Creating Enemies of the State: Religious Persecution in Uzbekistan, New York: Human Rights Watch. Iams, J. (1992) “Students Protest Police Shootings in Uzbekistan,” Associated Press, 19 January. Interfax (2000) “Interior Troops Protecting Government Building in Bishkek,” 15 March.

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Interfax-Kazakhstan (1999) “Opposition Holds Rally, Demands Fresh Elections,” 30 October. ——(2004) “Kazakh Opposition Holds Rally Demanding Freedom for Jailed Ex-Governor,” 16 June. Itar-Tass (1995) “Protests Greet Kyrgyz MPs on First Day of New Parliament,” 31 March. Johnston, D. (2000) “Kazakh Mastermind, or New Ugly American?” The New York Times, 17 December: 3. Karl, T.L. (1999) The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro State, Berkeley: University of California Press. Kuran, T. (1991) “Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989,” World Politics, 44: 7–48. McGlinchey, E. (2003) “Paying for Patronage: Regime Change in Post-Soviet Central Asia,” Princeton: Princeton University, PhD dissertation. —2005. “Autocrats, Islamists, and the Rise of Radicalism in Central Asia,” Current History, October: 336–42. March, J. and Olsen, J. (1984) “The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life,” American Political Science Review 78: 734–49. Migdal, J.S. (1988) Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World, Princeton: Princeton University Press. —— Kohli, A. and Shue, V. (1995) State Power and Social Forces: Domination and Transformation in the Third World, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Musin, A. (1995) “Karimov’s Crackdown,” The Moscow Times, 26 May. Namangan Human Rights Activists (2004) Personal communications, August and November. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (2000a) “Kyrgyz Republic Parliamentary Elections February 20 & March 12, 2000,” Warsaw: OSCE/ ODIHR. ——(2000b) “Kyrgyz Republic Presidential Elections October 29,” Warsaw: OSCE/ ODHIR. Otorbayeva, A. (2000) “Entire Kyrgyz Opposition Locked Up—Only the Communists Remain Free,” Kommersant, 6 April: 11. Quqon Activists (2004) Personal communications, August and November. Qarshi Activists (2004) Personal communications, August and November. Rabushka, A. and Shepsle, K.A. (1972) Politics in Plural Societies: A Theory of Democratic Instability, Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing. Razakov, T. (1993) Oshkiie sobytiie, Bishkek: Renaissance. Razgulyayev, Y. (1994) “Kirghizia: The Parliament is Being Killed before Its Term Expires,” Pravda, 7 September: 2. ——(1997) “Political Repressions Begin in Kirghizia,” Pravda, 10 January, 19: 7. Res Publica (2000) “Parties Protest Against State Attack on Opposition, Call for Unity,” 25 January. Romanovskii, M. (2002) “Oppozitsiia obviniaet Nazarbayeva v korruptsii,” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 21 June: 5. Ross, M. (1999) “The Political Economy of the Resource Curse,” World Politics, 51: 297–322. Seward, D. (1992) “Thousands Demonstrate Against Kazakhstan’s Government,” The Associated Press, 17 June. Sikkink, K. (2002) “Restructuring World Politics: The Limits and Asymmetries of Soft Power,” in S. Khagram, J.V. Riker and K. Sikkink (eds) Restructuring World

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Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks and Norms, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Skocpol, T. (1979) States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China, New York: Cambridge University Press. Sydykova, Z. (1997) Za kulisami demokratii po-kyrgyzski, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Res Publica. Tett, G. (1991) “Moderate Re-Elected in Soviet Republic,” The Financial Times, 14 October: 2. US Department of State (2001) “Regular Briefing,” 24 January. Vechernyi Bishkek (1998) “Political Parties Join Forces Against President’s Referendum Initiative,” 16 September. Weber, M. (1946) “Foundations and Instability of Charismatic Authority,” in H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills (eds) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York: Oxford University Press.

Part III

Policymaking legacies and futures

6

Following through on reforms Comparing market liberalization in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Pamela Blackmon

Kazakhstan should have the brightest future in Central Asia, because of its vast natural resources and human potential and because it has gotten right some of the economic decisions made over the past decade. (Olcott 2005: 86) Yes there is convertibility, in theory (in Uzbekistan) but it is still very difficult to convert. You need to register contracts, wait for money to be available etc. It is still a terrible place to do business. We pay all taxes and duties, which makes things even more difficult. (US business firm representative 2005)

When Uzbekistan ended its multiple exchange rate system and agreed to currency convertibility of the current account in October 2003, the decision was made with a few caveats. In fact, almost two years after the formal decision on currency convertibility the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board noted that, “serious restrictions in foreign as well as domestic trade remain(ed),” even though currency convertibility had “stimulated” economic activity in 2004 (IMF 2005). Uzbekistan may have removed the formal restrictions on the exchange rate, but from the viewpoint of one business representative, as well as from the IMF Executive Board, there are still substantial restrictions on business and trade. Kazakhstan, on the other hand, had taken the important step of currency convertibility in 1996. Kazakhstan’s pace of economic reform in other areas such as price liberalization and financial sector reform has consistently placed it among the stronger reformers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Uzbekistan has been slow to continue with reforms, reversing many reform efforts in 1996, when the multiple exchange rate regime was implemented. Some of the early comparative statistical analyses of the transition economies correlated a change in political leadership (non-communist) with economic reforms (Åslund et al. 1996; Fish 1998). However, the variable of political regime type loses its explanatory value in these cases because former communist leaders have ruled both countries since each state’s independence. What other reasons explain why Kazakhstan continued with economic reform while Uzbekistan did not?

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Kyrgyzstan’s early political and economic reform, for example, seemed to confirm that a change to non-communist leadership was necessary for economic reform in the other Central Asian states (CAS). Since Askar Akayev was the only president of the CAS who was not a former First Secretary of the Communist Party, much of the country’s success in these areas was attributed to the fact that he had not been a former member of the Communist Party. However, over time Akayev began to restrict political freedom and to implement more authoritarian policies in a vain attempt to hold onto power, before formally resigning as president on April 4, 2005 (Isachenkov 2005). Tajikistan has registered recent progress in economic reform indicators such as price liberalization and small-scale privatization, although concern about political stability and activities focusing on anti-terrorism slowed some privatization efforts during 2001 (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 2002: 202). Civil war in the country, lasting from 1991 until the peace agreement in June 1997, also slowed the country’s early economic progress. Finally, little to no economic reform has been undertaken in Turkmenistan. Indeed, the sudden death of the president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, in December 2006, and the “election” of Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov as the new president in February 2007 has emphasized the importance of determining why some countries implement reform and move away from state-controlled economic systems, and why some do not. This chapter analyzes the influence of Soviet-era conditions and how those conditions have affected the economic reform processes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the post-Soviet era. For example, while both countries were former Soviet republics, each republic differed in its level of integration with Soviet-era Russia (Palei and Petr 1992; Rumer, 1996; Gleason 1997). Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have strong leaders, but leaders that have differed in the strength of their pursuit of economic reforms (Gleason 2001; Åslund 2003). Finally, each leader has differed to the degree that they have continued with members of the former Soviet elite in each of their governments. Hellman (1998), for example, has pointed out that one way to measure the power of the former communist elite was to examine the extent of personnel turnover in key economic sectors or government positions. While President Nazarbayev’s actions in disbanding the Kazakh parliament on two occasions and ruling by presidential decree were undoubtedly taken to consolidate his power, they were also designed to rid the government of the former elite who were against his economic reform policies (Olcott 1997). President Karimov chose a very different style of governing by continuing into the post-Soviet era with many of the elite who were in his early government during the Soviet era. Differences in the continuation of the former Soviet elite in the government of each president is an additional indicator of whether each president would follow policies of continuity (from the Soviet-era) or policies of change in the post-Soviet era. A closer examination of these previous Soviet-era circumstances will have greater explanatory value than political regime type in interpreting the reform processes of these two countries.

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The comparative case study and elite interview methods are the primary research methodologies used in this chapter. This combination of methodologies allows for an in-depth comparison of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in order to answer questions concerning the different economic reform paths of the countries. Interviews conducted with economists from the financial institutions of the IMF and the World Bank contribute to the project’s depth of understanding about the processes of economic reforms. Interviews conducted with these individuals produced knowledge about these countries that could not be discovered using other secondary sources (Aberbach and Rockman 2002). Secondary data sources were consulted to provide specific comparative information in the areas of economic reform implemented in each country, and about the Soviet and post-Soviet histories of each country. These sources include the EBRD Transition Reports, which provide qualitative and quantitative data on economic sectors of the transition economies, in addition to IMF Staff Country Reports and World Bank publications.

Economic reform in the transition economies Previous studies on the reform processes of the transition economies have analyzed the relationship between initial conditions, reforms, and economic growth (Wolf 1999; De Melo et al. 2001). These studies were important because they indicated a shift away from the focus on political change during the transition, and they established that initial conditions were important in any analysis of the transition economies. Zettlemeyer (1998) found, for example, that Uzbekistan’s combination of low industrialization, its ability to export cotton, and energy self-sufficiency explained why the country’s output fell less than any of the other former Soviet Union (FSU) republics. However, this study did not analyze how Uzbekistan was less integrated with Russia in these sectors during the Soviet era, and that this lower level of integration might explain the government’s ability to function at a similar economic level at independence. Conversely, while Kazakhstan’s integration with Soviet-era Russia in areas of physical infrastructure such as electrical power, pipelines, and industrial production has been well documented, this level of integration may have constrained the country’s options to operate as a closed economy at independence (World Bank 1993; Gleason 2003a). Many studies on the transition economies have included variables such as the influence of Soviet history and culture as important to understanding developments in post-Soviet states (Tsygankov 2001; Abdelal 2001). More contemporary research on these countries has incorporated a greater analysis of the degree to which circumstances during the Soviet era have influenced the present economic situation in the post-Soviet states (Gleason 2003b; Ofer and Pomfret 2004; Jones Luong 2004; Olcott 2005; Pomfret 2006). The focus on pre-condition circumstances is important because it acknowledges the necessity of analyzing differences in Soviet-era history, politics, infrastructure, and resource endowments as influencing the economic development of these countries.

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Progress on economic reform Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan began their reform efforts almost in tandem. In 1992, each country began a privatization program and liberalized some prices, actions that have been noted as important benchmarks for the transition economies (Fischer and Sahay 2000). The countries would later diverge in their progress on price liberalization as seen in Table 6.1. Kazakhstan had completed price liberalization by the end of 1994, and did not register a decrease in the ranking of this indicator from 1995 through 2007. Uzbekistan showed improvement in this indicator (1992–96), but then registered decreases beginning in the rankings for 1997 and 1998. This was also a period of higher governmental involvement in the economy, including the use of the multiple exchange rate regime (Pomfret 2000). It is important to note that Kazakhstan has been consistent in the ranking of its price liberalization policies during this time frame while Uzbekistan’s ranking has remained unchanged (at 2.67) since 1998 (see Table 6.1). The countries also differed markedly on the dates and terms of conditional financial arrangements with the IMF early in the transition process. Kazakhstan was able to secure a stand-by arrangement (SBA) with the Fund in January 1994 and received an advanced lending arrangement, an extended fund facility (EFF), with the Fund in July 1996. Uzbekistan had its only SBA suspended by the IMF in March 1997, because of its continuation of the multiple exchange rate regime, formally implemented in January 1997 (IMF economist 2002). The dates that terms were reached for these lending arrangements, as well as differences among the arrangements themselves, are important distinctions between the reform efforts of the two countries. The specific order of the lending arrangements from the IMF is indicative of progress on economic reforms since the structure of lending was premised on the fact that the transition economies would move from the SBA to the EFF. The purpose of the SBA was to assist with stabilization policies, while the EFF Table 6.1 Rating of progress in price liberalization in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (1991–2007) Country

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998– 2007

Kazakhstan Uzbekistan

1 1

2.67 2.67

2.67 2.67

2.67 3.67

4 3.67

4 3.67

4 3.33

4 2.67

Source: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 2007. Notes: The classification system for the transition indicator scores has been modified from previous reports. “+” and “−” ratings are treated by adding 0.33 and subtracting 0.33 from the full value. Averages are obtained by rounding down, for example, a score of 2.6 is treated as 2+, but a score of 2.8 is treated as 3− (EBRD 2007).

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was designed to allow the country to focus more on structural reforms (Fischer 1997). The dates in which each country agreed to currency convertibility and the lifting of discriminatory currency arrangements also indicate differences in reform of the trade and foreign exchange system (see Table 6.2). Kazakhstan accepted Article VIII obligations on July 16 1996 and the country’s acceptance of full current account convertibility was stated as one of the most important economic reforms that the country implemented (IMF 1996a; IMF economist 2002). Kazakhstan’s ranking in this indicator was also the highest (4.0) in 1996. Decreases in the indicator in 1999 likely have to do with the devaluation of the Russian ruble in 1998, a policy that resulted in substantial financial problems for Kazakhstan, including the depreciation of Kazakhstan’s currency, the tenge, and an increase in inflation (Gürgen 2000). The problems were due in part to the large levels of trade with Russia, and a subsequent decrease in Russian demand for the country’s exports (Olcott 2002: 133–34). Uzbekistan agreed to full current account convertibility, accepting Article VIII obligations on October 15 2003 (IMF 2003a). Reasons cited for the decision of the government to agree to currency convertibility at that time included the fact that inflation was less than 20 percent, the country

Table 6.2 Rating of trade and foreign exchange system and important benchmarks of reform for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (1991–2007) Year

Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005–07

1.00 1.00 2.00 2.00 (First SBA) 3.00 4.00 (EFF, Currency Convertibility) 4.00 4.00 3.33 3.33 3.33 3.33 3.33 3.67 3.67

1.00 1.00 1.00 2.00 2.00 (First SBA) 2.00 1.67 (SBA suspended) 1.67 1.00 1.00 1.67 1.67 1.67 (Currency convertibility) 1.67 2.00

Source: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 2007. Notes: The classification system for the transition indicator scores has been modified from previous reports. “+” and “−” ratings are treated by adding 0.33 and subtracting 0.33 from the full value. Averages are obtained by rounding down, for example, a score of 2.6 is treated as 2+, but a score of 2.8 is treated as 3− (EBRD 2007). EFF, extended fund facility; SBA, stand-by arrangement.

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had a satisfactory level of foreign reserves, there were circumstances surrounding a stronger balance of payments situation in the country, and finally, that the black market exchange rate was close to the official exchange rate (IMF economists 2003). However, as further evidence that Uzbekistan’s decision to agree to currency convertibility in 2003 did not end all restrictions on trade and convertibility, this indicator’s ranking did not improve until 2005, and the improvement from 1.67 to 2.0 was a marginal increase indicative of “some liberalization of import and/or export controls; almost full current account convertibility in principle, but with a foreign exchange regime that is not fully transparent” (EBRD 2002: 21) (see Table 6.2). The liberalization of the trade and foreign exchange system would be a necessary step in order to acclimate the transition economies into the international economic system. Although Table 6.2 shows that both countries have had fluctuations in the rankings of their trade and foreign exchange systems, there is an overall pattern of reform differences between the two countries since 1991. The government of Uzbekistan has continued to move slowly in these economic reform indicators while the government of Kazakhstan has a pattern of continuing progress, although the government has intervened in the economy.

Factors influencing reform Geography and resources Differences in the structures of the Kazakh and Uzbek economies, largely because of resources and geography, have shaped each country’s international economic orientation based on whether the country was more or less integrated with Russia during the Soviet era. While it is obvious that Kazakhstan borders Russia and that Uzbekistan is more distant, these geographic differences as well as Kazakhstan’s integrated infrastructure with Soviet-era Russia have influenced the development of these states in the post-Soviet era. Kazakhstan First, for purposes of border security, it was in Moscow’s interest to keep a close watch on Kazakhstan. One way to accomplish this was through decisions taken to ‘settle’ Russian immigrants first during Stalin’s collectivization drive, then during the Virgin Lands campaign under Khrushchev. In fact, for most of Kazakhstan’s history the Kazakhs were a minority and the Russians a plurality. This demographic situation did not occur in any of the other Soviet republics. Second, the location of the Soviet space center in Baikonur as well as important coal-processing facilities in Karaganda resulted in a different type of relationship between Kazakhstan and Russia. Brukoff (1995) for example, found that Kazakhstan received funding levels higher than the union average and that this resulted in industrial development in areas such

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as metallurgy, machine building, and heavy and light industry. While none of the former republics were designed to function as independent states, Kazakhstan’s border with Russia appeared to be even more fluid (Olcott 1997: 201). Second, Kazakhstan’s electrical power, industrial production, and pipeline structures were all linked with Russia’s sectors (Rumer 1996). Kazakhstan’s electrical power and coal systems were divided mainly into two grids: the north and the west, connected to the Russian system, and the south, connected to the rest of Central Asia. Kazakhstan did not have a unified electrical system during the Soviet era, and one factor for decreases in electrical production in Kazakhstan resulted from interruptions in the electrical grids (Gleason 2003a). Kazakhstan’s production of electricity fell from a high of 86 billion kwh in 1991, to 47.5 billion kwh in 1999, before recovering slightly to 53 billion kwh in 2001 (Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2002: 50). Kazakhstan was also the third largest coal producer during the Soviet era, but almost half of its production of coal was exported to Russia. The most prominent field for Russia was the Karaganda because it was the main supplier of coking coal for the metallurgical industries of the Urals.1 The construction of a multiple track railway line during the 1930s, in order to facilitate the transportation of coal from the Karaganda field to the Urals, was another indicator of the importance of the field, and of the necessity to further integrate the two republics. Kazakhstan’s coal production dropped by 39 per cent from 1991 to 2001, and from 1997–2000 all of its exports of coking coal exported to the CIS were still exported to Russia (Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2002: 51; IMF 2002: 95). Kazakhstan also has substantial recoverable oil reserves. Early estimates put the reserves at about 30 billion barrels, and the development of the Kashagan field alone is projected to have reserves at 13 billion barrels (Timmons 2004: W1, W7). However, the primary refineries are located in the northeast (Pavlodar) and in the southeast (Shymkent) while the main oil deposits are in west Kazakhstan. During the Soviet era, Kazakhstan’s oil was exported to Russia for refining, while Kazakhstan’s refineries were designed to refine crude from Siberia via the Omsk–Pavlodar–Shymkent pipeline. The fact that this pipeline structure was designed around the Soviet system, and not with republic boundaries in mind, explains Kazakhstan’s decline in the production of crude oil, and the country’s need for substantial investment in upgrading of pipeline structures, as well as alternative pipeline routes. For example, in 1998 six out of 13 international consortia involved in oil and gas field projects in Kazakhstan were specifically for oil pipelines to be constructed or repaired (Dittmann et al. 2001: 141). This outside investment would be necessary in order for Kazakhstan to increase its output of oil as an independent state. Kazakhstan also privatized large enterprises concentrated in the power, energy, and communications sectors during 1996–97, which resulted in large amounts of foreign investment into these sectors as well

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(World Bank 1999). In fact, Kazakhstan’s early privatization program was called one of the most “ambitious” of the FSU (Levine 1994). The government of Kazakhstan made a decision that it could not operate within Russia’s integrated system, and would instead have to engage the international community through decisions made about a higher level of international economic orientation. Kazakhstan’s decision to agree to convertibility of its currency, move ahead with its privatization program, and implement legislation to encourage investment were important steps in engaging the international community (Abraham 1999; Weinthal and Jones Luong 2001; Blackmon 2007). Uzbekistan Uzbekistan is also endowed with natural resources, although the types of resources as well as the structural connectivity to Soviet-era Russia were different. Primarily, it was not in Moscow’s interest to integrate the republic as closely to the center. This was because of geographic distance, but also because Uzbekistan was a producer of primary products such as cotton, but not a primary manufacturer of those products.2 Uzbekistan was also a substantial producer of gold and natural gas during the Soviet era, producing about one-third of the entire gold production of the Soviet Union. Further investment would be needed to increase the gold mine potential in Uzbekistan from its Soviet-era production levels, but mining operations during the Soviet era were already such that the country would be the eighth largest producer of gold in the world after independence (Commodity Research Bureau 2000: 11). Gold and oil are both natural resource commodities, but an important difference between the two is that a country’s ability to export gold does not depend on an infrastructure system (pipelines) in order to transport the resource to the market. Uzbekistan has been able to increase its gold production by 22 per cent from 1992 levels through estimates for 2005 (Commodity Research Bureau 2003: 111; Commodity Research Bureau 2007: 113). While Uzbekistan was the third largest producer of natural gas of the republics, most of its production was consumed domestically for local industry. Uzbekistan’s large endowment of natural gas, and more importantly its primary use for local industry purposes during the Soviet era allowed the country to have more control over this resource after the end of the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan has been able to increase its domestic production of natural gas by 35 per cent from 1991–2000, while decreasing natural gas imports by 85 per cent from 1991–98 (IMF 1996b: 91; 2000: 52).3 The country’s domestic consumption of natural gas increased by 45 per cent from 1991–98, while exports decreased by 52 per cent during the same period.4 The increases in domestic extraction and consumption coupled with the decrease in exports and imports indicate that the government has control over its natural gas reserves, and that they are sufficient enough to be used predominately for domestic purposes. Uzbekistan’s self-sufficiency in energy has been noted as one reason for the slow decline in output relative to the other FSU republics

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(Zettlemeyer 1998). However, the fact that Uzbekistan was less integrated with Russia in these sectors during the Soviet era also explains the government’s ability to have more control over these resources, including export potential, and thus revenue-generating avenues, than the other FSU republics had at independence. For example, in 1987, the only republics that registered a positive trade balance with Russia were Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.5 All of the other republics including Kazakhstan registered a negative balance, importing more than they exported from Russia. The agricultural sector generates the most revenue for Uzbekistan, averaging 29 per cent of the country’s GDP for the years 1994–2000 (EBRD 2002: 217). Uzbekistan was viewed as an ideal republic for the purpose of cotton production during the Soviet era because of its favorable climate and physical attributes, including the fact that it was the third most populous of the FSU republics (Rumer 1996: 64–68). In order to ‘facilitate’ Uzbekistan’s cotton growing, irrigation systems were developed during the 1960s to harness the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers in order to increase the cotton-growing areas of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan’s production of raw cotton in the seven highest producing oblasts increased by 71 per cent from 1960 to 1970 (see Table 6.3). The republic’s focus on cotton growing and production was continued throughout the reign of First Party Secretary Sharaf Rashidov (1959–83), and skepticism about the true potential of the republic to continue its vast production of raw cotton was not questioned until the “cotton affair.”6 Under the leadership of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan continued to develop into a cotton monoculture, even though the country’s irrigation systems are unlikely to support Uzbekistan’s current production of cotton into the very near future. Uzbekistan’s favorable terms of trade situation, through its ability to export natural resources and keep its industry functioning through its natural gas reserves, allowed the republic to perform at relatively the same economic level at independence as it had during the Soviet era. Uzbekistan did not operate at the same level of integration with Russia in those sectors during the Soviet

Table 6.3 Production of raw cotton in the seven highest producing oblasts in Uzbekistan (in thousands of tons), 1960–1970

Tashkent Syrdarya Fergana Samarkand Bukhara Kashkadarya Khorezm

1960

1965

1969

1970

249 284 323 311 218 144 265

353 441 465 382 314 194 352

317 460 453 365 402 272 330

380 576 495 443 469 302 407

Source: Compiled and calculated from tables in Uzbek SSR Tsentral’noe statisticheskoe upravlenie 1971.

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era, and the government had the choice to pursue a lower level of international economic orientation in the post-Soviet era. The leaders’ view of reform It is difficult to discuss the reform efforts of these countries without a discussion of the views of their presidents about economic reform. The historical differences in resource endowments and geography are part of the explanation about why these two countries have continued with reform at different paces. For example, even though both countries can be categorized as authoritarian, there are important differences between authoritarian regimes in the successor states of the USSR. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have been described as having authoritarian regimes that are “autocratic” meaning that the “ … policymakers are accountable to a narrow circle” (Roeder 1994: 63). Furthermore, there are differences in the degree to which the president has dominated the legislature in each country. The parliament of Kazakhstan presented a challenge to Nazarbayev’s control in 1993, while there was no such challenge to Karimov’s control of the legislature (Roeder 1994: 79). A more contemporary study categorized Kazakhstan as “mildly authoritarian” while describing Uzbekistan as a “full-fledged dictatorship” (Åslund 2003: 75).7 Therefore, it is important to investigate differences in the leaders’ strength of their pursuit of reforms. Islam Karimov The position of former First Secretary of the Communist Party is one of the only aspects in which the two leaders are similar. Karimov did not rise up through the Communist Party ranks as Nazarbayev did, and prior to his appointment as First Secretary of the Uzbek Communist Party, he was the First Party Secretary of the rather remote Kashkadarya oblast (Carlisle 1995: 196). Karimov was trained as an economist, and formerly worked for the republic’s branch of Gosplan. His background in Soviet-style economics with Gosplan has greatly influenced his ideas about Uzbekistan’s economic reform process, and the rejection of any kind of shock therapy approach to reforms.8 Karimov was also deeply concerned about the societal stability of the country and was aware that substantial structural reforms may have resulted in social unrest. Uzbekistan has an increasing working age population and high employment in the agricultural sector, which if developed to reflect more modern methods would actually decrease employment in the sector (Agzamov et al. 1995). Karimov’s decision to embrace past policies and to rehabilitate Rashidov, as well as other officials involved in the cotton affair, would also result in the return of members of the former First Party Secretary’s Soviet-era elite.9 These decisions by Karimov to look to the past for the future development of Uzbekistan have greatly impacted the development of the country. As stated previously, the cotton production of the country cannot be sustained into the near future. The only way for the government to continue to bring in the

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needed revenue without implementing painful reforms was to implement the distorted exchange rate system in the latter part of 1996. This decision was necessary in order to correct a severe balance of payments situation that the government had no control over. First, there was a significant decline in the cotton harvest, largely as a result of adverse weather conditions for cotton growing. The world price of cotton and gold, two of Uzbekistan’s largest export revenue earners, also decreased from 1995 prices. Second, in 1996 the price of wheat imports significantly increased, from $153 a ton in 1995 to $251 a ton (IMF 1998: 109). This led the government to implement restrictions on imports and access to foreign exchange in mid-1996 in order to protect the foreign exchange reserves in the country.10 The Uzbek government had stated many times prior to October 2003 that it would end the restrictive exchange rate regime. It was also hypothesized that because of the international attention the country received after the September 11 2001 attacks, including a closer relationship with the USA, that these events would increase the likelihood of convertibility (The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2002: 6). However, it is more likely that the decision had to do with the economic circumstances of a stronger balance of payments situation, due in large part to high world prices for gold and cotton. Nursultan Nazarbayev Nazarbayev’s previous position as a prominent member of the Communist Party would have made it more likely that he would have been beholden to the former elite and would have proceeded with reform more slowly. Instead, Nazarbayev’s theme in statements made as early as 1991 was that Kazakhstan needed to pursue the transition to a market economy as quickly as possible (US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1991a). In order to facilitate this transition he brought in Western economists, in order to hear their advice on economic reform and privatization. This decision was later described as an important step in the country’s approach to economic reform (World Bank economist 2002). Regarding a continuation of the influence of communist ideology on economic reforms Nazarbayev stated, “I believe that we must resolutely separate the economy from ideology. There should be no party influence on economic strategy including influence by the Communist Party” (US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1991b). Nazarbayev realized even before the end of the Soviet Union that he would need to create a new strategy, and a new economy for Kazakhstan to be able to move forward as an independent country (Kazakhstan embassy official 2002). However, Nazarbayev did not have the support of his country’s parliament on his ideas about the implementation of economic reform. Nazarbayev dissolved the first parliament in late December 1993, because it rejected his resolution to speed up decisions on economic reform. The second parliamentary elections held in March 1994 were not considered free or fair because of instances of multiple voting, and a separate state list of candidates nominated

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directly by Nazarbayev.11 The new parliament and Nazarbayev would also have differences of opinion on economic reform, and in March 1995 the Kazakh Constitutional Court ruled that the previous elections were invalid, thus dissolving this parliament as well. However, it is extremely likely that Nazarbayev was somewhat responsible for this decision because of the parliament’s opposition to his economic reform policies (Olcott 1997). Nazarbayev subsequently ruled by presidential decree from March to December 1995, and during this time period many significant pieces of reform legislation were implemented (see Table 6.4). Many laws that were implemented during 1995 greatly advanced the economic reform program of Kazakhstan. For example, Kazakhstan’s revised tax code was described as representative of laws adhering to international standards, and was considered to be one of the most comprehensive passed among the FSU countries (Suhir and Kovach 2003). Because of the country’s economic reform program envisioned for 1996–98, the IMF approved the EFF for Kazakhstan in July 1996, and noted that 1995 had been the most successful year for the Kazakh economy since independence (IMF 1996c). However, many of these broad reforms were implemented during rule by presidential decree, and without the non-compliant parliaments and officials that had blocked reform measures. Nazarbayev was able to proceed with economic reforms by manipulating the political system in order to bring in people that would support his policies, and by removing his opponents. Former Soviet elite These actions also account for the high turnover of the former Soviet elite in the government of Kazakhstan. Yerik Asanbayev was the only member of Soviet era elite to be listed in the 1992 and 1993 governments of Kazakhstan. He was appointed as vice president of the Republic of Kazakhstan in December 1991 when Nazarbayev was sworn in as president (US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1991c).12 Asanbayev continued in this position until the new constitution of Kazakhstan was adopted in 1995, when the position of vice president was abolished.13 This is a very different situation from that of the Karimov government, in which some officials from the early government are Table 6.4 Reform legislation implemented in Kazakhstan during Nazarbayev’s rule by presidential decree, March–December 1995 Date

Legislation

Apr-95 Jun-95 Jul-95 Aug-95

Establishment of rehabilitation bank Compulsory medical insurance fund Revised tax code New banking legislation

Sources: International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1995: 17–27; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 1996: 157.

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members of the current government. For example, Utkir Sultanov was listed in the Uzbek government in 1992 as Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, which is an important position because of the Ministry’s responsibility for decisions about trade and exported goods. Sultanov was then appointed prime minister in 1995, and he held this position until December 2003, when he was assigned to the position of Deputy First Prime Minister for the Engineering, Metallurgical, Oil and Gas and Chemical Industries (Uzland 2004). In 2005, he held this post as well as a position as a Deputy Prime Minister (Uzland 2005). Additionally, the legislative branch of government, the Oliy Majlis, has had the same chairman, Erkin Khalilov, since the first legislative elections in 1994. While the chair of the legislature is ‘elected’ by parliamentarians, the longevity of Khalilov is more likely a further sign of Karimov’s influence over the legislative branch. The Karimov government has been representative of a government of continuity rather than change from the Soviet era. Conversely, in Kazakhstan, there has been a pattern of a shift in the government with the disbanding of the two parliaments and Nazarbayev’s belief that many of the governmental officials were not proceeding with economic reform as he had wanted. This was most evident after the resignation of the government headed by Sergei Tereshchenko in October 1994, and thus the ability of Nazarbayev to appoint members whom he approved of to serve in the government during his rule by presidential decree. Vladimir Shkolnik, for example, had been in the Tereshchenko government and was re-appointed by Nazarbayev to serve in the October 1995 government (Karasik 1996: 238). Shkolnik has continued to serve as a prominent member of the Kazakh government and is currently the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.14 In part, Nazarbayev was able to move against the former elite through a very vocal and early disassociation from Dinmukhamed Kunayev, the previous First Party Secretary, and the elite from the Brezhnev era (Alexandrov 1999: 6–10). Nazarbayev first began to criticize Kunayev in February 1986, citing among other issues his poor “methods of administration” (Alexandrov, 1999: 7). Additionally, in a speech Nazarbayev gave at the twenty-seventh CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) Congress, he cited the need for improvement against the “negative phenomena” that had affected the republic’s national economy, which he attributed to, “serious failings and shortcomings in the leadership of the economy … and violations in the principles of social justice as well as in the selection, placement and training of cadres” (US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1986). Nazarbayev did not have a positive view of Kunayev or his policies, which may have made it easier for him to proceed more independently of the former Soviet elite than Karimov, and thus to implement reform.

Prospects For further reform One of the most pressing issues as to the future of economic reform in both of these countries concerns whether delays in reform policies will continue in

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Uzbekistan, and conversely whether advanced policies will continue in Kazakhstan. While it is not a foregone conclusion that new leaders of either state would change economic policies dramatically, (presidential changes in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and in Turkmenistan (2007) have thus far not resulted in substantial economic policy changes), the framework developed in this chapter focused a great deal on actions by each leader as determining reform policies. It is difficult to determine whether the level of integration and thus the degree of interdependence that each republic had with the Soviet-era was a greater factor (than the role of leadership) in determining differences in the economic reform policies of both countries. Therefore, it is important to analyze both structural (integration) and agent (leadership) components for a comprehensive explanation of determinants of reform policies. Kazakhstan Presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan in December 2005 and while Nazarbayev was the “clear winner” garnering 91 per cent of the vote, the election “ … did not meet a number of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections” (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 2006: 3). Additionally, changes to the Kazakh constitution exempting Nazarbayev from the consecutive two-term limit for a president are a sign that Nazarbayev has no plans to step down as president in the near future (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 2007). Nazarbayev is popular, and it is likely that he would have won the presidential elections without any governmental interference, although probably not with such a high percentage of the vote. The government of Kazakhstan has been commended for its successful macroeconomic achievements since 2000, including halving the unemployment rate and tripling per capita income (Husain 2007). There has also been renewed attention whether the large oil and natural gas resources will lead or have led to a natural resource “curse” in the country, since high oil prices have helped to fuel much of the country’s economic growth (Olcott 2002; Pomfret 2005; 2006). The National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NFRK), an oil stabilization fund set up in 2000 to control inflation as well as to mitigate against future balance of payments problems, was noted by the IMF to have been a positive step (IMF 2003b). However, while the NFRK has been beneficial for the country (the IMF recommended its establishment), the IMF also noted that poverty was still a “serious concern” and that the benefits from the oil wealth were not benefiting all Kazakhs (IMF 2003b: 5). While Kazakhstan’s overall poverty rate had decreased from 30 per cent in 2001 to 20 per cent in 2003, poverty was about 30 per cent in rural areas in contrast to almost no poverty in Almaty and Astana (McMahon 2005). The overall poverty rate had decreased further to only 10 per cent in 2005, but again poverty was noted as being higher in the oblasts of Atyrau (25 per cent) and Kyzylorda (16.3 per cent) (World Bank 2006). Since oil prices were

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projected to be US$60.8 a barrel in 2007 and even though by February 2008 they had fallen to $41 US$ a barrel, resources are clearly available to improve the living standards of all Kazakhs. (IMF 2007: 19). Kazakhstan has the potential to continue to benefit from its oil reserves but it remains to be seen whether this wealth will be used to continue to alleviate poverty in the country or to enrich a select few (for a further discussion of the resource curse, see Chapter 7 by Oksan Bayulgen in this book). Uzbekistan Presidential elections in Uzbekistan were held on December 23 2007, which Karimov won with 88 per cent of the votes cast. While the OSCE/ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) assessed the elections, the organization only sent a Limited Election Observation Mission to the country for two reasons. First, the fact that visas for the OSCE/ODIHR NAM (Needs Assessment Mission) were not granted until November 26 made it impossible for the NAM to be able to assess and observe the conditions of the elections in a timely manner (OSCE 2007: 1). Second, the report noted that “(d)ue to the apparent limited nature of the competition” a comprehensive assessment of the procedures on election day would not be necessary (2007: 6). Obviously, the elections were a hoax in addition to the fact that according to the Uzbek constitution, it was technically illegal for Karimov to run again as a presidential candidate since he had already served two consecutive terms as president. The crackdown on protestors against the government during May 2005 in Andijan, Uzbekistan seemed to answer the question whether Karimov’s government would resort to violence to remain in power. The protestors were demonstrating at least in part against the poor economic conditions in the country, although the government blamed Islamic extremists (Kimmage 2005a; Bukharbayeva 2005). Prior to these events, the EBRD announced in April 2004 that due to limited progress on political and economic benchmarks that the Bank had outlined for the country in 2003, that it could no longer be involved in financing projects with the government and would instead focus on projects that clearly benefited Uzbeks in the private and public sector (EBRD 2004). The review noted that a political benchmark that had not been met was the refusal of the government to register opposition political parties. An economic benchmark that had not improved included the continued “restrictions on access to foreign exchange” even though current account convertibility had been formally implemented (EBRD 2004: 1). Uzbekistan has recently been increasing its economic and military relationships with Russia, and one analyst has described the situation as one in which Karimov has been “turning away from the West” (Kimmage 2005b). It is not clear that Karimov ever made substantial efforts to turn toward the West, although the country had seemed to be making some progress in economic and political reforms at times. However, it appears evident that any

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progress that Uzbekistan had made in integrating itself into the international community has been halted at least for the near future.

Conclusions and extending the analytical framework While Kazakhstan has proceeded with economic reform at a faster pace than Uzbekistan, each of these countries has only been an independent state since 1991. Additional time will be needed to be able to state with certainty the progress that each country will have made on areas of economic reform. However, the reform paths of these countries do indicate that advancement or delay on economic reform cannot solely be predicted by the fact that both leaders were former communist rulers. A detailed analysis of historical and political influences on reform combined with data about each country’s progress on economic reform provides a more complete picture of the reform processes. This type of analysis could also be extended to analyze the reform processes of other countries moving from distorted economies. The indicator for level of integration during the Soviet era could be used in other cases to represent the previous trade and economic orientation that the country had under its distorted economy. A lower level of trade, and thus less economic orientation would signify that the country would follow policies of a lower level of economic integration because it would be a difficult transition. If Uzbekistan’s entire economy had not been centered on the production of cotton, which did not develop from economic theories of comparative advantage, then the state could have altered its economy and society more easily. These types of circumstances lead to the other part of the analysis, which includes the decisions made by the leader and/or the government of the transitioning state. This is an important component of determining reform, although it has many facets. First, it involves close analysis of the leader’s history, previous background, and their writings and speeches in which they specifically talk about issues of economic reform. It should have come as a surprise to no one that Karimov would have continued the state-controlled economy. He was trained as a Soviet style economist, and he had stated very early in the reform process that his country would follow limited political and economic reform. Second, people that the leader chooses to serve in the government are a good indicator as to whether the leader is continuing with past policies or looking to the future. Nazarbayev’s manipulation of the political system was not a step toward democracy by any means, but he did remove people from government who did not agree with his reform policies. Therefore, a closer analysis of the historical and political circumstances of a transitioning state, including the role of the leader, are important components in determining the likely economic reform processes of those states. It would be a mistake for future research to continue to focus solely on the political categorization of a leader (former communist or authoritarian) because that is a narrow and unpredictable indicator in determining reform.

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Notes 1 In 1960, the Kuznetsk and Karaganda coal basins were stated as being able to produce enough coking coal to supply the metallurgy needs of the Urals for “many years” (Current Digest of the Soviet Press 1960: 5) 2 The primary cotton manufacturing oblasts were Ivanovo and Kostroma located near Moscow. The decision by the Soviets not to develop the manufacturing of cotton textiles where the cotton was grown was not based on sound economic policies, especially considering that the rail system was already overloaded and the fact that the textiles then had to be shipped back to the Central Asian region. For further details and additional analysis of cotton growing under the Soviet Union, see Rumer (1996: 62–75). 3 Data were not available for export, import, or consumption amounts of natural gas after 1998. 4 Ibid. 5 Uzbekistan’s balance was +130, and Tajikistan’s was +57. By comparison, Kazakhstan’s balance was −1068 (in millions of hard currency rubles) (Ekonomika i Zhizn 1990:7). 6 The “cotton affair” refers to the time period during Rashidov’s tenure as First Party Secretary around 1978–83, when Moscow, in effect, paid for cotton that it never received. The actual amounts of raw cotton delivered to Moscow were inflated to meet or exceed the planned target amounts by bribing officials at the procurement centers or by increasing the cultivated area, as explained in Rumer (1989: 70–71). The fact that the event would be portrayed not as one of corruption in Moscow but as one of an unfair prosecution of Uzbek officials in Uzbekistan would continue to strain relations between Uzbekistan and Russia during the Soviet era, see, for example, Critchlow (1988). 7 In the article Åslund (2003: 75) asserts that all of the Central Asian states are viewed as authoritarian, but that they have “great” differences in pluralism. 8 An official from the Embassy of Uzbekistan stated that Karimov’s economic background would allow him to understand the disadvantages of other economic systems, such as a shock therapy approach to economic reform (Uzbekistan embassy official 2002). For more information on Karimov’s reasons as to why the transition from a planned economy to a market based one should happen in phases and take time, see Karimov (1993). 9 I. Dzhurabekov who served in many positions in the Uzbek government from 1992–98, including Minister of Agriculture, was listed in the position of agricultural vice prime minister in the Rashidov government (see US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1994). 10 This decision also allowed the state to have enough currency reserves to pay for more important imported goods such as equipment needed for the self-sufficiency of local industry (Uzbekistan embassy official 2002). 11 For complete information on the March 7 1994 parliamentary election in Kazakhstan, see Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1994). Even though the commission did not certify these elections as free and fair, it is noteworthy that for Uzbekistan’s parliamentary elections held in 1999, that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe “refused” to send a full observer mission due to the failure of the process to meet democratic standards, and instead the commission sent a small team of representatives (Freedom House 2000). 12 The Kazakh parliament adopted a law instituting the position of vice president in November 1990 (US Foreign Broadcast Information Service 1990). 13 The first constitution of Kazakhstan was adopted in January 1993. A new constitution was adopted by referendum on August 30 1995. This new constitution does not mention a position of vice president (see Articles 47 and 48) (Butler 1999: 251–52).

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14 This Ministry is important in the Kazakh government due to its visibility with oil projects, and projections about increases in oil production. For examples of Shkolnik’s comments and visibility as Minister of Energy, see Timmons (2004).

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7

Caspian energy wealth Social impacts and implications for regional stability Oksan Bayulgen

The Caspian Sea region is a vaguely defined subset of Central Asia and the Caucasus consisting of the Sea’s littoral states Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan as well as Russia and Iran. It is a unique grouping “defined less by demography or geographic proximity than by geology” (Ruseckas 1998: 43). Since the break-up of the Soviet Union and the creation of new independent states in its place, this region has received significant attention from regional and international powers as well as major Western energy companies because of the promise of its largely untapped oil and gas reserves. During the initial excitement about the region, the Caspian Basin was touted by some estimates as one of the world’s largest new energy sources with up to 200 billion barrels of oil reserves almost on par with Saudi Arabia (Pope 1997). Even though estimates over time of the oil and gas potential of the region have been significantly moderated, there is no question that this region’s proven reserves are significant, approximately 3–4 per cent of the world’s total proven reserves. It is expected that by 2010 regional oil production will meet or exceed annual production from South America’s largest oil producer, Venezuela (US Energy Information Administration 2007).1 In the early stages of the Caspian oil and gas exploration, many observers had high expectations for the positive influence these resources would have on regional stability and on the political and economic prosperity of the Caspian states.2 The exploitation of these riches was expected to mitigate existing ethnic conflicts in the region and improve relations by providing incentives for littoral states as well as regional powers to cooperate for shared gains. It was also assumed that enormous cash investments and oil and gas sales would revive failing economies, stimulate much-needed economic growth, and provide safety nets for these societies (Olcott 1999). Consequently, energy wealth would cement the independence of these new states as they embarked on significant economic and political reforms. While these resources represent vast opportunities for cooperation and stability in the region, severe disagreements over pipeline routes from the Caspian Sea as well as the legal division of these reserves have created major obstacles to the realization of this region’s full potential. Many in fact argue that today’s competition for control over these resources resembles the rivalry

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of the Great Game between the British and Russian empires at the end of the nineteenth century (Rumer 1993; Central and Eastern Europe Bankwatch Network 2002; Menon 2003; Kleveman 2003; Weitz 2006). The world’s largest energy consumers (the USA, Russia, China), the largest foreign oil companies, as well as the rising regional powers like Turkey and Iran all want a piece of the Caspian energy pie. Caspian’s energy wealth is certainly at the heart of the rivalry between the new actors of the new Great Game. However, the competition for influence transcends the simple economic calculations of wealth distribution or various pipeline options and includes the intransigent political and geostrategic considerations that each has over this region. The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 left a power vacuum and triggered a jockeying for influence over the Caspian. The fact that it is surrounded by nuclear states (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and in the future possibly Iran), and that it is adjacent to Afghanistan, where the war against terrorism and militant Islam is unfolding, makes this an extremely fragile region. Unless all the actors involved in the Caspian find a common ground and work together to develop the region’s oil and gas fields and pipelines, this multifaceted and complex so-called “New Great Game” has the potential to endanger the overall regional stability and security. In addition to the prospects for regional instability, the poor performance of the Caspian states in utilizing these resources makes the expectations of economic prosperity and internal stability highly unlikely. Unfortunately, for the majority of the people in the Caspian region, the development of oil and gas is proving to be more curse than blessing. In the last decade, prospects of huge oil and gas rents have brought corruption, economic inequality, and poor social services instead of peace and good governance. The history of petroleum development in other parts of the world substantiates this predicament of the “black gold.” The rentier state literature extensively demonstrates that dependence of a state on a resource that is capable of generating such extraordinary rents, not only distorts the economy—an ailment known as the “Dutch Disease”—but also produces high levels of corruption, government inefficiency, inequality, and reinforces authoritarian tendencies by concentrating state power in the hands of a few ruling elites (Mahdavy 1970; Hughes 1975; Delacroix 1980; Gelb 1986; Shafer 1994; Chaudry 1997; Karl 1997; Ross 2001). The presence of natural resources can also cause domestic instability by providing attractive spoils to potential rebels and/or by creating resentment over unequal distribution of oil rents (Collier and Hoeffler 1998, 2005; Wantchekon 1999; De Soysa 2000; Snyder 2006). In this chapter, based on the overview of the literature and an extensive indepth analysis of government documents, company reports, and statistical data, I will first focus on two issues over which much of the struggle has been taking place: the pipeline routes to carry the Caspian oil and gas to world markets and the legal division of the Caspian Sea. Following a discussion on the effects these issues have had on regional stability, I will also explore the

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implications of the energy wealth for the internal economic and political development of the Caspian states. Overall, I demonstrate how the particularities of the Caspian energy wealth are likely to contribute to disorder in the region by reducing the incentives for cooperation among regional actors as well as the incentives for reform for those that are enriched with it.

Dispute over the pipeline routes The landlocked nature of the Caspian region makes the export of large quantities of oil and natural gas to markets extremely challenging. At the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Caspian oil was being transported through two pipelines: from Baku on the Caspian to either the Georgian port of Supsa or the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. From there, it was transported via tankers that had to pass through the increasingly congested Bosporus Strait in Turkey. Kazakhstan’s exports have also relied on an existing pipeline to Samara (Russia), where Kazakh crude was blended with West Siberian crude, ultimately arriving at Russian terminals on the Black Sea or at European markets via the Druzhba (“friendship” in Russian) pipeline. Increased oil production, the war in Chechnya, deteriorating pipelines, the monopoly of the Russian transportation company Transneft, and the clogging of the Bosporus Strait, however, forced the multinational oil companies and littoral states to consider alternative routes of transport from the region. What made this issue especially thorny was that the littoral states, regional powers, and the multinational energy companies had different and opposing ideas as to where the pipelines should be built. The bargaining over the proposals was hard fought, given each actor’s relative security and economic considerations in the new Caspian game. To minimize their dependence on Russia, the newly independent states of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan have been trying to change the region’s energy flow from the existing north–south axis toward Russia to an east–west axis toward Europe (US Energy Information Administration 2003). The region’s two biggest pipeline projects, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium Project (CPC), and the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline (BTC) are establishing the framework for this new axis (see Map 7.1). The CPC pipeline connects Kazakhstan’s Caspian Sea oil reserves (mostly from the Tengiz field) to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. The governments of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Oman developed the CPC project in conjunction with a consortium of international oil companies (including Chevron and Exxon Mobil). It is actually an extension of the existing oil transit infrastructure surrounding the Caspian Sea. Newly constructed components of the line run from the Russian town of Komsomolskaya straight westward to Novorossiysk. From there, it is transported to world markets by tankers that pass through the Turkish Bosporus Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Officially opened on November 27 2001,

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Map 7.1 Caspian region oil pipelines (U). Source: Energy Information Administration, Caspian Sea (January 2007).

the CPC pipeline had an initial capacity of 560,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and exported around 690,000 bbl/d in 2007 with plans to further increase capacity to 1.34 million bbl/d (US Energy Information Administration 2008). This pipeline met significant Russian opposition because it provided Kazakhstan with an alternative to the Russian-dominated northern export route, the Atyrau–Samara pipeline, and diversified the ownership and control of the pipeline with an international consortium, thereby effectively ending Russia’s monopoly on energy transport systems in the Caspian Basin. As such, this project has been a constant reminder to the Russians of the spreading US presence in this region. Opposing the CPC from the beginning, Russians have recently been able to change the dynamics of the pipeline game in their favor. In May 2007, they reached an agreement with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to build a natural gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea coast. The pipeline is to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe via Kazakhstan and Russia. The agreement, along with an accompanying deal to upgrade existing Soviet-era infrastructure in Uzbekistan, is now seen as a blow to US, European, and Chinese hopes of diverting the flow of Central Asian gas out of Russian hands (Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 2007). The CPC pipeline has also been opposed by Turkey, which has repeatedly raised concerns about the ability of the Bosporus Strait to handle additional tanker traffic, considering that most of the other Russian oil pipelines also

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terminate at Novorossiysk and need to go through the Turkish straits to reach world markets. The 17-mile-long Bosporus Strait is one of the world’s busiest and most difficult to navigate waterways with an annual capacity of 50,000 vessels, including 5,500 oil tankers (US Energy Information Administration 2005). Currently oil flow through the Bosporus ranges from 2.8 to 3.1 million bbl/d. The CPC expansion is estimated to add an incremental 750,000 bbl/d of oil to this amount (US Energy Information Administration 2007). The increase in tanker traffic from the launch of the CPC pipeline has legitimately brought attention to the environmental and security concerns about possible accidents and ensuing oil spills.3 Given these concerns and the potential advantages of having a pipeline built across its territory, Turkey has systematically advocated and lobbied for an alternative westward pipeline that would carry oil from Azerbaijan’s Baku via Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The BTC pipeline was also favored by Georgia, which would receive substantial amounts in transit fees and by Azerbaijan, which would use it to bypass the Russian sphere of influence and increase its leverage over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Armenia.4 Even though the US, Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Georgian governments have openly supported and provided economic incentives for the construction of this pipeline, the BTC project has faced numerous challenges to its development. Initially, the multinational oil companies were reluctant to start it because of the costs involved in building across the long, rugged terrain.5 Moreover, local and international non-governmental organizations objected because they found the project to be environmentally hazardous, threatening to regional archeological treasures, important national parks, water resources and in violation of international human rights.6 Nevertheless, with clear US support, in 1999 the BTC was designated the main export route for the Azerbaijani Consortium, consisting of oil companies led by British Petroleum, to explore and develop Azeri oil. The first oil started flowing from Baku on May10 2005 and reached the port of Ceyhan on May 28 2006. As a viable alternative to the east–west corridor projects, Iran and all major oil companies have consistently held that southern routes to the Persian Gulf are the shortest, and the least expensive means of exporting oil from the Caspian Sea. A pipeline through Iran is estimated to cost 40–50 per cent less than the BTC pipeline (Askari 2003). In addition to these southern routes, the swapping of oil with Iran was considered a viable alternative. Accordingly, the Azeri, Kazakh, and Turkmen oil would be delivered to Iran’s northern oil refineries and, in return, Iranian oil would be made available at Iran’s Kharg Island terminal in the Persian Gulf.7 The Iranian option has not been fully utilized, given the US objection to doing business with the Islamic regime, which has been openly anti-West since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Iran Sanctions Act imposes sanctions on non-US companies investing in the Iranian oil and natural gas sectors. The US companies are already prohibited from conducting business with Iran

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under US law. In 1997, however, Turkmenistan and Iran completed the US $190 million Korpezhe–Kurt Kui pipeline linking the two countries, thereby becoming the first natural gas export pipeline from Central Asia to bypass Russia (US Energy Information Administration 2003). In addition, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have both initiated low-volume oil swap deals with Iran, delivering oil in tankers to refineries in Iran’s northern regions in exchange for similar volumes of crude at Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf. As of May 2004, about 130,000 bbl/d of Russian, Turkmen, and Kazakh oil were being shipped to Neka port on the Caspian, and then on to Tehran by the existing 170,000 bbl/d capacity Neka–Tehran pipeline (US Energy Information Administration 2004). There are also other pipelines—some just recently completed, others still under construction, and yet others that are on hold—for transporting Caspian oil and gas resources to various world markets (see Map 7.1).8 The one that holds the most potential is the 613-mile-long Kazakhstan–China pipeline, which carries Kazakh oil from north-western Kazakhstan to China’s north-western Xinjiang region. Completed in 2006, this pipeline is designed to meet the rising Chinese appetite for energy. China has a booming economy, and since 2003 has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest oil importer (after the USA) (Bahgat, 2005: 269). Multiple pipelines: peace pipelines? Despite the disagreements over the pipeline routes, multiple pipelines are becoming the reality of the Caspian region. The question is whether they will become “peace pipelines”—by linking the countries through agreements, treaties, and alliances—or be sources of disorder for an already fragile region.9 I argue that given the limited resources of the Caspian Sea and the obstacles to the timely construction of the pipelines, over the long run one is more likely to witness competition rather than cooperation among the Caspian actors. Considering the significant implications of these transportation routes for the revenue streams of Caspian states, the competition over the pipeline routes will more likely continue to raise tensions between those who benefit from them and those who are left out.10 First of all, the Caspian Sea does not hold the promise that many initially ascribed to it (Rasizade 2005; Manning 2000). Industry sources have cited several drilling disappointments, particularly in Azerbaijan since the late 1990s. The new moderated estimates of the reserves make the Caspian pie to be shared much smaller than previously expected. In addition, the opening up of oil fields that were once closed to foreigners in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia make the Caspian Sea a less attractive destination for investors, particularly considering the high production and transportation costs of its oil. Because oil in Saudi Arabia can be produced for less than US$3 a barrel, the transport costs of Caspian oil mean that oil companies would need about US$13 a barrel to make a profit from their Caspian oil exports (Manning 2000: 18).11

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This competition for investment as well as the limited resources put the “first movers” at a distinct advantage (Mahnovski 2003: 129). Second, the building of the necessary export pipelines and thus the development of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas has been significantly slowed down by regional conflicts. Most of these conflicts are in the Caucasus part of the Caspian region: Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, and the Chechen republic of Russia. Many of the proposed export routes pass through these areas where issues in dispute remain unresolved.12 The numerous flashpoints and the ongoing instability have caused energy companies and potential investors either to back away from or to delay the construction of proposed pipelines. For example, the western route for early oil from Baku, Azerbaijan to Georgian port of Supsa, as well the main export route of BTC, pass just north of the disputed Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the sites of separatist struggles in Abkhazia (north-west Georgia) and Ossetia (north-central Georgia). The port of Supsa is just 12 miles from a buffer zone between Abkhazia and Georgia. In October 1998, pipeline construction on the western route was suspended because of fighting between government forces and those led by Akaki Eliava, a supporter of the late Georgian president Gamsakhurdia. Also, previous Georgian president Shevardnadze escaped assassination attempts in 1995 and 1998, which were reported to have been linked to disputes over construction of oil pipelines through Georgian territory (US Energy Information Administration 2002). Similarly the northern route for early oil from Azerbaijan, the Baku– Novorossisk pipeline passes for 80 miles through the contested Russian Republic of Chechnya. Russia’s Transneft pipeline transport company and Chechen government officials have clashed in the past over the issue of tariffs and war reparations from Russia (Bahgat 2004). On the east side of the Caspian, the unstable situation in Afghanistan has stifled the development of export routes to the southeast. Furthermore, the continued threat of Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia, especially in the Ferghana Valley, has prohibited any new export pipelines in that region. The possibility of war between Pakistan and India served as a further deterrent to Caspian export pipelines running southeast, via either Iran or Afghanistan (US Energy Information Administration 2002). The construction slowdown has the potential to heighten tensions for two reasons. First, it means a delay in much-needed profits for the governments and the subsequent reduction in the degree of patience and tolerance needed for reaching compromise solutions. Disappointment over the waning prospect of oil windfalls has exacerbated the financial shortages that the transition to a market economy has produced, lessening the region’s ability to realize its energy potential. Second, ethnic tensions make certain pipeline routes more preferable than others for potential investors, resulting in competition for international financing and a zero-sum mentality, where one actor’s gains are considered another’s loss. Thus, in a context where the future of energy development is uncertain and the pie to be shared is smaller than anticipated,

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the actors become acutely sensitive to any erosion of their relative capabilities. This makes it more likely for them to decline to join, or limit their commitment to cooperative arrangements in the future if they believe that their partners are achieving or are likely to achieve greater gains.13 The relationship between Azerbaijan and Armenia provides one example of how the relative-gains consideration can potentially destabilize the security situation in the region. Armenia is bypassed by the BTC pipeline and hence fails to enjoy the economic and financial benefits of pipeline and terminal construction. Pipeline maintenance expenditures and especially transit fees could provide substantial benefits to a country of transit. It is estimated that the maintenance of a 1–1.5 million barrels a day (MBD) pipeline would annually amount to about US$50 million and that transit fees would annually be about US$0.80 a barrel, or US$300 million annually for a MBD pipeline. Further, the engineering and construction of a number of oil and gas pipelines would yield significant business, estimated at US$6 to US$10 billion (Askari 2003). One can argue that the relatively stable status quo that has persisted since the ceasefire in 1994 may be attributed to the weakness of the Azerbaijani military to challenge areas under Armenian control. However, the oil wealth may threaten the status quo as the prospect of large inflows of export revenues give rise to Armenian concerns that Azerbaijan will use these revenues to buy military armament and shift the balance of power in its favor.

Dispute over the legal division of the Caspian Sea The legal partitioning of the Caspian Sea is another issue where conflicts of interests have significantly increased tensions among the Caspian states and helped to accelerate the militarization of the Caspian Sea. Prior to its breakup, the Soviet Union and Iran relied on several agreements to govern their relationship in the Caspian, most notably the Friendship Treaty of 1921 and the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation of 1940. After 1991, the number of littoral states increased to include five (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan), making the two treaties null and void.14 The division of the Caspian wealth immediately became contentious. Their inability to resolve this dispute in a timely manner prevented the five states from developing their fields and getting the oil and gas to markets expeditiously and efficiently. The uncertainties in connection with the distribution of Caspian resources slowed existing investment projects and rendered investors reluctant to start new ones. The main issue in the debate on the legal status of the Caspian has been whether it is a sea or a lake. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have since the beginning consistently insisted that the Caspian is a sea and that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should apply to it.15 According to this convention, the littoral states can claim 12 miles from shore as their territorial waters and beyond that a 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Applying it to the Caspian would mean that full maritime boundaries of the five littoral

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states would be established based upon an equidistant division of the sea and undersea resources into national sectors. Russia and Iran, on the other hand, initially argued that the Caspian is an inland lake and the Law of the Sea does not apply. They advocated a condominium approach, which envisions joint management of the Caspian resources (see Map 7.2). In the late 1990s, some of these states engaged in bilateral talks to resolve their disagreements and expedite the oil exploration projects. In 1997, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan agreed to adhere to the borders of the sectors along the median line until a convention on the legal status of Caspian was signed. Also in 1997, Kazakhstan signed an agreement with Turkmenistan that pledged to divide their sections of the Caspian along median lines (Bahgat 2005: 123). The signing of these agreements between the three states brought about a major change in the Russian approach. By the late 1990s, Russia was advocating the principle of dividing the seabed and its resources between neighboring states. Based on a median-line approach, Russia signed agreements with Kazakhstan in 1998, with Azerbaijan in 2001, and with both again in May 2003 (US Energy Information Administration 2007). Unlike Russia, Iran has been more adamant about the condominium approach. It rejected the bilateral agreements that were signed among the other littoral states and insisted on developing the resources in the Caspian collectively. The reason for this foot dragging by Iran has been the uneven distribution of potential oil and gas riches in the Caspian seabed. Iranian shores hold much less oil and gas reserves than the other littoral states. According to the median-line approach, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan would each get respectively 21, 13.6, 28.4, 19, and 18 percent, making Iran the biggest loser and Kazakhstan the winner (Feifer 2002). Despite some bilateral and trilateral attempts, however, as of yet no agreement has been reached among the five littoral states regarding the final partitioning of the Caspian Sea.16 The lack of consensus on this matter so far has created significant tensions between the littoral states and in some cases militarized their relations. For instance, in February 1998, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan agreed to divide the Caspian Sea between them along a median line but disagreed strenuously on where to draw the line over a field called Kyapaz by Azerbaijan and Serdar by Turkmenistan. Azerbaijan reached a preliminary agreement with oil companies to develop this field in July 1998, but Turkmenistan laid claim to it a few months later. Turkmenistan also laid claim to portions of the Azeri and Chirag fields and argued that they lay within its territorial waters. It alleged that Azerbaijan is illegally working in these fields and in July 2001 demanded that Baku suspend all such work (Bahgat 2004). This dispute has stalled work in the central Caspian since 1998 and helped kill a trans-Caspian gas pipeline that might have benefited both parties. Another confrontation between the littoral states took place on July 23 2001 when two Azerbaijani research ships were chased by an Iranian gunboat from a disputed oil field in the southern Caspian (Lelyveld 2002). The near

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Map 7.2 Competing Caspian claims. Source: Energy Information Administration, Caspian Sea (January 2007).

clash was the most serious conflict in the oil-rich waters since the Soviet break up. The immediate result of the July 23 incident was a decision by Britain’s BP oil company to suspend all activity under its contract with Azerbaijan in the oil field that Baku calls Alov and Tehran calls Albroz. More importantly, perhaps, the region witnessed a significant military build-up soon after the incident. The first display of preventive power was by

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Turkey, when Ankara sent fighter jets to Baku in late August for an air show that also served as a display of force on behalf of its ethnic ally, Azerbaijan. Furthermore, both the USA and Russia registered disapproval of the Iranian action. Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered military maneuvers in the Caspian, employing some of the newest weapon technologies, 60 warships and 10,000 military personnel (Rasizade 2005: 16) Putin also pledged to allocate more than US$300 million in the coming years to modernize the Russian Caspian Fleet (Ogutcu 2003: 10). To counter Russian military exercises and presence in the region, the Bush administration initiated a series of joint military exercises in the Caspian Sea to train Azerbaijan’s naval fleet to protect the oil-rich nation’s offshore drilling platforms (Berman 2004–5: 62). The US government has also set up troops called the “Caspian Guard,” which aim at establishing a mutual control regime in air, sea, and land borders for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in case there are attacks to oil fields and pipelines (Bahgat 2005: 280). Hence, the lack of an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian has delayed major energy projects, increased direct tensions among littoral states, and led to a military build-up, contributing to the overall instability and insecurity in this region.

Domestic implications of the Caspian resource wealth Even if we still believe in the potential for mutually cooperative relations among the Caspian actors over time, the performance of the newly independent Caspian states in managing their oil wealth so far can easily engender pessimism about the overall regional security and stability. The resource curse literature is full of examples of countries where a high degree of dependence on primary exports has had detrimental effects on long-term economic growth, governance, social and economic equality, as well as political institutions, particularly when the development of the resources coincided with modern state-building. There seems to be a consensus among experts that the Caspian societies are already witnessing the curse of oil. Analysts warn of an imminent “Dutch Disease” as a result of oil dependence, and the increasing corruption and inequality levels are threatening the social peace and order in these countries. Unless the leaders diversify their economies, and build corruption-free institutions to collect and distribute revenues efficiently and fairly, the domestic unrest that is accumulating may have huge consequences for the stability and peace in the Caspian region. Distortions in the economy: “Dutch Disease” Oil and gas revenues are the backbone of the Caspian economies. One way to measure the level of dependence on oil and gas revenue is to look at the percentage of fuel exports in total exports and the percentage of oil and gas revenues in total government revenues. As the figures in Tables 7.1 and 7.2 demonstrate, by both of these accounts the Caspian states are highly

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dependent on energy resources. For instance, Azerbaijani fuel exports between the years 1996 and 2004 have been on average 78 per cent of total exports (see Table 7.1).17 These figures are similar to those of major energy producing countries like Venezuela and Iran, 81 and 85 per cent (respectively) on average during the same years (World Development Indicators 2006). Moreover, the energy sector accounted for more than half of budget revenues in Azerbaijan (see Table 7.2), more than 30 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) since 2002 and 74 and 97.6 per cent of all foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2003 and 2004 respectively (US Energy Information Administration 2005). Considering that oil and natural gas production are expected to increase dramatically in the near future with the operationalization of the newly constructed pipelines from the region, even under conservative oil and gas reserve and price estimates, the revenue windfall to these governments over the next 20 years will be substantial.18 As demonstrated in the literature, such a high degree of energy dependence usually creates serious structural problems in the economies of oil rich countries—also known as the “Dutch Disease.”19 Typically in the first stage of this disease, as the rents flow into the economy, national currency becomes very strong in relation to the US dollar. Imports then become cheaper, and local products become more expensive and noncompetitive in international markets. The result is that most branches of the national economy other than oil exploration and its transportation soon deteriorate (Kurbanov and Sanders 1998). Moreover, such dependence on oil rents may cause the economy to become vulnerable to changes in world oil prices as they go through cyclical booms and busts. Any significant drop in oil prices leads to a sharp decline in government revenues and then to borrowing from foreign lenders. Finally, despite increasing government revenues, oil development typically does not improve the job market since energy development projects are technology-

Table 7.1 Fuel exports (% of total exports)

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

66 33 –

61 35 77

69 38 59

79 45 64

85 52 81

91 55 –

89

86 62 –

82 65



Source: World Development Indicators 2006. Table 7.2 Oil and gas revenues (% of total government revenues)

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

23 5

36 15

36 26

56 20

56 24

52 28

Source: International Monetary Fund (2005a,b).

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intensive and require only a few qualified engineers and workers after the initial construction period. Even though their oil and gas production levels are not at full capacity, the Caspian states are already showing signs of this disease (Esanov et al. 2001; Cohen 2006). For instance, the agricultural and non-fuel industrial sectors have already suffered significantly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Table 7.3 demonstrates that as a percentage of GDP, agriculture value added fell dramatically in both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan since the beginning of the 1990s.20 The appreciation of the national currency against the dollar has also become quite visible. For instance, the Azerbaijani manat appreciated over 6 per cent in nominal terms against the US dollar in 2005, and an additional 1 per cent in 2006 (Global Insight 2006). Moreover, inflation is showing signs of increase in the last couple of years in part due to higher levels of public spending as a result of higher oil revenues. For instance, in Azerbaijan, inflation was reported at 9.6 per cent in 2005 and 11 per cent in 2006.21 Experts warn that a further increase into double digits can jeopardize the growth potential of the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), these inflationary pressures are likely to increase as the oil export volumes increase and the non-oil sectors contract (Cohen 2006:14). Finally, as commonly found in a “Dutch Disease,” the job market has not expanded much in these states. For instance, the oil sector represented only 1 per cent of employment in Azerbaijan in 2002 (International Development Association 2005). Weak governance, corruption, inequality In addition to weakening the economy and making it vulnerable to global price fluctuations, oil windfalls are also changing the structure and capacity of these states to govern effectively (Leite and Weidmann 1999; Ross 1999; Auty 2001). First of all, the availability of easy and direct rents is making government elites and their supporters who benefit from these rents reluctant to introduce reforms that can empower new groups and threaten the status Table 7.3 Agriculture, value added (% of gross domestic product)

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

32 – 32

29 27 11

28 18 19

33 15 35

27 13 17

28 13 14

22 12 22

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

19 9 26

19 10 26

17 9 25

16 9 25

15 9 22

13 8 21

12 8 –

Source: World Development Indicators World Bank Group (2006).

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quo.22 This is most evident in the drastic decline in the ability of these governments to enforce tax collection and maintain even minimal levels of public services and social welfare protections. For instance, a recent IMF paper concludes that in 10 years of reforms Azerbaijan has made no progress and has even backtracked on electricity reform, a large source of potential tax revenue for the state (Cohen 2006:15). Moreover, the low levels of government expenditures on health care and public education demonstrate that these governments have on average spent less even when their revenue streams increased as a result of oil and gas exports. For instance, public expenditure on health care in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as a percentage of GDP from 1991 to 2003 dropped from 3.1 per cent to 1 percent, and from 4.3 per cent to 2 per cent respectively (see Table 7.4). Similarly, public spending on education fell from 8 to 3 per cent and 3.9 to 2 per cent in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan respectively between 1991 and 2004 (see Table 7.5).23 As a result, according to many experts, in the past several years, the quality of public education and health care has deteriorated in these countries and a relatively egalitarian social structure has been destroyed. Second, an abundance of petrodollars in government hands has been increasing the incentives for rent-seeking behavior and corruption in these countries. A 2001 study by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) shows that total energy rents during 1992 and 2000 have been in the order of 20–50 per cent of GDP in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan and that a significant portion of these rents has been used to support subsidies to special interest groups favored by incumbent governments instead of being allocated to productive areas (Esanov et al. 2001). The report also shows that in several instances, the leaders of these countries have appropriated export rents outside the state budget for the benefit of their closest entourage. According to the report, this is most evident in Turkmenistan, where the US$1.5 billion foreign exchange reserve has been under the direct control of the president (Esanov et al. 2001: 6). According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks countries according to the perceptions of corruption by Table 7.4 Public health expenditures (% of gross domestic product)

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

3.1 4.3 3.7

2.4 2.1 –

3.3 2.3 1.9

1.9 2.2 1.9

1.3 4.9 1.9

1.3 4.6 2.2

1 4.7 3

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

0.7 3.6 4

0.7 3 4.4

0.6 2.7 4.6

0.5 1.9 1.1

1 2 2

1 2 3

Source: World Development Indicators (2002, 2006).

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business people and country analysts, the Caspian states rank nearly at the bottom of the list with low CPI scores, indicating high levels of corruption (see Table 7.6).24 For instance, in 2006, among 163 countries, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan ranked 130, 111, and 142 respectively (Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2006). Similarly, a study conducted by the World Bank and EBRD shows that among 20 countries with transitional economies, 59.3 per cent of the companies in Azerbaijan spend from 8 to 10 per cent of their annual income on bribery, a figure that puts Azerbaijan in the lead (Hellman and Schankerman 2000). Corruption is, of course, nothing new in the former Soviet republics; in fact, it is a legacy of the Soviet regime (Stefes 2006). In its declining years the Communist system lived on bureaucratic fiddling. These former Soviet republics “inherited political institutions that entailed near-universal state ownership of property and a bureaucracy imbued with an autocratic and interventionist mentality” (Schroeder 1996: 12). The Soviet legacy of centralized power was further strengthened after independence in 1991. The Table 7.5 Public spending on education (% of gross domestic product)

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

8 3.9 3.9

– 2.7 –

7.6 – –

4.9 – –

3.5 4.5 –

3.8 4.7 –

3.5 4.4 –

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

3.4 4 –

4.2 4 –

4 3 –

4 3 –

3 3 –

3 3 –

3 2 –

Source: World Development Indicators (2002, 2006). Table 7.6 Corruption scores and ranking 1999

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

2000

2002

CPI

Rank

CPI

Rank

CPI

Rank

1.7 2.3 –

96 84 –

1.5 3 –

87 65 –

2 2.7 –

84 71 –

2003

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

2001

2004

2005

CPI 2 88 –

Rank 95 2.3 –

2006

CPI

Rank

CPI

Rank

CPI

Rank

1.8 2.4 –

124 100 –

1.9 2.2 2

140 122 133

2.2 2.6 1.8

137 107 155

CPI 2.4 2.6 2.2

Rank 130 111 142

Source: Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Indices (CPI) (1999–2006) (www.transparency.org).

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persisting elites from the communist era have acquired the right to set the rules of the game for energy development in an environment where the necessary regulatory institutions were painstakingly absent. The bonuses that foreign companies pay when oil contracts are signed are a perfect illustration of corruption in these countries. For instance in Azerbaijan, many believe that even though there is a Special Oil Fund set up to keep oil revenues from being inappropriately used, some bonus payments are pocketed by officials and that foreign companies are turning a blind eye to this diversion. A comparison of figures from oil contracts and the National Bank of Azerbaijan indicates a misbalance and confirms these suspicions (Central and Eastern Europe Bankwatch Network 2002).25 There is a common saying among the people: “The name of oil belongs to us but the taste of it belongs to others.”26 The extent of corruption and weak governance results in high levels of poverty, and weak development indicators for these societies despite the recent economic growth generated by the energy windfall. So far, the energy wealth has not translated into material comfort for the general population. For instance, in Azerbaijan the rate of poverty soared in 2002 with 44.6 per cent of the population considered poor and 26.9 per cent very poor. Even though it has decreased somewhat over the past years, it is still widespread at around 33 per cent (poor and very poor combined) of the population (International Development Association 2005). In Kazakhstan, on average 34.6 per cent of the population has been living below the national poverty line between 1990 and 2003 (United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) 2006b). In Turkmenistan, 45–50 per cent of the population was estimated to consume below the subsistence minimum in 2003, and 30 per cent of the population had a level of consumption below half the national average (World Bank 2006). Furthermore, life expectancy at birth in Azerbaijan—already low—has been declining as a result of high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates, and the high prevalence of preventable diseases. In 2002, nearly a quarter of children in Azerbaijan were malnourished and two-fifths were suffering from anemia; drinking water was available for only 54 per cent of households countrywide and for 17 per cent in rural areas (Central and Eastern Europe Bankwatch Network 2002). In Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the population without sustainable access to an improved water source stood at 14 and 28 per cent in 2004 respectively (UNDP 2006b). In terms of the Human Development Index (HDI) (a composite measurement of educational level, life expectancy, and income) in 2006, out of 177 countries, Azerbaijan was ranked 99, Kazakhstan 79, and Turkmenistan 105 (UNDP 2006a).27 Corruption and weak governance has also widened the income and consumption gaps between the haves and the have-nots in these societies. In terms of the Gini index, which measures inequality in a society (a value of 0 represents perfect equality; a value of 100, perfect inequality), the Caspian states fare poorly (see Table 7.7). Despite the missing data, Table 7.7 also

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179

demonstrates the wide gap between the richest and poorest segments of these societies during the 2000s when rents from energy projects started to accrue.28 Since relative deprivation drives group mobilization, especially when the distribution of wealth is considered unfair and the system is perceived to be engulfed in corruption, such a wide gap does not bode well for these societies.29 According to some experts, this disproportion in standards of living is also likely to contribute to domestic instability by exacerbating existing social and ethnic conflicts between oil-producing enclaves and other regions (Kurbanov and Sanders 1998). Anti-democratic tendencies Lastly, the rentier state literature extensively demonstrates how dependence on a resource that is capable of generating extraordinary rents also reinforces authoritarian tendencies by concentrating state power in the hands of a few ruling elites (Mahdavy 1970; Hughes 1975; Delacroix 1980; Gelb 1986; Shafer 1994; Chaudry 1997; Karl 1997; Ross 2001). It is a pattern that is certainly becoming apparent in the Caspian region. In terms of democratic development, the states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan performed disappointingly in the last decade. They have been consistently ranked “not free” in terms of political rights and civil liberties by Freedom House between 1993 and 2006 (Freedom House 2006).30 These states have been ruled by former communist elites who have gained wide powers to rule by decree and who have systematically harassed the opposition, civil society and stifled democratic development. Almost two decades since their independence, authoritarianism still persists in these countries. According to a recent study, in transitional countries each percentage point increase in fuel dependency is associated with a 0.01–0.03 point decrease in the rule of law, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and accountability (Hoff et al. 2004). In the post-Soviet states, the curse of oil is much more pronounced since these states have inherited from the Soviet Union highly centralized state structures and extremely weak civil societies. In these states the presidents and their closed circle of loyalists hold almost total control over the way energy contracts are written, the way energy projects are carried out, and finally the way the energy revenues are spent.31

Table 7.7 Inequality in income or consumption

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Turkmenistan

Year

Richest 10% Poorest 10%

Richest 20% Poorest 20%

Gini index

2001 2003 1998

3.6 8.6 10.6

2.6 5.9 7.8

36 34 41

Source: World Development Indicators 2006.

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For instance, in Azerbaijan without the consent of the president, the negotiations between foreign companies and the state oil company cannot begin (Bagliarbekov 1999; Bayram 1999). When he gives consent and the negotiations are complete, the president’s approval is once again needed before the contract can be sent to parliament for ratification. Considering that parliament rubberstamps all the contracts without any debate, it is clear that the president holds the utmost control over the development of energy resources (Bayulgen 2003). Not surprisingly, with so much money flowing into their economies, the stakes are raised for powerful elites to dominate the political system and continue to control the resources. A recent study of oil exporting countries from 1960–99 shows that oil wealth significantly decreases the likelihood of regime change (Smith 2004). Given this common pattern in oil-rich countries, the natural resources of the Caspian will most likely perpetuate the authoritarian regimes and eradicate any incentives for the ruling elites to initiate political reforms. A lack of political opening in these countries for more than 15 years can be attributed to these significant rents that come with controlling oil and gas resources. Even though the leaders of these countries acknowledge the potential negative affects of dependency on oil and have taken some measures to curb these tendencies,32 successful efforts to use petrodollars wisely will depend on the presence of countervailing democratic institutions and social pressures. Without a professional bureaucracy, strong political parties and civil society organizations, it is highly unlikely that the effects of the large volume of oil money will extend beyond a small and politically and regionally connected circle of governing elites. In a context where people perceive the distribution of wealth to be unequal, corruption to be pervasive, and governance to be weak, popular disillusionment will likely build over time. Lacking a voice in the political system, an increasing number of marginalized groups may create social unrest. What is even more alarming is that to contain social unrest, governments may become more repressive and utilize oil proceeds to build their military and police forces.33 An increase in military expenditure may further contribute to the disorder in the region.

A curse or blessing? There is a reason why many believe that oil is a curse. The past experiences of oil-rich states in the developing world confirm repeatedly the theoretical arguments about how and why oil endangers economic growth, political development, and regional security. While one can hope that the Caspian region is an exception to this rule, so far the regional and domestic developments surrounding the development of these resources provide signs of impending disorder in this part of the world. Especially with today’s escalating oil prices, the stakes are even higher for all actors in the Caspian geopolitical game. Unless disputes over the legal

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181

status of the Caspian Sea and the pipeline routes are resolved, energy projects will be delayed or cancelled, making considerations of relative gain ever more acute. It can also be argued of course that the higher stakes of developing these profitable resources may motivate the regional actors to overcome their differences and reach compromises. So far, there has been very little evidence for cooperation. Instead, the rule has been more of a stalemate than of progress on issues that Caspian actors disagree on. However, even if they decide to cooperate and resolve their differences, the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots among the Caspian populations will continue to be a source of tension and instability for the region as a whole. Only if the governments can establish an equitable and transparent distribution of the energy wealth, will they be able to ease social unrest and go on to build legitimate states and democratic governance that will one day turn the oil wealth into a blessing rather than a curse. Whether or not these states can escape the poor development outcomes of the earlier generation of countries that relied on oil and gas will be interesting to observe for students of this region.

Notes 1 Production from these resources is still far below the targets. Since the independence of the former Soviet republics in 1991, oil production has come primarily from the north Caspian states of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and only from a handful of projects (Kazakhstan’s Tengiz and Azerbaijan’s Azeri, Chirag, Gunesli (ACG) fields). 2 Here on forward, the term Caspian states will be used only to refer to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. This is because they share a lot of similarities and fit the regional focus of this book. 3 See Koldemir (2005) for detailed information on the characteristics of the Bosporus Strait and the environmental effects tanker accidents are having there. 4 Aside from a few thousand jobs, the BTC pipeline is expected to bring Georgia some US$60 million annually in transit fees. For more information, see Welt (2004). 5 While states are mainly interested in enhancing their strategic position and influence, the oil and gas companies have primarily the economic motive of profit maximization. 6 For instance, many environmentalists are concerned about the destructive effects of the pipeline on the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, site of the mineral water springs which provide Georgia’s largest export. The risk to the environment and communities is worsened by the fact that for the Azerbaijan and Georgia sections BP has chosen a corrosion protection system that is not suitable for the job. According to experts, the protective coating BP has used on pipe welds will fail, leading to corrosion of the steel pipe, and inevitable leaks. In Turkey too, engineers working on the pipeline have reported that construction and management standards are shoddy—leading to significant safety risks. Moreover, there is concern that the BTC project is taking away many people’s land and livelihoods without adequate compensation. Finally, some claim that the pipeline construction is violating human rights, with increased surveillance, harassment, and state repression in the region. For more details, see References for the Baku Ceyhan Campaign website and Wooden and Chatrchyan (2005). 7 According to Askari (2003), it is estimated that if Iran could swap oil from Caspian sources for its northern refineries for Iranian crude on the Persian Gulf, Iran could gain approximately US$0.50 per barrel or roughly US$90 million a year.

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8 For instance, the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP)—also named the Baku–Tblisi– Erzurum pipeline—runs parallel to the BTC oil pipeline for most of its route before connecting to the Turkish gas infrastructure near the town of Erzurum (US Energy Information Administration 2007). This 550-mile-long pipeline, whose construction ended in May 2006, will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field in the Caspian to world markets through Georgia and Turkey. Another pipeline is the subsea trans-Caspian pipeline that Kazakhstan wants to build connecting north-western Kazakhstan (Aktau) to the BTC pipeline. Owing to Russian and Iranian opposition, however, this pipeline is only at the proposal stage (US Energy Information Administration 2007). Finally, there is the trans-Afghan pipeline, which Turkmenistan has been promoting. This pipeline would entail building pipelines across war-ravaged Afghan territory to reach markets in Pakistan and possibly Iran (US Energy Information Administration 2007). The security concerns, however, have kept construction from beginning. 9 For more information, see Welt (2004). 10 According to Mahnovski’s (2003) reporting of Chevron’s estimates, the CPC oil pipeline will add approximately US$84 billion to Russia’s GDP and US$23 billion in tax revenue and Kazakhstan will receive approximately US$8 billion in tax revenue over its 35–40 year lifetime. 11 According to others, such as Ebel (2003) and Rasizade (2005), a price of at least US$20 is needed to justify overall Caspian investment. Certainly there are other costs associated with investing in the Middle East as opposed to the Caspian in the first place. The political and geostrategic risks in the former are well known. However, from a purely technical standpoint, it is more costly to drill for and transport Caspian oil. 12 In fact, many argue that the competition over pipeline routes has fueled longstanding ethnic grievances in these areas. Accordingly, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Chechen rebellion against the Russian Federation, Russia’s interference in Georgia’s secessionist movements, and Turkey’s military struggle with Kurdish rebels have partly something to do with control over export pipelines. For further details, see Barylski (1995). 13 Relative capabilities theory figures prominently in the realist explanations for whether states can cooperate or not. Accordingly, these realists believe that driven by an interest in survival, states are sensitive to any erosion of their relative capabilities, which are the ultimate basis of their security and independence in an anarchical, self-help international context. They assert that the major goal of states in any relationship is not to attain the highest possible individual gain but instead to prevent others from achieving advances in their relative capabilities. They conclude that state positionality constrains the willingness of states to cooperate. See for more details Grieco (1992). 14 These treaties said nothing about the development of mineral deposits under the seabed. This was another reason why a new agreement was needed to accommodate the new situation. 15 Turkmenistan’s position has changed over time. Initially it supported the Russian proposal but then in bilateral agreements agreed to divide the sea along a median line. 16 Despite a lack of an overall agreement on the division of the Caspian Sea, all five of the littoral states signed an agreement to collectively begin efforts to reverse the environmental damage that energy development has imposed on the sea. For more detail, see Petroleum Economist (October 2006). 17 It is important to note that the non-fuel exports include export of natural gas. If we treat gas similar to oil—which should probably be the case since it is becoming more closely linked with oil—the share of the non-fuel sector decreases even further. 18 For instance, according to the International Development Association (2005), for Azerbaijan oil production is expected to reach a peak in 2010 at 59 million tons

Caspian energy wealth

19

20

21 22

23

24 25 26 27 28 29

183

annually (roughly four times current production) and then decline rapidly from 2012 onwards. According to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (2006), long-term revenue projections, based on an average oil price of about US$43 per barrel for the next 20 years, suggest gross revenues of about US$340 billion from Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields plus pipeline transit fees before operating costs. After operating costs, state fiscal revenues are expected to reach about US$175 billion, of which about US$20 billion will accrue to the state budget in the form of corporate tax revenues and US$155 billion will accrue to the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) in the form of royalties. The oil consortia are expected to rapidly repatriate some US$40 billion of invested capital, plus profits. According to the report, this implies an annual oil windfall of US$1,000 per capita for the next 20 years. This phenomenon is called the “Dutch Disease” because it was first identified when the Netherlands became a major exporter of natural gas in the late 1950s. The classic model describing Dutch Disease was first developed by Cordon and Neary (1982). For an extensive analysis of the negative economic effects of oil revenues, see Gelb (1986). The low level of non-oil economic activity has also driven many to black-market and criminal activities. Heroin smuggling has become a big industry region-wide and poppy production is rising in Kazakhstan. The absence of legitimate economic opportunity is contributing to the criminalization of local economies. For instance, according to Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program (2004), in the last decade, the share of drug-related crimes as a proportion of total crime increased from 3 per cent to 12 per cent in Kazakhstan. Between 1991 and 1999 the total number of the drug-related crimes increased by a factor of 4.3. Despite a registered decline in 2002, the U.S. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report noted a 15 per cent increase in drug-related crimes in 2003. See US Department of State (July 2007). These elites do in some cases introduce reforms that are mostly tailored to foreign investors because of the need for Western capital and expertise to jump-start the energy development. As energy resources become more developed, however, one would expect to see reform incentives weaken. For more information on how the availability of resource rents influences a government’s propensity to liberalize, see Dalmazzo and Blasio (2001). Also for a comparison of reform progress between energy-rich and energy-poor countries of the former communist states, see Esanov et al. (2001). During these years, population growth in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan was on average 1 and 0.3 per cent respectively. By comparison, Norway’s public expenditure on education and health care stands on average 7.5 and 7.8 per cent of its GDP during the same years (World Development Indicators 2006). The CPI scores range from 1 to 10, indicating the most and least corrupt respectively. According to the IMF, which oversees the organization of the Special Oil Fund, this arrangement has been deficient because it lacks formal and clear operating rules, and gives the president the sole authority on the use of the funds. Author’s translation of “Neftin adi bizimdir, tadi baskalarinindir.” See Musayev (1999). Kazakhstan’s relatively higher HDI score is a result of a higher figure for its GDP per capita, which is one of the components of HDI. Editor’s note: this is an important example of the methodological problems of comparisons between these countries and Turkmenistan in particular. See Chapter 2 for further discussion. Relative deprivation is a well-developed argument in the literature on political conflict. The pioneer of this theory, Gurr (1968, 1970), argued that the potential for collective violence depends on the discontent of members of a society and

184

30

31 32

33

O. Bayulgen

discontent is a result of a perceived gap between what they have and what they think they should have. Natural resource abundance offers the potential for riches among individuals and groups and consequently it is likely to increase the salience of the grievance and greed motive. For more information on the relationship between resource dependence and conflict, see Collier and Hoeffler (1998; 2005); Wantchekon (1999); De Soysa (2000), and Snyder (2006). Individual countries are evaluated based on a checklist of questions regarding political rights and civil liberties that are derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each country is assigned a rating for political rights and a rating for civil liberties based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest degree of freedom present and seven the lowest level of freedom. The combined average of each country’s political rights and civil liberties ratings determines an overall status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free. Except for Azerbaijan, which was considered “partly free” in several years, all the other Caspian states have been systematically “not free.” For further information on the relationship between oil and Azerbaijani politics, see Bayulgen (2003). Both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have established national oil stabilization funds with the aim of insulating the economy from volatile oil revenue, saving windfall resources for future generations, and increasing the transparency of oil revenue management. However, much remains to be done regarding the transparency of these funds. Ross (2001) for instance finds a strong correlation between oil wealth and military spending. He argues that oil revenues make it possible for regimes to invest in repressive apparatuses that can keep them in power despite social opposition.

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Musayev, I. (1999) Professor of Political Science, Baku State University, interview with the author, Baku, July 14, 1999. Ogutcu, M. (2003) “Caspian Energy and Legal Disputes: Prospects for Settlement,” Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence, 1, No. 2. < www.gasandoil.com/ogel/samples/ freearticles/article_19.htm > (accessed 24 January 2007). Olcott, M. B. (1998) “The Caspian’s False Promise,” Foreign Policy, Summer: 95–113. ——(1999) “Pipelines and Pipe Dreams: Energy Development and Caspian Society,” Journal of International Affairs, 53: 305–23. Petroleum Economist (October 2006) “Not yet a Caspian Sea Change.” < http:// proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1152937021&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=48996&RQT= 309&VName=PQD > (accessed 19 January 2007). Pope, H. (1997) “U.S. Report Says Caspian Oil Deposits Might be Twice As Large As Expected,” Wall Street Journal, 30 April. Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (2007) “Central Asia: Russian, Turkmen, Kazakh leaders agree on Caspian Pipeline,” 12 May. Rasizade, A. (2005) “The Great Game of Caspian Energy: Ambitions and Realities,” Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, 7: 1–17. Ross, M. (1999) “The Political Economy of the Resource Curse,” World Politics, 51: 297–322. ——(2001) “Does Oil Hinder Democracy,” World Politics, 53:325–61. Rumer, B. Z. (1993) “The Gathering Storm in Central Asia”, Orbis, 37: 89–105. Ruseckas, L. (1998) “State of the Field Report: Energy and Politics in Central Asia and the Caucasus,” National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) AccessAsia Review, July:41–84. http://accessasia.nbr.org/ (accessed 20 April 2000). Schroeder, G. (1996) “Economic Transformation in the Post-Soviet Republics,” in B. Kaminski (ed.) Economic Transition in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, New York: M.E. Sharpe. Shafer, M. (1994) Winners and Losers: How Sectors Shape the Developmental Prospects of States, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Smith, B. (2004) “Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960–99,” American Journal of Political Science, 48: 232–46. Snyder, R. (2006) “Does Lootable Wealth Breed Disorder?” Comparative Political Studies, 39: 943–68. Stefes, C. H. (2006) Understanding Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Swanstrom, N. (2005) “China and Central Asia: A New Great game or Traditional Vassal Relations,” Journal of Contemporary Russia, 14: 569–84. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2006) Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (1999–2006). < www.transparency.org > (accessed 23 July 2008). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2006a) Statistics in the Human Development Report: Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis 2006. < http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/ > (accessed 15 January 2007). ——(2006b) “Country Tables: Kazakhstan,” Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global wateR crisis 2006. Statistics in the Human Development Report. < http://hdr. undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/countries/data_sheets/cty_ds_KAZ.html > (accessed 15 January 2007). US Department of State (July 2007) “Background Note.” < www.state.gov/countries > (accessed 28 March 2008)

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US Energy Information Administration (July 2002) “Country Analysis Brief: Caspian Sea Region: Regional Conflicts,” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 13 September 2004). ——(August 2003) “Country Analysis Brief: Caspian Region.” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 22 August 2003). ——(August 2004) “Country Analysis Brief: Iran.” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 3 January 2007). ——(November 2005) “Country Analysis Brief: Caspian Sea Region, World Oil Transit Chokepoints.” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 19 January 2007). ——(August 2006) “Country Analysis Brief: Azerbaijan.” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 19 January 2007). ——(October 2006) “Country Analysis Brief: Kazakhstan.” < www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed 19 January 2007). ——(January 2007) “Country Analysis Brief: Caspian Sea Region.” < www.eia.doe. gov > (accessed 3 January 2007). ——(February 2008) “Country Analysis Brief: Kazakhstan.” < http://www.eia.doe.gov > (accessed February 2009). Wantchekon, W. (1999) “Why do resource dependent countries have authoritarian governments,” Leitner Working Paper 1999–11, New Haven, CT: Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Weitz, R. (2006) “Averting a New Great Game in Central Asia,” The Washington Quarterly, 29: 155–67. Welt, C. (2004) “A Georgian-Russian Pipeline: For Peace or Profit?” Eurasianet Commentary, 9 March. < www.eurasianet.org > (accessed 13 September 2004). Wooden, A. and Chatrchyan, A.M. (2005) “Linking Rule of Law and Environmental Policy Reform in Armenia and Georgia,” in C.P.M. Waters (ed.) The State of Law in the South Caucasus, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. World Bank (2006). “Turkmenistan Country Brief.” < www.worldbank.org > (accessed 2 September 2007). World Development Indicators (2002) World Bank Group. ——(2006) World Bank Group.

8

Beyond treaty signing Internalizing human rights in Central Eurasia Christopher P.M. Waters

Human rights standards are commonly set by states acting together. These standards—from the right to life to the right to participate in public life—are enshrined in a host of international treaties and declarations. The international community may monitor compliance with these standards and engage in “naming and shaming” of violators. In some regions—notably Europe—there are also human rights courts which provide regionalized judicial recourse for victims of rights abuses. Only occasionally, however, does the international community act directly to enforce human rights standards, by imposing sanctions, conducting criminal prosecutions, or, in extreme cases, using military force against violators. More often it is on the domestic front where actual adherence, or not, to human rights is determined (Galligan and Sandler 2004). While in every country in the world there is some distance between internationally agreed human rights standards and full domestic implementation of those rights, the extent of the disparity in the Caucasus and Central Asia (the “region”) is striking. Indeed, despite the fact that the region’s states have formally accepted the main core of international standards, the level of human rights abuse “on the ground” is high. In exploring human rights in Central Eurasia, this chapter aims to do three things. First, it will explore what formal human rights obligations exist for the region’s states. Second, it will consider the human rights situation on the ground, by taking a brief comparative overview of human rights compliance across the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Particular attention will be given to the human right of freedom from torture. While it would be fair to say that the human rights situation is poor across the region, there are important differences, with some countries on a more progressive track than others. Third, this chapter argues that a significant driver for increased human rights compliance is the presence and activity of “human rights entrepreneurs,” individuals and civil society groups acting to bridge the gap between international standards and domestic implementation of those standards. These actors—including the Georgian non-governmental organization (NGO) named “Article 42,” which provides a case study in this chapter, may use a variety of strategies, including litigation before courts, to move the human rights agenda from the level of formal treaty signings to protection for individuals on the ground.

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Before moving to the next section, a methodological note is in order. While there are various lenses through which human rights can be viewed—political, philosophical, and so forth—this chapter adopts a legal, and specifically socio-legal, perspective.1 An orthodox legal perspective would involve analyzing primary legal sources: international instruments (treaties and resolutions of international bodies), national constitutions and legislation, and the decisions of courts. A socio-legal analysis takes this analysis a step further. Although this methodology treats legal instruments and court judgments seriously, its ultimate concern is with the impact of the treaties and judgments on society (Halliday and Schmidt 2004). Thus, it invites an interdisciplinary approach, which looks not only at “pure law” but also the politics and sociology of law in action.

International human rights standards The attempt to universalize and legalize human rights is often described as a twentieth-century phenomenon which took its current shape in the decades following World War Two. However, one need only think about nineteenthcentury efforts to abolish slavery to see that 1945 is a rather myopic starting point. Indeed from ancient times, most ethnic and religious groups’ traditions have contained at least rudimentary notions of human rights. To take some regional examples of women’s rights, the ancient Armenian law code of Shahapivan recognized the rights of women to own property in the event that their husband left them without grounds (Anjargolian 2005). And, in neighboring Georgia, the medieval law code of King George V provided for payment in cases of husbands deserting their wives (Wardrop 1914). Furthermore, both the Christian and Islamic traditions present in the region embody early notions of rights. Nonetheless, for the sake of brevity this account will begin with the “Great Leap Forward” (Tomuschat 2003) in human rights that occurred after the last world war. The United Nations (UN) Charter of 1945, which set out a new architecture for international order, made progress on human rights one of the goals of the new organization. This progress was seen as instrumental in preventing future war and the Charter states that (Article 55(c)): With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations … the United Nations shall promote … universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. In furtherance of that goal the General Assembly of the new organization adopted the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Although not a legally binding document, the UDHR was passed without opposition and continues to represent broad consensus about the basic content of human

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rights. The UDHR sets out both civil and political rights (for example, the right to life, freedom from torture, right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and assembly) as well as economic, social, and cultural rights (including the right to education and the right to form trade unions). This non-binding resolution has been followed by dozens of UN-sponsored treaties—binding on the state parties to the treaty—on a range of rights. Some of the key ones include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). With the exception of Kazakhstan—which took until 2006—all of the South Caucasian and Central Asian states acceded to these key UN treaties in the 1990s. In fact, some of the countries signed the treaties in the first days of independence. This was in part an attempt to assert their new sovereignty, the ability to enter into relations with other states being considered a key attribute of statehood. But are the treaty standards implemented by the state parties? Direct intervention by the international community to protect the human rights standards set out in these treaties is possible. This intervention may take the form of sanctions, criminal prosecutions, and even, as in the case of Kosovo in 1999, by military force (so-called “humanitarian intervention”). However, as noted above, this kind of action is rare. Other, more indirect, attempts to influence the human rights behavior of states may be found in institutional mechanisms on the international plane. For example, expert committees with monitoring functions have been established for each of the main treaties. Thus the UN Committee against Torture monitors states’ records of compliance with the CAT and the UN Human Rights Committee looks at compliance with the ICCPR. In the UN system, rights are also monitored by the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and special rapporteurs who are notable individuals charged with monitoring the human rights situation in a specific country or with respect to a specific theme (torture, health, etc.). When considering the usefulness of the treaties in question, liberal theorists point to their normative draw. Thomas Franck (1990), for example, refers to a “compliance pull” of norms or rules which have procedural or substantive legitimacy, such as the norm against genocide. Others have focused on the institutions which have been set up on the international plane—such as the expert bodies—and which constructively engage states (Ghandhi 1998). It is difficult to estimate the efficacy, however, of normative pull by itself or even combined with pressure through the rights-monitoring bodies. Certainly, there is no automatic link between ratification of a treaty and the improvement of a country’s human rights performance. Among others, Hathaway purports to show this empirically: “Although the ratings of human rights practices of

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countries that have ratified international human rights treaties are generally better than those of countries that have not, noncompliance with treaty obligations appears to be common” (Hathaway 2002: 1940).2 This certainly feeds the realist view of international law and relations, which contends that human rights treaties are simply hortatory and do not affect state behavior.3 In this view, if states do obey the norms in the treaties, it is only because they are forced to do so through power and coercion exercised by other states or because of domestic requirements; compliance with treaties is coincidental not causal. Similarly, rational choice scholars suggest states ratify treaties only because doing so brings some reputational benefit and the costs of ratification in the absence of strong enforcement mechanisms are minimal (Goldsmith and Posner 2005).4 However, despite the treaties’ lack of binding enforcement mechanisms, and even the lack of evidence of a strong link between treaty ratification and actual performance, the importance of these treaties should not be downplayed. The problem with the realist, rational choice, and similar understandings of human rights (non-)compliance is that they are focused on relations between states. The main story, once the standards have been set horizontally between states, is what Harold Koh (1999) has called a “transnational legal process”; that is, a vertical process by which the international norms become embedded in the political, social and legal fabric of individual states. The actors in this legal process are not only intergovernmental organizations, states, or governments of various levels, but also interest groups, NGOs, private citizens and even corporations and unions; in other words, “civil society” engaged with human rights and law. NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which operate on both the international and the domestic planes, can lobby governments and undertake education campaigns. NGOs and private citizens can take test cases to courts or other forums (human rights commissions, ombudsmen, etc.), invoking internationally and domestically recognized human rights. For example, recent US court cases reasserting the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay were brought with the assistance of a coalition of NGOs. These NGOs raised the USA’s international legal obligations before judges and several courts, including the Supreme Court, have cited both international human rights law as well as the US Constitution in their decisions (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 126 S.Ct. 2749 (2006)). This transnational legal process does not work in the same way in all countries. It appears to work better in mature, open democracies where there is more scope for the activities of civil society groups and particularly what have been called “human rights entrepreneurs,” who are prepared to challenge arbitrary state action by insisting on respect for human rights. In functioning democracies, the courts and other institutions are also strong enough to challenge arbitrary executive action. In these states the legal, political, and social orders are more open to the interaction of the international and domestic than in closed societies. It has even been suggested that this

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interaction works better in mature democracies because the interaction is a two-way street; that is, the human rights norms were originally exported to the international plane by the Western European and North American states and therefore are not “foreign” imposed concepts (Madsen 2004). There is indeed empirical evidence to show that human rights treaty ratification by mature democracies does improve the situation in those countries (Hathaway 2002: 1940). If there is some validity to the transnational legal process argument which has been cited here, the key for progress on rights in Central Asia and the Caucasus will be not only about what pressure is being exerted from New York and Geneva, but about what a variety of transnational actors are doing in Tashkent and Tbilisi to bridge the international standards–national implementation gap. How the transnational process actually works will be further explored in the next section. At this juncture, however, it is important to note that the process begins not only with UN-sponsored treaties and standards, but also with the work of regional organizations. Parallel but complementary to the UN, there are several regional organizations which have their own human rights treaties and compliance mechanisms. Notably, in the Americas (the Organization of American States), Africa (the African Union), and in Europe (the European Union and the Council of Europe) there are organizations which have a well-developed standard-setting role, which may take into account particular regional understandings of rights. And these organizations—with varying degrees of effectiveness—also have established institutional mechanisms for human rights claims to be made. Two points need to be made here. The first is that there is no comparable regional body for Asia, including Central Asia. To be clear, the Central Asian countries are members of some regional organizations where human rights are formally on the agenda. For example, the Commonwealth of Independent States, whose membership includes the Central Asian and most other former Soviet republics, has provisions in its 1993 Charter on human rights protection. The CIS Charter also establishes a Human Rights Commission, located in Minsk, to monitor implementation. The CIS protection of human rights is however almost meaningless in reality. In other words, outside of the UN system, the Central Asian countries do not belong to any organizations which take legally binding rights seriously.5 In this regard, the transnational legal process does not find a strong regional starting point. The situation is quite different for the three South Caucasian states which are members of the Council of Europe (COE). The Council has the most well-developed human rights structure of any region in the world and one that easily surpasses the UN system in effectiveness and openness to human rights entrepreneurs. The COE was founded in 1949 by Western European states and given a mandate over human rights and democratization. Following the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe it grew in size and now covers “Greater Europe” with 46 member states, including Georgia (which joined in 1999), Armenia, and Azerbaijan (which joined in 2001). The Council has a well-

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developed standard-setting role and has sponsored numerous human rights treaties. The centerpiece of this rights regime is the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its subsequent protocols, which, among other things, ban the death penalty. In addition to a standard-setting function, the COE also has a binding enforcement mechanism in the form of a European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg. Individual citizens whose rights have been breached may take their cases to this court once they have exhausted domestic remedies, and the court can issue judgments in these cases which are legally binding on states. As will be discussed below, differences in progress on human rights between the South Caucasus and Central Asia are already apparent, and the gap will likely grow over the coming years because of the divergence of membership in this strong, rights-oriented organization and the willingness of some human rights entrepreneurs in South Caucasus to use its mechanisms.

Compliance with international human rights standards The obvious—though misleading—place to begin an analysis of compliance with international human rights obligations is with the constitutions of states. All of the constitutions of the South Caucasian and Central Asian countries contain references to international law. And most provide for the direct effectiveness of international treaties into national law. Azerbaijan’s Constitution is typical in this respect, stating that: “International agreements wherein the Azerbaijan Republic is one of the parties constitute an integral part of the legislative system of the Azerbaijan Republic” (Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 1995, Art. 148(2)). Some constitutions, such as Tajikistan’s, allow for international treaties to trump domestic laws when the two conflict: “If republican laws do not conform to the recognized international legal documents, the norms of the international documents apply” (Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, 1994, Art. 10). These states follow—as the Soviet Union before them arguably did—what is described as a monist tradition of international law (Butler, 1983: 344). That is, international obligations are directly part of the law of the land when ratified and do not require additional action by parliaments or other organs of government to be made effective. This can be contrasted with so-called dualist states, such as the UK, where implementing legislation is required to transform an international legal obligation into domestically enforceable law. In addition to their role in directly “importing” the standards contained in international treaties, the region’s constitutions explicitly contain human rights provisions. In fact, some of these constitutions go much farther than their Western European or North American equivalents by purporting to protect economic, social and cultural, as well as civil and political rights. Unfortunately, constitutional protection for human rights—whether through treaties or through constitutional rights themselves—usually does not translate into actual protection for the region’s citizens.

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Before turning away from “the law on the books” and towards a view of the human rights reality in the region, it is worth indicating how human rights information is obtained.

Monitoring human rights compliance When done rigorously, human rights monitoring is treated as a specialized field, with its own sub-fields (police, prison, and trial monitoring for example) and techniques (English and Stapleton 1995). Much importance is placed on the ethics of monitoring (especially the need for confidentiality), information gathering (interviews or forensics), reporting (using qualified language for unsubstantiated reports and so forth) and follow-up with authorities and victims. Human rights monitoring can also be a hazardous activity, especially when carried out by local NGOs which lack strong international backing. Governments in the former Soviet Union often perceive independent NGOs as subversive elements and may seek to harass (commonly through arbitrary searches and tax inspections) or even close down the organizations. For most people, however, knowledge of the human rights situation in a particular country will draw on secondary sources. These sources may be roughly divided into the reports of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies. In terms of governmental reports, both the UK (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and the USA (State Department) produce annual snapshots of the human rights situation in countries of concern. Not surprisingly perhaps, the countries in the region regularly feature in these reports. Intergovernmental organizations also produce reports on specific regions, countries, or themes. These reports may be regular or ad hoc. A good example of the latter is the inquiry by the UN OHCHR following the Andijan massacre of May 2005, when security forces killed scores of civilians in the Uzbek city following protests over unfair judicial proceedings which were taking place (UN OHCHR 2006). In terms of human rights reporting from the NGO sector, two groups are particularly noteworthy. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch publish annual human rights overviews as well as more ad hoc reports on particular abuses. Both have, for example, written reports on the Andijan massacre and urged strong action against the Uzbek authorities. Though with less global sweep and resources, the reporting activities of local human rights, legal, or democratization NGOs are also crucial as they are written in local languages and demonstrate familiarity with day-to-day realities. Aside from these practicalities, local NGOs can most effectively argue that rather than being foreign concepts, core human rights values are indeed universal values. The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, recently suggested that with respect to democracy and “liberal traditions,” his country “should remain devoted to the Oriental wisdom and be deliberate and careful” (Nazarbayev 2005: 23). Few would doubt that human rights must be applied in a way which is culturally relevant. The problem comes when rulers use the “cultural relativism”

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argument as an excuse to stand behind grave human rights abuses. Local people, including local human rights entrepreneurs, can more effectively insist that the rights embedded in international treaties and domestic constitutions are indeed germane to local conditions. In light of local groups’ active engagement on the ground, international human rights monitors will often draw on the expertise of local NGOs in compiling their own reports. For example, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association based in Tbilisi is often the first port of call for foreigners interested in the latest human rights situation in that country. Each source of human rights information has its strengths and weaknesses. Governmental or intergovernmental reports, while generally reliable, may be prepared with political considerations in mind. For example, the release of the UK’s 2004 Human Rights Report, which is critical of Russian actions in Chechnya, was delayed following the Beslan massacre carried out in North Ossetia by Chechen terrorists in order to assuage Russian sensibilities (Norton-Taylor 2004). NGO reports, on the other hand, may be less fettered by politics, but also reflect the fact that “occasionally their world view tends to be somewhat simplistic. They believe that a governmental apparatus can achieve anything it determines should be done, without taking into account the difficulties of implementation” (Tomuschat 2003: 232). While somewhat methodologically crude—relying heavily on surveys carried out by third parties rather than comprehensive field-work—and not always free from political sympathies, there are comparative rankings of human rights. These provide a useful starting point for our view of human rights in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Notably, the think-tank Freedom House annually publishes comparative “freedom rankings” for the countries of the world (see Figure 1.1 in the introductory chapter to this book). What is clear, despite considerable variations among the countries (and modest improvements for Georgia and Kyrgyzstan from the year before) is that human rights are not at an acceptable level anywhere in the region. Other comparative rankings reflect this pattern with minor variations. For example, the World Bank’s governance division ranks states on the basis of “Voice and Accountability,” which takes into account such things as public participation in decision-making. Its list of the region’s states in descending order (from the most voice for citizens and government accountability to the least) is as follows: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan (World Bank 2006). In both the Freedom House and World Bank ratings, the region falls markedly behind not only Western states but the former communist East European states as well.

Focus on torture prevention Given the range of rights and the number of countries in question, however, such snapshots provide only a partial picture. Accordingly, I have selected one right, the freedom from torture, for comparative treatment. The most

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widely used legal definition is found in Article 1 of the 1984 CAT, which provides that: “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. On this definition, the practice is widespread in each of the eight states under consideration. This is despite the fact that in ratifying the treaty, all of the region’s states undertook to prevent and punish torture. Extrapolating from human rights reports, it can be said that torture in the region most often occurs at the hands of the police during pre-trial detention, in attempts to obtain confessions. Beatings, electrocution, and threats of rape are the most common forms of torture. While most of the criminal codes of the region specifically outlaw torture, the practice is implicitly tolerated by courts: confessions are routinely admitted as evidence despite allegations that they were extracted during torture and few prosecutions of officials ever take place. One puzzling aspect of torture in the region is that it occurs in both relatively liberal regimes as well as the most repressive regimes. That torture is commonplace in Uzbekistan, a dictatorship, is perhaps not surprising; repression is after all the stock in trade of dictators. As a leading text on torture puts it, “torture is a form of governance, an integral part of government through terror … One never knows when the knock on the door may come. In this form torture can be seen in its most insidious form, subversive of democratic participation and political organization per se, the most fundamental enemy of civil society” (Evans and Morgan 1998:60). The US Department of State’s 2004 Country Report on Uzbekistan, which calls President Karimov’s regime “authoritarian,” details the use of torture in that country: The law prohibits such practices; however, police and the NSS [National Security Service] routinely tortured, beat, and otherwise mistreated detainees to obtain confessions or incriminating information. Police, prison officials, and the NSS allegedly used suffocation, electric shock, rape, and other sexual abuse; however, beating was the most commonly reported method of torture. Torture was common in prisons, pretrial facilities, and local police and security service precincts. Defendants in trials often claimed that their confessions … were extracted by torture. Authorities were particularly likely to use torture against suspected members of Islamic parties. The UK government’s 2004 report similarly expresses

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concern at reports that prisoners have been tortured to death in custody and highlights the action taken by its ambassador over the apparent torture to death with boiling water of a member of an Islamist party (UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2004). What is perhaps most alarming is that the Uzbek government appears to be doing little to combat torture, despite apparent dialogue with external critics. In Eduard Shevardnadze’s Georgia, horrific examples of torture were not unknown. In 1997, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture found that torture methods included: [H]anging upside down; scalding with hot water; extraction of fingernails or toenails; application of electric shocks; systematic beating, sometimes resulting in fractured bones or broken teeth; and issuing of threats that members of the detainees family would be killed or tortured. Courts were said generally to refuse to exclude evidence, including “confessions,” repudiated by defendants as having been obtained through torture, and to fail to investigate such claims of torture. (Rodley 1997: para. 98) In fairness, Shevardnadze did make some progress on the torture front in his remaining years in office. However, what may be surprising is that since the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, which brought a reformist government to power under President Saakashvili, torture remains a real problem in that country. In the government’s first year in power, it is generally recognized that its record on torture was poor (Human Rights Watch 2005). This was in part due to the new administration’s focus on pursuing corrupt officials, sometimes with little regard for legality, and in part due to a newly introduced system of “plea bargaining” which encouraged lower sentences in return for torture victims dropping their complaints. Torture also continued because it is deeply engrained in police practice and is not simply a matter of changing leadership at the top. What distinguishes Georgia from Uzbekistan, however, is that it is much more likely that Georgia will effectively combat torture in the medium term. This is in large measure due to the comparatively larger scope for civil society action in Georgia, and, accordingly, greater scope for the transnational legal process to operate. Recently, Georgian authorities have begun working with the COE, the European Commission, the OSCE, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, international NGOs (such as the Association for the Prevention of Torture) and, most importantly, local Georgian NGOs (including the Former Political Prisoners Association for Human Rights). This engagement has resulted in several positive outcomes, including a plan to allow local NGOs to monitor places of detention, a possibility without prospects in Uzbekistan, where civil society groups are both weak and regularly harassed as a threat to the political order. What also separates Georgia and Uzbekistan (and the South Caucasus and Central Asia more generally) is—as suggested earlier—the former’s inclusion

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in the COE’s comprehensive regional rights regime. Torture is prohibited under the ECHR, as is “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” and cases of torture have been taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by human rights entrepreneurs from the South Caucasus, where redress in the form of compensation has been awarded by the Court. In addition to this judicial function—which considers torture incidents after the fact—the COE also seeks to prevent torture. The centerpiece of these efforts is the 1987 European Convention for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT) which establishes a non-judicial mechanism for torture prevention. A Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) was established by the treaty which has the power to visit any place of detention in the member states to ensure that torture does not occur. The CPT monitors holding cells and prisons and works with authorities and transnational actors (NGOs, academics, and so forth) to put systems in place to prevent torture. The CPT has visited places of detention on several occasions in each of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan; for example, in May 2005 the CPT, in its third visit to Azerbaijan, carried out an ad hoc inspection of Gobustan Prison, which holds all of the country’s lifesentenced prisoners. While there is much more work to be done, these (sometimes unannounced) visits and subsequent recommendations have proven quite productive in combating torture and ill-treatment by police and prison officials in the South Caucasus.

Deepening human rights compliance: human rights entrepreneurs Determining how human rights compliance can be deepened is no simple task (Donnelly 2003). What social conditions are necessary for human rights protection? Is there a correlation between economic prosperity and respect for rights? Similarly, what political conditions are required? Will grievous human rights abuses always be found in the absence of democracy? Is unchecked democracy also bad for human rights, specifically minority rights? Turning to the specifics of the region, what is the role of the Soviet heritage? Do the cultures of the region, in particular in Central Asia, indeed have different understandings of rights than the “Western”-formulated rights found in international treaties? Will the development of hydrocarbon wealth in the region make the affected countries’ leaders more or less receptive to human rights? What impact does pervasive corruption have on rights protection? Strong states were traditionally seen as the enemy of human rights, but are weak states just as or more dangerous? The open-ended nature of these questions should not be overstated. For example, there is empirical evidence to suggest that “countries that are stable, peaceful, democratic and tolerant are likely to offer better levels of protection than those lacking those qualities” (Galligan and Sandler 2004: 24). But beyond some minimal consensus, answers to these questions will often depend on disciplinary and ideological perspective. For example, a lawyer is likely to point to the rule of law as a critical factor in rights protection while a political scientist might point to governance as the key.

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This section does not purport to set out a grand explanation for how human rights can be protected. Indeed, several of the factors listed above clearly play important roles in encouraging or repressing rights. More modestly, and in keeping with the suggestion that transnational legal actors play a necessary (if not sufficient) role in internalizing rights, this section will take a case study of a group of human rights entrepreneurs. The group chosen, a Georgian NGO named “Article 42,” has counterparts in other countries of the region. However, a cautionary note in terms of comparability should be expressed in that civil society groups in Georgia have greater freedom of action than in the other countries of the region, especially in Central Asia (Ruffin and Waugh 1999). Despite that caveat, Georgian NGOs have faced many of the same challenges experienced by NGOs elsewhere in the region, including harassment, beatings, weak state partners and a lack of civic tradition.6 These groups have been forced to carve out scope for their actions, albeit with some financial support from Western backers (Jones 2000). Article 42 was founded in the mid-1990s by a lawyer who had been a student dissident leader in the late Soviet period (Waters 2004; Article 42). The NGO, which is named after the legal rights provision of the Georgian Constitution, received a small start-up grant from the American Bar Association’s Central and East European Law Initiative (itself a transnational legal actor) and began with a modest program of legal representation for the indigent. It quickly established a legal clinic focused on human rights cases, particularly those involving wrongdoing on the part of the police. By the end of the 1990s, the clinic had several practicing lawyers and more than a dozen law student volunteers. These volunteers were enthusiastic about their work and would skip classes to attend, believing they had more to learn at the clinic than in the law schools, where professors simply read lectures with out-of-date content. They also saw the training they were receiving as good preparation for a move to private practice following graduation. From the start, the clinic’s lawyers were interested in comparative human rights and international human rights standards. Exploration of these fields was seen as an opportunity to supplement Georgia’s inexperience with human rights theory or practice. In addition to the clinical legal activities of the organization, efforts were also made to spread human rights literacy among the population. For example, the group has distributed several pamphlets, including one entitled “If you are arrested!” which set out the rights (to counsel, to outside contact, etc.) of individuals arrested by the police. By the end of the 1990s, these sorts of public education campaigns seemed to be working, with opinion polling showing a significant rise in citizens’ awareness of their rights. This in turn can be considered a contributing factor to public disenchantment with police abuse and even an underlying cause for the Rose Revolution’s popular support. While there are debates about the precise role NGOs played in leading the Revolution, there can be little doubt that NGOs such as Article 42 played an important role in making it possible. As Ghia Nodia, a well-known Georgian political scientist, puts it, “civil society organizations laid the

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groundwork with their civic education efforts” (Nodia 2005: 102). In fact the perceived role of Georgian NGOs in bringing about that country’s 2003 Rose Resolution has encouraged some of the region’s authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on civil society groups since that time (Eurasianet 2004). Following the Rose Revolution, Article 42 did not disband or become complacent. It has been working constructively on prison reform with state and non-state partners and, demonstrating bi-partisan maturity, the group continues to pressure the government of President Saakashvili to improve citizen’s protection. The numbers of lawyers and volunteers grew significantly in the 2000s and Article 42 not only continues with its clinical work on behalf of the indigent, it also takes on high-profile “test” cases. These cases, brought to various levels of Georgia courts, include constitutional challenges where both the Georgian constitution and international human rights standards have been cited. In addition to its domestic activities—or rather as a continuation of its domestic activities—the group takes cases on behalf of aggrieved clients to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. For example, after exhausting domestic remedies, the group brought a successful challenge to the Strasbourg court over Georgia’s extradition of several Chechens to Russia, where they faced possible torture (European Court of Human Rights 2005). The court ordered the Russian and Georgian governments to pay compensatory damages. Over the years, Article 42 has become increasingly strategic in using the courts to further rights. Care is given to selecting cases, determining the appropriate place for a judicial challenge and in using the media. These strategies have long been used elsewhere. In the USA and UK, for example, since the midnineteenth century groups have used litigation—as well as public information dissemination and campaigning—to further their causes. In the USA in particular, litigation has long been seen as “an integral part of the dialogue by which constitutional standards are shaped and reshaped under changing conditions” (Feldman 1992: 56). To date in Georgia, Article 42 lawyers remain among a minority of Georgian lawyers who are comfortable with pursuing a rights-oriented strategy in the courts. By inclination and training, most Georgian lawyers and judges have adopted a differential stance toward law as passed by parliament and are unwilling to challenge the validity of those laws. Lawyers have also traditionally been deferential towards prosecutors and judges and human rights work remains limited to a minority of lawyers. It can be hoped that as awareness of rights spreads and access to court for rights challenges is made easier, competition in the rights market will increase and human rights work will become part of mainstream legal practice.

Conclusion Although there is widespread formal adherence to international human rights treaties in the region, the implementation of standards contained in these

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treaties remains poor. While there are variations between the countries, this is true throughout the region, as is clear from the widespread use of torture. This chapter has suggested that while direct intervention by the international community to enforce rights is rare, and the institutions set up internationally to monitor rights are weak, transnational human rights actors can work towards internalizing rights. Through litigation before domestic and international tribunals—including the European Court of Human Rights for South Caucasian complainants—campaigning and public information, civil society groups operating domestically and internationally can seek full implementation of international standards. However, having placed stock in this analysis on the importance of transnational actors, the importance of horizontal state-to-state pressure should not be downplayed unduly. The lack of condemnation of human rights abuses by the international community can weaken the resolve of civil society groups and strengthen the hand of authoritarian leaders who portray themselves to their people as internationally respected statesmen. An example of the failure to frankly condemn human rights—and to follow-up with concerted action— is the relatively muted response to the 2005 Andijan massacre by some Western governments (Rashid 2005). In addition, the USA, the UK, and other countries have weakened their authority to insist on human rights protection by virtue of committing or condoning human rights abuses in the “war against terrorism.” Both by deporting people to regimes that practice torture (MacAskill et al. 2005) and in permitting torture to occur in places like Guantanamo Bay (Priest and Gellman 2002), these pioneering nations of human rights standards have ceded ground to human rights abusers and contributed to the gap between human rights rhetoric and reality.

Notes 1 While definitions of socio-legal (sometimes called “law and society”) methodology differ, a commonly cited, broad definition is that put forward by the British SocioLegal Studies Association (SLSA): “Socio-legal studies embraces disciplines and subjects concerned with law as a social institution, with the social effects of law, legal processes, institutions and services and with the influence of social, political and economic factors in the law and legal institutions” (Socio-Legal Studies Association “First Re-Statement of Research Ethics”: 2). This current chapter is informed by the author’s socio-legal fieldwork carried out in the region—primarily the South Caucasus—since 1998. This has included interview projects and participant–observer experiences in the areas of legal education and legal profession reform. 2 See also, Keith (1999). 3 Briefly put, the classical realist view is that power and national interest—not morality, law or international organizations—are the determinants of international affairs. See, for example, Morgenthau (1948). 4 On rational choice theory generally, see Allingham (2002). 5 Although, importantly, both the South Caucasian and Central Asian states are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which sets out political (rather than legal) commitments on human rights.

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6 Also in terms of comparative methodology, it should also be noted that Georgian NGOs represent a critical case, in that their strategic importance goes beyond Georgia. Specifically, there has been an attempt by NGOs in other countries in the former Soviet Union to emulate the Georgian groups’ tactics.

References Allingham, M. (2002) Choice Theory: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford. Anjargolian, S. (2005) “Armenia’s Women in Transition,” C.P.M. Waters (ed.) The State of Law in the South Caucasus, Basingstoke: Palgrave. Article 42. < www.article42.ge/index_en.php > (accessed 6 June 2008). Butler, W.E. (1983) Soviet Law, London: Butterworths. Donnelly, J. (2003) International Human Rights in Theory and Practice, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. English, K. and Stapleton, A. (1995) The Human Rights Handbook, Colchester: Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. Eurasianet (2004) “Uzbek Authorities Crack Down on Another Foreign NGO In Tashkent,” Eurasianet, 17 September 2004. < www.eurasianet.org/departments/ civilsociety/articles/eav091704.shtml > (accessed 27 March 2008). European Court of Human Rights (2005) Chamber judgement in Shamayev and 12 Others v. Georgia and Russia, press release, 12 April 2005. < www.echr.coe.int/eng/ press/2005/April/ChamberjudgmentShamayevand12Others120405.htm > (accessed 27 March 2008). Evans, M. and Morgan, R. (1998) Preventing Torture, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Feldman, D. (1992) “Public Interest Litigation and Constitutional Theory in Comparative Perspective,” The Modern Law Review, 55: 44–72. Franck, T.M., (1990) The Power of Legitimacy Among Nations, New York: Oxford University Press. Freedom House (2006) “Freedom Rankings 2006”: 15. < www.freedomhouse.org/ template.cfm?page=15 > (accessed 27 March 2008). Galligan, D. and Sandler, D. (2004) “Implementing Human Rights,” in S. Halliday and P. Schmidt (eds) Human Rights Brought Home, Oxford: Hart Publishing. Ghandhi, P.R. (1998) The Human Rights Committee and the Right of Individual Communication: Law and Practice, Dartmouth: Ashgate. Goldsmith, J.L. and Posner, E.A. (2005) The Limits Of International Law, New York: Oxford University Press. Halliday, S. and Schmidt, P. (2004) (eds) Human Rights Brought Home: Socio-Legal Perspectives on Human Rights in the National Context, Oxford: Hart. Hathaway, O.A., (2002) “Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference?” Yale Law Journal, 111: 1935–2042. Human Rights Watch (2005) Briefing Paper, “Georgia: Uncertain Torture Reform,” 12 April 2005. < http://hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/georgia0405/. > (accessed 27 March 2008). Jones, S.F. (2000) “Democracy from Below? Interest Groups in Georgian Society,” Slavic Review, 59: 42–73. Keith, L. C. (1999) “The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Does It Make a Difference in Human Rights Behavior?” Journal of Peace Research, 36: 95–118. Koh, H.K. (1999) “How Is International Human Rights Law Enforced?” Indiana Law Journal, 74:1397–1417.

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MacAskill, E., Dodd, V. and E. Allison (2005) “African Union Defends Mugabe,” Guardian, 25 June: 19. Madsen, M.R. (2004) “France, the UK, and the ‘Boomerang’ of the Internationalisation of Human Rights (1945–2000),” in S. Halliday and P. Schmidt (eds) Human Rights Brought Home: Socio-Legal Perspectives on Human Rights in the National Context, Oxford: Hart. Morgenthau, H.J. (1948) Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, New York: Knopf. Nazarbayev, N. (2005) “Kazakhstan on the Road to Accelerated Economic, Social and Political Modernization,” Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the People of Kazakhstan, Almaty: Atamura. Nodia, G. (2005) “Breaking the Mold of Powerlessness: The Meaning of Georgia’s Latest Revolution,” in Z. Karumidze and J.V. Wertsch (eds) “Enough!” The Rose Revolution in the Republic of Georgia 2003, New York: Nova. Norton-Taylor, R. (2004) “UK Allies Among Worst Abusers of Human Rights,” Guardian, 11 November 2004:17. Priest, D. and Gellman, B. (2002) “U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations,” Washington Post, 26 December: A1. Rashid, A. (2005) “By Ignoring Uzbek Bad Behavior, Washington Risks Repeating Historical Mistakes,” Eurasianet, 1 July. < www.eurasianet.org/departments/civilsociety/ articles/eav062705.shtml > (accessed 27 March 2008). Rodley, N.S. (1997), “Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, December 24, 1997,” Commission on Human Rights, fifty-fourth session, E/CN.4/1998/38. Ruffin, M.H. and Waugh, D. (1999) Civil Society in Central Asia, Seattle: University of Washington Press. Socio-Legal Studies Association, “First Re-Statement of Research Ethics”: 2. < www. kent.ac.uk/nslsa/images/slsadownloads/ethicalstatement/ethics_drft2.pdf > (accessed 27 March 2008). Tomuschat, C. (2003) Human Rights: Between Idealism and Realism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2004), “Annual Report on Human Rights” < www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page &cid=1007029393564 > (accessed 27 March 2008). UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (2006) “Report of the Mission to Kyrgyzstan by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concerning the Events in Andijan Uzbekistan of 13–14 May 2005.” < http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G06/105/52/PDF/G0610552. pdf ?OpenElement > (accessed 27 March 2008). US Department of State (2004), “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” < www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/ > (accessed 27 March 2008). Wardrop, O. (1914) (trans.), “Laws of King George V, of Georgia,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 607. Waters, C.P.M. (2004) Counsel in the Caucasus: Professionalization and Law in Georgia, Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff. World Bank (2006) “Worldwide Governance Indicators 1996–2005,” September 2006. < www.worldbank.org/wbi/governance/govdata/ > (accessed 27 March 2008).

9

Internalization of universal norms A study of gender equality in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan Irina Liczek and Jens Wandel1

The main goal of this chapter is to expand theories of socialization of international norms and apply them to the post-Soviet transitions of Central Asia. This is done through a comparative analysis of the diffusion of gender norms in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Specifically, this chapter looks at the impact to date of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) acceded to by both states by 1997. What difference did the ratification of the CEDAW make for the women of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan? How can international organizations more effectively support the efforts of Central Asian states to monitor women’s rights in accordance with the CEDAW? We show that the ratification of the CEDAW offered a distinctive opportunity for international dialogue and scrutiny about improving the human rights of women in both countries. In the case of Kyrgyzstan, the CEDAW also became an advocacy tool for women’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The study of the state reports submitted to the CEDAW monitoring body by Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan indicates that timely reporting correlates with positive legislative changes, while delaying the reporting process correlates with state inaction in the area of women’s rights legislation. Furthermore, the quality of the CEDAW state reports does provide an indicator for inclusiveness and internalization of international norms. These reports describe the actors involved, disclose which indicators are used to support findings, and the conclusions give insight to how the governments want to portray the status of women’s rights in their respective countries. Our study found that systematic and long-term international technical support is crucial in stimulating timely reporting and implementation of gender equality norms in practice. However, it is important to highlight the limitations of studying the status of women by looking only at government reports to treaty bodies.2 First, timely reporting does not necessarily correlate with improvement of women’s rights in practice if the rule of law is weak. Second, government-controlled official reports may try to present the best possible picture of the status of women’s rights. In this respect, positive statements will need additional validation. In cases where the reports do pronounce deterioration of women’s

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rights, the validity of the information would be high, given that the need for this type of report is to present the best possible picture.

Theoretical framework and research methodology The importance of international norms and their diffusion in the domestic politics of states has been highlighted in the constructivist literature by scholars such as Martha Finnemore (1996), Thomas Risse et al. (1999), Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink (1998). Finnemore looks at state interests and behaviors by investigating an international structure not of power, but of meaning and social value. In her view, the behavior of states can be better understood only if one understands the international structure of which they are a part. Thus, Finnemore argues that states may redefine their interests as a result of internationally shared norms and values that give meaning to international political life (Finnemore 1996). In this chapter, we expand constructivist theories of socialization of international norms that argue that states redefine their interests as a result of universally shared norms and values that give meaning to global political life. We argue that in the case of the newly independent Central Asian states, socialization of international norms of gender equality unfolded under more complex circumstances. Commitments of the Central Asian states to the UN’s universalist human rights agenda, including those of gender equality, were influenced by two sets of political factors: external (membership in the UN, ratification of human rights conventions, constructive dialogue with treaty bodies) and internal (consolidation of the new nation-states by drawing on pre-Soviet norms). Our argument draws from emerging international relations (IR) theoretical contributions that incorporate feminist perspectives in analyzing international society by taking into account “the ways domestic societies shape state identities and interests and therefore their membership in the society of states … and how emergent norms in international society reshape the practices and identities of member states” (True 2005: 159). Thus, our research strengthens this recent IR feminist scholarship, and joins the views proposing that the global international norms of gender equality need to be repositioned to local settings, to create a conversation between the global women’s human rights norms and perspectives that allow us to understand “how social norms are constructed, and how gender identities and norms are shaped, contested and negotiated within different institutions globally and locally” (Kardam 2005: 2). IR theories focusing on state behavior and the conditions of collaboration among states remain a valid theoretical framework because the nation-state remains the basic unit of analysis and because of feminist activism “to promote the establishment of global norms and rules for gender equality so that states can be held accountable” (Kardam 2004: 86). Nevertheless, one has to look at how such global agenda diffuses locally and interacts with competing domestic discourses on gender issues.

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Based on new research, we argue that the global gender equality framework diffused in Central Asia during 1997–2006 was ultimately shaped and weakened by domestic legacies, the deepening of patriarchal authoritarian politics and family practices based on stricter observance of customary and Islamic norms than during Soviet times.3 As we develop our argument, we show that international norms can be diffused in Central Asia, but their implementation, we conclude, is problematic due to long-lasting local cultural norms that we call Islamic nationalism, an increasingly male-dominated political arena, and weak rule of law to enforce gender equality commitments made in the UN foras.4 Figure 9.1 illustrates the push and pull factors of international norm internalization. As an external factor, the UN CEDAW agenda was promoted by increased pluralism and funding (Kyrgyzstan), while the key constraining factors were the emergence of nationalism based on pre-Soviet norms and a weak rule of law (Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan). The review of the CEDAW reporting processes in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan reveals that traditions and stereotypes affect women’s rights because tribal customary norms are strongly engrained in the two societies. Furthermore, long-term technical assistance funding and expansion of pluralistic approaches to governance are key areas that may contribute to practical implementation of women’s rights in Central Asia. Methodologically, we will use the research design of “most similar systems”5 to examine selected cases representing a broad range of political systems from Central Asia. The Soviet Union imposed a socialist legacy on the Central Asian republics as well as legislative uniformity, in accordance with ideological principles coming from the Soviet center. While Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are themselves geographically, demographically, culturally, and

Figure 9.1 Push and pull factors of international norm internationalization.

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historically similar, their transitional processes diverged significantly in the 1990s.6 Kyrgyzstan chose the “open society” model, making notable changes in its political arena by establishing a multi-party political system and fostering both civil society participation and reorientation towards a market economy. Turkmenistan, on the other hand, maintained an authoritarian political outlook characterized by a one-party system and absolute presidential power. Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest Soviet republics, was also the first to engage the international community more readily, in need of international assistance to boost its economy and establish legitimacy for its newly established Government. Thus, the Kyrgyz state made steps towards democratization and a market economy to receive international assistance. Turkmenistan had a stronger economic leverage, because of its oil and gas assets, and proved more cautious in opening to international advice. However, it actively pursued a strategy of neutrality and saw rapid and visible international recognition through the UN as a key element in its foreign policy. As an integral part of this strategy it did take steps to accede to a number of international human rights conventions, yet the dialogue with the monitoring bodies did not take place until the UN has exercised more pressure.7 Both countries found themselves independent quite unexpectedly as a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. This change gave rise to a strong need to articulate national identity and recognize language, culture, and traditions that had been ignored or actively suppressed by the Soviet state. Marxism had to be abandoned as a theoretical underpinning for the nation-state. Alternatives such as democratic values or market economic theories are not sufficient to create identities that explain who they are, who their citizens are, and what set them apart from other states. This meant that ethnicity, language, history, and pre-Soviet values were important sources for the new national identities in both countries. Our assessment of the impact of the CEDAW is drawn from the analysis of the two reports submitted to date by Kyrgyzstan (1998 and 2002), summaries of meetings with the CEDAW Committee, published press releases, alternative reports, and the concluding observations (henceforth COs) received thereafter from the CEDAW Committee. In the case of Turkmenistan we will analyze the first and second combined report submitted in 2004, the summary of the meeting with the CEDAW Committee, and the recommendations received hereafter in May 2006. Some scholars might be critical of our approach, arguing that the review of such documents and of the CEDAW reporting process, including the meetings with the CEDAW Committee, do not reflect entirely the local reality of women’s lives. However, we found the CEDAW treaty body reporting useful because it allowed us to assess particular characteristics and recurring issues that Kyrgyzstan is still facing in the implementation of CEDAW within two reporting cycles. Furthermore, we were able to assess if women in a country that has been conscientiously engaged in monitoring their rights such as Kyrgyzstan fared better than in a country such as Turkmenistan, where the government only reported once in 10 years.

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We also found the cases of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan compelling, because both of them have experienced regime changes in the past two years. We hope that our research will open the path for comparative studies that investigate if these regime changes led to greater democratization, greater governmental efforts towards monitoring and implementation of women’s rights, and allowed for more opportunities for international support and systematic dialogue on human rights.8

Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women The UN Charter and the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights have been accepted unequivocally by all its member states. Drawing on these universal principles, the norms of gender equality were consolidated in global politics and the UN system as an outcome of feminist activism. The UN Decade of Women (1976–85) was marked by three global conferences on women and culminated with the adoption of the CEDAW endorsed by almost all countries in the world.9 The Soviet Union made a significant contribution by lobbying the UN for international protection of women’s rights and creation of a binding document that would oblige member states to make changes in national legislation to give men and women equal rights. As reflected in the minutes of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 1972: The Soviet delegation was in favour of drawing up a legally binding international convention on the elimination of discrimination against women which would cover all aspects of the status of women, and intended to submit a draft resolution to that effect. (Commission on the Status of Women 1972a: 24) At the twenty-third session of the CSW, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics submitted a draft resolution that envisaged: to give effect to the principles set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and to ensure speedy adoption of the necessary practical measures for that purpose and invited the Secretary-General to call upon the States Members of the United Nations to transmit their views or proposals concerning the nature and content of a new instrument of international law to eliminate discrimination against women. (Commission on the Status of Women 1972b: 36) As a result, the work on the drafting of the CEDAW started in 1974 by a working group of the CSW. To date, CEDAW has been endorsed by almost all the countries in the world and has remained the only binding piece of

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international law that requires governments to report on the implementation of measures against women’s discrimination. By adopting the CEDAW, the member states acquired an international legal instrument that would help actualize equality. In doing so, states have agreed “to take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women” (CEDAW 1979: 3). By comparison, the outcome documents of the UN Conferences on Women, though not legally binding, “reflect a moral consensus of the international community and provide an understanding of how equality should be interpreted in practice” (UNDAW 1994: 426). None of these documents accept “that differences based on culture and religion replace or modify the universal principle of equality or that “freedom of religion and the principle of equality between women and men are inconsistent or in conflict” (UNDAW 1994: 426–27). Furthermore, states that ratified or acceded to the CEDAW commit themselves to implement its legal provisions, harmonize their national legislation accordingly, and submit periodic reports on progress made at the CEDAW Committee, the monitoring body of this convention. A governmental delegation is then required to meet with the Committee and discuss progress and challenges encountered in the implementation of the CEDAW. In turn, the CEDAW Committee issues COs to the respective country requiring specific measures to be taken and reported upon during the next reporting cycle. Alternative reports can be submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and considered by the CEDAW Committee in as much as they give an additional view and provide supplementary data relevant to the impact of the convention on women’s lives and implementation status by their respective governments.

The emergence of gender politics in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan Gender politics in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan have developed since the time of independence in 1991 along two distinct tracks: (1) adherence to international norms of gender equality socialized in the two countries through UN standards that emerged as the new model to guide gender policy postindependence; and (2) re-emergence of pre-Soviet norms linked to the idea of the national history of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, accompanied by rejection of Soviet emancipation policies, such as the use of quotas in politics. Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan joined the international dialogue on gender equality upon acquiring membership of the UN in 1992. Both countries were newcomers to the international dialogue on gender equality as independent states. Their first political commitments in the area of gender equality were made at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, by endorsing the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Platform of Action. As a result, both countries have established some form of women’s policy agency charged with improving the status of women, and adopted

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national plans of action for that purpose.10 These agencies were charged to oversee the implementation of international commitments both states have made as a result of participating at the Beijing Conference. Furthermore, both countries acceded to a number of international conventions, among them the CEDAW. So far, Kyrgyzstan has reported on CEDAW implementation in a timely manner: it accessed to the CEDAW in 1997, and submitted its first report within a year and the second report within four years, according to the Convention’s guidelines. Turkmenistan acceded to the CEDAW in December 1996 and submitted its first and second combined report in November 2004. The CEDAW Committee examined the report on May 2006, and COs were issued soon thereafter. To assess what difference CEDAW reporting made to women’s lives in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan we evaluate the reports against formal and practical indicators as follows. Formal indicators that international norms are being internalized are timely reporting, availability of alternative reports, involvement of a large number of stakeholders in preparing the report, and presence of a senior-level delegation that reports and conducts constructive dialogue with the CEDAW Committee. Practical indicators of implementation of international norms are effective legal changes that echo the recommendations given by the CEDAW Committee in the COs, such as the use of the Convention in courts, absence of discriminatory legislation, and data that show an improvement in the status of women. Such measures would show direct impact of international norms to people’s lives.11 The following section provides an analysis of the formal and practical indicators relevant to the implementation of the CEDAW undertaken by the Kyrgyz and Turkmen governments by 2006.

Kyrgyz republic: analysis of formal indicators for internalization of CEDAW Both reports submitted by the government of Kyrgyzstan to the CEDAW Committee were done in time and according to the reporting guidelines. Half a year after the Kyrgyz government acceded to the CEDAW in March 1996, a special commission made up by government officials and judicial bodies was set up to start the writing of the report. The process was consultative and the draft report was sent for feedback to other governmental, administrative, and non-governmental bodies. In 1999, the year the report was reviewed by the CEDAW Committee, the Kyrgyz delegation was headed by a senior government official, namely the Chairperson of the State Committee on Family, Youth and Women. The second periodic report was prepared by a commission made up of representatives of government and NGOs. The report was prepared in a participatory way and included all ministries, other relevant governmental bodies and NGOs. In 2004, the year the report was examined by the CEDAW Committee, the Kyrgyz government sent a large delegation led by a senior official, the head of the Secretariat of the National Council on

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Women, Family and Gender Development, the main state structure for women’s advancement in the country. An alternative report that analyzed the implementation of the CEDAW between 1999–2003 was prepared by the Council of NGOs and was submitted to the CEDAW Committee to supplement the governmental report. In conclusion, one can say that Kyrgyzstan has complied with the formal implementation measures required by the CEDAW.

Kyrgyz republic: practical indicators of internalizing the CEDAW The first CEDAW report submitted by Kyrgyzstan in 1998 emphasized the legal measures that the government has taken to implement human rights conventions, including the challenges for doing so. Examples include Article 3 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, which observes the principles of equality of all citizens, and prohibits discrimination based on sex. The Criminal Code, the Civil Code, the Labor Code, and the Consumer Protection Act have all been remodeled to incorporate the international human rights standards Kyrgyzstan had committed to implement. However, the report acknowledged that “the system for ensuring the legal protection of all citizens is still inadequate. The main reason is that the Kyrgyz Republic still lacks a uniform State policy for the integrated solution of all problems related to human rights” (CEDAW Report 1998: 12).12 A drop in the living standards of the whole population, but in particular of women, followed the loss of the subsidies for health, education, culture, and consumer services, provided in the past by the Soviet Union. The first CEDAW report acknowledged that women were more affected than men by these losses. For example, 58 per cent of women were unemployed and had less employment opportunities because of the closing of women-dominated factories, and by downgrading of skilled women laborers to unskilled jobs. Furthermore, women suffered loss of childcare facilities and increase in the cost of preschool facilities. Health indicators such as maternal and infant mortality increased. Finally, women experienced a dramatic drop of representation in parliament, from 30 per cent during the Soviet times to 4.7 per cent (CEDAW Report 1998: 16–24). In agriculture, 37.9 per cent of women were landowners, but without the means to cultivate it (CEDAW Report 1998: 16). The second report submitted in 2002 and examined in 2004 highlights the ratification of the CEDAW Optional Protocol in 2001, which allows women to file individual complaints if their rights according to the CEDAW were violated. The report highlighted the adoption of a number of national plans geared towards the protection of human rights, gender equality, and a Presidential Decree to Promote Women in Governmental Positions. This report also emphasized efforts to collect data on violence against women and provision of services for victims of crime, and legal prohibition of trafficking in women.

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A comparative analysis of the concluding observations received from CEDAW shows a significant number of recurring concerns. In 1999, the CEDAW Committee urged the Kyrgyz government to adopt temporary measures such as quotas for ensuring an adequate representation of women at high-levels of political decision-making. This issue has been re-examined critically at the 2004 meeting between the Kyrgyz delegation and the CEDAW Committee as a recurrent recommendation. Following a period of time where there were no women in parliament, President Bakiyev announced in 2006 that quotas for administrative appointees were being introduced. Likewise in 1999, the CEDAW Committee requested data on violence against women and its connection to poverty, and launching of measures to counteract this through policies and other measures that would improve this situation. The Committee also recommended ensuring de jure and de facto equality of women, elimination of the practice of polygamy,13 and wider participation by NGOs in preparing the next CEDAW report. In 2004, while examining the second report, the CEDAW Committee commended the Kyrgyz government for adopting a range of plans and programs that addressed in a clearer manner the issue of discrimination against women. Among these, the second National Action Plan for Achieving Gender Equality for 2002–06; the Program of Measures to Combat the Illegal Export of and Trafficking in Persons in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2002–05; the National Human Rights Program for the period 2002–10 and “enacting new laws in support of the goal of gender equality, including the Law on the Basics of State Guarantees of Gender Equality … and the law on social and legal protection against violence in the family” (CEDAW Committee 2004: 3). However, critical concerns remained, such as the ability of women to make use of the laws protecting their rights, ending poverty, trafficking, violence, better health provision, and employment opportunities as well as ensuring real opportunities for political participation. The existence of harmful traditions, such as bride kidnapping and stereotyping that undermines women’s right to choose has been a recurrent concern in both 1999 and in 2004, and shows that the Kyrgyz government did not adequately address them. In 1999, the CEDAW Committee underscored the prevalence of patriarchal culture and the continuing emphasis on the traditional roles of women exclusively as mothers and wives. The Committee notes with particular concern that the initial repost, in referring to the roles of men as the breadwinner, may legitimize existing stereotypes. (CEDAW Committee 1999: 4) Five years after these comments and recommendations were made, not much has been changed in this area, and kidnappings remain to date, “mostly painful, non-planned events in a young woman’s life and one of the most powerless and vulnerable situations she will ever experience” (Rimby 2004: 25). New issues such as women’s unrecognized right to land ownership based

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on old traditions and customs emerged as the land and agrarian reform unfolded in Kyrgyzstan, affecting women, in particular, divorced and disabled women, widows and single women. The low level of legal literacy among women enables [t]he revival of paternalistic arrangements and values … conductive to reinforcing the traditions and customary law of Muslims (adat). In such a situation, women risk losing all the gains made in terms of their rights and not obtaining any benefit from the land reforms. Changes in the economic and social position of women are creating an urgent need for institutionalized assistance in obtaining equal access to land resources and real estate. (CEDAW Report 2002: 53) Practical measures to internalize the CEDAW have been started but have been limited: the CEDAW was not yet quoted in any court of law, and no individual complaints have yet been filed to any of the UN bodies, because of lack of information on the complaints procedure. NGOs were involved in preparing the second periodic report, but not all data on the implementation of women’s rights were considered when preparing the report (Council of NGOs 2003: 4). However, involving NGOs in writing the second periodic report can be considered as a positive step in implementing the CEDAW, since this report represented more women’s voices. There are still substantive issues that have not been solved in spite of the efforts to produce more gender-oriented legislation. These issues include inequality in property rights, elimination of poverty, creating employment opportunities, reducing high levels of maternal morbidity, the persistence of polygamy, bride kidnapping and gender stereotypes, and the decreasing number of women participating in politics. Gender analysis of laws and bills has been undertaken since 1998, and though it was a notable effort, the resulting recommendations were systematically bypassed by the Kyrgyz legislature. Gathering data on violence against women has been started by government agencies through sociological surveys and information received from shelters for women escaping domestic violence. However, these data do not provide an accurate picture yet (CEDAW Report 2002: 26–27).14 In spite of this, the new law on protecting women from domestic violence has been a major step that shows harmonization of the CEDAW in the legal system of the Kyrgyz Republic.15 Provision of legal services for victims of crime is a positive step that helps women at large (CEDAW Report 2002: 6).16 However, limited awareness among women of their rights cannot improve their condition in the family or help change gender stereotypes in society. The analysis of the two sets of COs indicates that recurrent issues remain: discrimination against women, the need to put in place temporary measures for women’s advancement in high levels of decision-making;17 limited

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measures to eliminate persistent patriarchal attitudes towards women, including customs such as bride kidnapping and polygamy; strengthening measures to prevent trafficking of women and girls as well as offering alternatives for women and girl prostitutes; and, strengthening measures that would improve maternal and infant mortality rates. In conclusion, the practical implementation of the CEDAW is patchy. The Kyrgyz Republic has taken positive steps regarding formal requirements, such as timely reporting, ratification of a large number of international laws on human rights, and conducting a substantive dialogue with the CEDAW Committee. While, the transcripts of the two meetings with the CEDAW Committee suggest that this dialogue resulted in a more in-depth understanding of monitoring of women’s rights and has sensitized the governmental delegations, practical indicators in major areas remain unsolved and hence under scrutiny for the next round when the third periodic report is due.

Turkmenistan: analysis of formal and practical indicators for internalization of CEDAW Turkmenistan acceded to CEDAW in December 1996. The first report was due in 1997, the second in 2001, and the third in 2005. At the time of this writing, Turkmenistan did not ratify the CEDAW Optional Protocol, which allows individuals to file complaints of discrimination to the CEDAW Committee. In 2004, the government of Turkmenistan submitted a combined first and second periodic report to the CEDAW Committee, eight years after accession. This report was prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was based on information received from other ministries, other governmental bodies, and social organizations that had competence on issues related to ensuring women’s freedoms and protections against discrimination. In addition, the report states that ad hoc international expertise was used to conclude the preparation of this report (CEDAW Report 2004: 3). The report was presented by one delegate, namely the permanent representative of Turkmenistan to the UN in New York. Compared with Kyrgyzstan, none of the authors of the report traveled to New York to detail the status of implementation of the CEDAW in Turkmenistan. A close reading of the report reveals that it is a description of laws and policies, often lacking evidence of their impact to improve the de facto situation of Turkmen women. Furthermore, lack of comparative analysis and data that would suggest the trends and tendencies of the situation for women further weakens the quality of the report. A close reading shows some inconsistencies. On one hand the report postulated that women can combine professional and family life, and on the other, that women, especially in the rural areas, are expected to raise children and care for the household. The dialogue between the Turkmen delegate and the CEDAW Committee has been productive in bringing these issues to the forefront and expressing expectations for change and improvement in governmental policies that

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would advance the lives of women in practical terms. The following is a brief summary of the first periodic report of Turkmenistan that substantiates the above-mentioned points. According to the report the status of women is on an upward trend, and a declining birthrate is interpreted by the government as a “social orientation of women’s reproductive behavior, as the scope of their interests ceases to be limited to the family” (CEDAW Report 2004: 5). However, the marriage age for women is 16, which is under the international standard of 18 years. A low marriage age stimulates early marriages, reduces educational opportunities and as a consequence leads to lower paid jobs or a higher potential for women to become full-time homemakers since, “traditionally, for Turkmen women, the family hearth, husband and children have been the highest value” (CEDAW Report 2004: 22). This attitude is reinforced by the high value society places on women rearing their children at home, which in reality comes at the expense of sacrificing personal development and the ability to be economically independent. The traditions under which rural women live assign “a determinative role in caring for children, their education, and maintaining the household” (CEDAW Committee 2004: 44). The return to “pre-Soviet” values for women as described was part of a broader effort to present a national set of values alternative to those of the Soviet era. As such it was integral in intense nation-building efforts and dominated the media and the mainstream political discourse. Looking at employment, job segregation stereotypes—regarding women’s and men’s expected professional paths and the distinction between easy and difficult or dangerous jobs—are still applicable, with women being assigned to public health, social services, education, and general services, deemed the “easy path.” This makes the assessment of “equal job for equal pay” difficult. The report explains that “the special character of women’s employment is determined to a significant degree by her reproductive functions” (CEDAW Report 2004: 34). However, unlike Kyrgyzstan, some sectors dominated by women, such as the light industry, are not closing down in Turkmenistan but are expanding, thus providing higher paid job opportunities to women, albeit in traditional areas of employment. This was a consequence of the government switching from being exclusively an exporter of raw materials, such as oil, gas, cotton, to exporting ready-made products, especially in the textile industry. The dialogue between the CEDAW Committee and the Turkmen delegate also focused on other major concerns such as the delay in reporting, the lack of examples of the use of the CEDAW in Turkmen courts, lack of gender disaggregated data and absence of references on violence against women or trafficking. The Turkmen delegate conveyed that the delay in reporting was due to technical difficulties, and assured the Committee that the courts are aware of the CEDAW and it is being quoted in court cases, though supporting evidence for these statements was not presented by the delegate. Regarding the lack of disaggregated data in the report, the Turkmen delegate “admitted that the National Institute of Statistics did not collect exhaustive data to

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monitor progress in the promotion of gender equality” (UN General Assembly 2006: 7) thus bypassing a crucial guideline for report preparation. Further explanations highlighted that violence against women, while not widespread, remains an issue in the private sphere. The delegate promised that subsequent reports would include data on the status of women, which would mean a stricter monitoring of aspects of the status of women in Turkmenistan. In conclusion, the dialogue on the implementation of the CEDAW has been started by Turkmenistan, but what has been presented so far only represents the government’s views. It is highly desirable that the voices of civil organizations in the country be added to the formal channel for the CEDAW Committee to be able to clarify the impact of the Convention on the lives of women and girls in Turkmenistan. Since the third report is due in 2010, we are unable to offer a comparative analysis as we did in the case of the Kyrgyz republic. However, a comparative analysis of the emerging issues that the CEDAW Committee recommended to Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan reveals that Kyrgyzstan fared better in the realm of formal indicators while striking similarities remain in both Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan’s implementation of practical indicators in substantive areas such as health, violence against women, maintenance of cultural customs and traditions, trafficking, and the role of women in decision-making. However, since Turkmenistan did not monitor the situation of women’s rights as stipulated in the CEDAW, it is left with specific issues that Kyrgyzstan has already addressed, such as the ratification of the Optional Protocol, establishment of a stable institutional mechanism that monitors all forms of discrimination against women and ethnic minorities, and providing an opening for effective development of a dialogue with women’s organizations.

International and domestic sources of financing for gender equality We argue that the internalization of norms is enabled by direct international support. In the following, we review the availability of international funding to support the reporting processes in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan from 1997 to 2006. Technical assistance and funding during this period had been considerably higher in Kyrgyzstan than in Turkmenistan. This difference was caused by the perception of international organizations that Kyrgyzstan was an “island of democracy” in Central Asia even when democracy started to deteriorate in the country (Motyl 2001:1).18 President Akayev presented himself as a democratic leader striving to create a democratic country among more authoritarian neighboring regimes, ensuring that Kyrgyzstan became one of the major aid recipients in Central Asia (Huskey 2002). Furthermore, during the first few years after accession to the CEDAW, Kyrgyzstan established a State Commission of Family, Youth and Women, charged among others to integrate the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action (BPA) with the CEDAW. On average, the government funded 30 per cent of this National Action Plan annually to follow up on the BPA and

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the CEDAW. Foreign aid to Turkmenistan decreased because the international community saw no progress in democratization and restructuring of the economy. For instance, “in April 2000, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) took the unprecedented step of suspending its public sector lending programmes to Turkmenistan on the basis of the government’s unwillingness to implement agreed upon structural reforms” (Gleason 2001: 177). As a result, the international community made successive moves to cut technical assistance in Turkmenistan. Table 9.1 shows the total net development assistance (ODA) as reported to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/ DAC) received by Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan (see OECD). Tables 9.1 and 9.2 clearly show that the international perception of freedom and democracy played an important role in the quantity of development assistance disbursed to Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. This situation could explain the delays in implementation of international requirements primarily focused on human rights and security that would have benefited people at large during the first decade of transition in Turkmenistan. While the ODA funding for Turkmenistan was minimal, that for Kyrgyzstan proved insufficient for long-term socialization of norms, given the recurrence of issues found in the COs issued by the CEDAW Committee in 1999 and 2004.

Table 9.1 Official development assistance received by Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan (US$ million) Year

1996

1999

2002

2005

Kyrgyz Republic Turkmenistan

99 14

116 12

95 26

126 12

Source: Nations in Transit, 1998: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States by Adrian Karatnytsky, Alexander Motyl, Charles Graybow, 1999, Turkmenistan, www.freedomhouse.org/nit98/turkmen. html; Kyrgyzstan, www.freedomhouse.org/nit98/Kyrgyz.html; Freedom House, Freedom in the World Comparative Rankings: 1973–2005, www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm? page=15&year=2005. Table 9.2 Freedom ranking in Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan Year

1996

1999

2002

2005

Kyrgyz Republic Turkmenistan

4 7

5 7

5.4 7

5.6 6.9

Source: Nations in Transit, 1998: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States by Adrian Karatnytsky, Alexander Motyl, Charles Graybow, 1999, Turkmenistan, www.freedomhouse.org/nit98/turkmen. html; Kyrgyzstan, www.freedomhouse.org/nit98/Kyrgyz.html; Freedom House, Freedom in the World Comparative Rankings: 1973-2005, www.freedomhouse.org/template. cfm?page=15&year=2005.

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Progressive views on gender equality as stipulated in the CEDAW were internalized by the growing NGO sector in Kyrgyzstan, but not by a critical mass of women, who remain largely unaware of their rights under international norms. Driven by national building efforts in both countries, pre-Soviet norms drawing from Islamic norms and values and customary law re-emerged as strong parameters that impact women’s lives.

Impact of pre-Soviet norms on women’s lives: customary law and Islamic resurgence Domestic standards that rely on the revival of traditional cultural values stemming from pre-Soviet tribal customary law (adat) and Islamic norms place women in unequal relationships to men and hamper the implementation of the CEDAW. The CEDAW Committee has emphasized these factors in the case of both Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan and they remain a present concern. The manifestations of a reinstated vigor of the Islamic faith mainly regulate women’s and girls’ lives and choices. Most of the time, the various forms and traditional practices stemming from Islam (e.g., polygamy) and the customary law, adat, (kalym, ala kachuu or bride kidnapping, checking the bride’s virginity) impact the full realization of women’s human rights in these countries (Kleinbach et al. 2005; Tabyshalieva 1998). For example, the revival of Islamic religious norms even opened discussions about legalizing polygamy in both Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. In both countries polygamy is illegal, but authorities turn a blind eye when it is taking place. Some of the “new” businessmen and politicians who have become rich, whether traditionalists or simply desiring to revive all that is “national,” mention the legalization of polygamy as a kind of gentle ancestral custom or the sign of a good Muslim. (Tabyshalieva 1997: 59) The modern justification of polygamy is connected to the poor economic situation of many young women who could be sponsored by already married rich men. These men, the argument goes, are so resourceful that they could support several households and could alleviate the problem of unemployment among young women. The issue is more complex, given the efforts of the political leaders to increase the number of the titular ethnic group. Thus: it is clear that in every Central Asian republic, the politicians think how to increase the number of the titular nation. Sometimes, a simple recipe is offered—plural marriage. Some, for instance in Kyrgyzstan, declare that it is vital to increase the number of Kyrgyz through the introduction of polygamy; a heated discussion on this subject has even arisen in parliament (Tabyshalieva 1997:59; see also Tabyshalieva 1998: 110–11)

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Marriage through matchmaking has some Islamic resonance but draws from the customary law of the nomads as well. Likewise, an increase in “bride kidnapping” in Kyrgyzstan is alarming since it is a form of violence against women and a harsh violation of women’s rights (CEDAW Report 2002: 25).19 Recent research indicates that bride kidnapping is in direct violation of Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which states that “marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses”; it violates Article 1 and 16 of CEDAW, which obliges states to take measures against violence against women (Article 1) and the Article 155 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, stating that: forcing a woman to marry or to continue a marriage or kidnapping her in order to marry without her consent, … is subject to punishment in form of a fine in the amount of 100 to 200 minimal wages per month or to imprisonment up to five years. (Kleinbach et al. 2005: 199) Duishevaeva undertook a critical investigation of why Kyrgyz people (mostly men) maintain what she calls “negative traditions” (kalym, bride kidnapping, levirate, checking the bride’s virginity). Her findings suggest three trends: some people said that we could not say anything bad about our traditions because they are spiritual wealth left to us by our forefathers and that we should respect them all, even if they are harmful. Some claimed that they do not see anything terrible in keeping such traditions and approximately all the people who told me so were males. The third type was a very patriotic group of people who said that there is a piquancy about these traditions. Surprisingly, most of them were of my same age (young adult) and all of them have been abroad. (Duishevaeva 2004: 1) Thus, the Islamic resurgence in Central Asia is central to the analysis of the status of women. The Central Asian states want to appear modern while reviving traditions and culture that burden women with inequality. From this it follows that the official political standing on women’s roles is ambiguous. On the one hand women are equal in law with men and discrimination on the grounds of sex is forbidden, while on the other hand women are represented as mothers and wives whose primary roles are to reproduce and maintain the family. Lack of an unambiguous political stand on women’s rights by the political leadership in Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan gives mixed messages to their constituencies and to the international community. Thus, in both Kyrgyzstan and in Turkmenistan, nationalistic discourses are found to be restrictive for the implementation of the global gender norms held by the CEDAW.

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Conclusion There is a real struggle over norms guiding gender roles in both the Kyrgyz and Turkmen societies. The pre-Soviet norms are gaining ground supported by an emerging Islamization of these societies. For Kyrgyzstan, international norms are understood and to a certain degree reflected in the “state” and legal bodies. The relative openness of the Kyrgyz society allows for articulation of women’s rights and some self-organized participation in society. In Turkmen society, Soviet norms were upheld on the surface and used to demonstrate adherence to international norms. However, in reality pre-Soviet norms are taking over and dominate both the discourse and the reality of women’s lives in Turkmenistan. Furthermore, there is no presence of multiple state actors or non-governmental actors, leading to the conclusion that the socialization of CEDAW-related norms were weakest in Turkmenistan. The analysis of the CEDAW reporting and the intergovernmental process related to it suggests that Finnemore is right in looking at socialization of international norms as a function of the relative interests of the nation-states involved. The link between nation building and the importance of both countries acting in accordance with international agreements have led these countries to report on compliance with the CEDAW. However, when we look at this matter more substantively, it turned out that at least three other country-level issues mattered a great deal in shaping both the reporting and the actual socialization of norms related to the CEDAW. First, the level of funding available (both international and national) was important to support the institutional underpinning and the actual socialization of the norms. Second, the forming of the nation-state and the influence of norms from preSoviet times directly and negatively influenced that actual level of socialization. This factor is prevalent in both countries. However, the international political isolation of Turkmenistan and sustained efforts of the Niyazov regime to use their version of history to legitimize the “strong Presidency” allowed pre-Soviet norms to be the dominant voice in the internal political discourse around understanding women in society. Third, the role of general political openness and presence of NGOs appear to have some impact on socialization and general discourse around the CEDAW norms. In conclusion, so far, Kyrgyzstan has in relative terms developed a higher level of socialization of the CEDAW norms. While the first rounds of CEDAW reporting do not allow us to generalize, at the same time indications from Kyrgyzstan since 2005 do suggest a decline in pluralism, which has already resulted in having no women in parliament. This is an extreme marginalization of women’s political participation. If this trend continues to deepen, then our findings remain valid that funding, pluralism, and pre-Soviet norms are indeed important internal parameters to understand the socialization of CEDAW norms. However, the changes in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan’s political regimes experienced in the last two years show some encouraging signs. In Kyrgyzstan, the Bakiyev government

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has again submitted on time its third periodic report to the CEDAW Committee in 2006. Furthermore, the new government has experimented with establishing an interdepartmental body for treaty body reporting, introduced a quota policy that gives opportunities for women’s participation in high political decision-making, and adopted a new National Action Plan on advancement of women for gender equality. The new Turkmen government has recently established a high-level interdepartmental commission mandated to ensure that Turkmenistan complies with its international obligations in the area of human rights, which seems to be an encouraging sign of commitment from the government to systematically engage in constructive dialogue with the monitoring bodies on human rights. During its first session, held in September 2007, this interdepartmental commission drafted a clear goal to prepare both the overdue and upcoming periodic reports up to 2010. Both Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are currently in need of new external financing that would be required to develop and systematically update—in particular in Turkmenistan—a set of gender-disaggregated data to allow for actual analysis that informs domestic policy. To support these processes, international organizations need to establish better connections between norms and development strategies. We believe that international organizations’ sustained work building national capabilities for inclusiveness and acceptance of pluralism in society may halt further deterioration of women’s rights in these two countries. Furthermore, investments in advocating and building capacity to uphold the rule of law may have similar positive impacts. Otherwise, we remain pessimistic about the socialization of international norms in general and CEDAW norms in particular to benefit the people of the two countries under study.

Notes 1 We wish to thank the editors of this book and Liva Biseniece for their comments on the manuscript. Jennifer Chmura of Niagara University is also acknowledged for research assistance. 2 Treaty bodies are committees of experts that monitor the implementation of the main international human rights conventions. 3 During the Soviet times, the customary law practices such as the bride price and underage marriage were outlawed, along with the Islamic practice of polygamy. 4 I am adapting Peletz’s (1997) term here. In this chapter, Islamic nationalism is a multidimensional paradigm, whereas culture, religion, and customs, combined with newer political discourses are the forces that regulate women’s and men’s roles in unequal, yet powerful ways. 5 The “most similar systems” are studies of “concomitant variation” and are based on the belief that systems as similar as possible with respect to as many characteristics as possible constitute the optimal samples for comparative inquiry. “Intersystemic similarities and intersystemic differences are the focus of ‘most similar systems’ designs. Systems constitute the original level of analysis, and within-system variations are explained in terms of systemic factors … Common systemic characteristics are conceived as controlled for, whereas intersystemic

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differences are viewed as explanatory variables. The number of common characteristics sought is maximal and the number of unshared characteristics sought, minimal (Przeworski and Teune 1970: 30).” Turkmenistan’s territory is 488,100 km2 while Kyrgyzstan is 199,900 km2 their population is similar in size, i.e., 5,110,023 and 5,264,00, respectively. Both Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan share a common Soviet legacy of state socialism and centralized economy. Both are semi-nomadic tribes of Turkic origin, Muslim, and share the tribal customary law, adat. Several UN resolutions condemned the violations of human rights in Turkmenistan that eventually triggered an opening to collaborate on treaty body reporting. President Akayev was ousted from office in 2005, while in Turkmenistan the death of President Niyazov was followed by elections in 2007, with President Berdimuhammedov being elected as the President. The Kyrgyz government maintains its commitment toward democratization while the new Turkmen president seems more receptive to follow up more systematically and to start implementing the international commitments on human rights that the government of Turkmenistan agreed to under his predecessor. CEDAW is the only binding international instrument that monitors the socialization of norms of gender equality in the domestic legislation of the signatory states. A state that has ratified CEDAW is obliged to report to the CEDAW Committee, on its implementation a year after its endorsement. If this is not feasible, a combined first and second report may be submitted four years after its ratification. A national machinery—namely the State Committee on Family, Youth, and Women—was set up in Kyrgyzstan within the office of the prime minister in 1996. This structure was dissolved and replaced with the National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development, placed under the president’s jurisdiction in 2001. An Interministerial Coordinating Council was set up in Turkmenistan in 1998, and lasted until 2001. The basis for differentiating between formal and practical indicators is to make the point that reporting, as an end in itself is not sufficient. In other words, monitoring of women’s rights through periodic reporting is meaningless if practical implementation measures that give evidence that women’s status has improved as a result, is missing. This observation triggered the development of a National Programme “Human Rights” for the period 2002–10 that came into effect on January 2002. However, due to the regime change of 2005, this programmed is currently inactive. This issue is detailed later in the chapter. Review of the second periodic CEDAW report reveals that a strategy for combating violence against women was being designed; the statistics on women victims of violence was not yet standardized and not enough funding was allocated from the state budget to alleviate this issue. Furthermore, there is no system to monitor the number of women that go abroad for trafficking purposes which renders analysis difficult. Namely the Kyrgyz Republic Law on Social and Legal Protection against Violence in the Family came into being as a result of NGO activism, by using their constitutional right to popular initiative that stipulated that on gathering 30,000 signatures a draft law can be considered by the Parliament. Thus, this law banning violence against women came into being and was passed through parliament in 2003. According to the CEDAW Report of 2002, around 10 crisis centers and shelters were available for female victims of violence. Official data from this report states that around 30,000 female victims of various forms of violence approached these centers and used their services. This has changed recently, and in 2006, the new government announced the introduction of quotas for administrative appointees.

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18 In his essay prefacing the Freedom House’s Nations in Transit 2001 report, Alexander Motyl clusters the post-Soviet countries in three tiers democracy, despotism, and something in between. In this categorization, Kyrgyzstan remains in the “middle tier,” while Turkmenistan is in the least democratically advanced countries. 19 Data on bride theft is scarce; the Second CEDAW Periodic Report notes that both bride theft and polygamy occur but are not subject to legal prosecution in practice. According to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 18 cases of bride theft were recorded in 2001, double the number recorded in 2000.

References CEDAW (1979) Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Article 2, 1–13, UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights. < www. unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/e1cedaw.htm > 1–13. (accessed 3 November 2006). CEDAW Committee (1999) Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Kyrgyzstan, UN Document, A/54/38, paras 95–142. —— (2004) Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Kyrgyzstan, UN Document, A/59/38, paras 142–78. CEDAW Report (1998) “Initial report of the Kyrgyz Republic under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” New York: CEDAW/C/KGZ. ——(2002) “Second Periodic Report, Kyrgyzstan,” New York: CEDAW/C/KGZ. ——(2004) “Report of Turkmenistan Regarding the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” New York: CEDAW/C/TKM/1–2, 22 November 2004. ——Commission on the Status of Women (1972a) “International Instruments and National Standards Relating to the Status of Women,” E/CN.6/573, 15 February 1972. ——(1972b) E/CN.6/L.599/Rev. 3, 23 February 1972, “International Instruments and National Standards Relating to the Status of Women, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Draft Resolution,” E/CN.6/L.599/Rev. 3, 23 February 1972. ——Council of NGOs (2003) “Alternative Report to the Second Periodic Report by the Kyrgyz Republic to the CEDAW Committee.” Duishevaeva, A. (2004) “Negative Traditions in Kyrgyz Culture,” unpublished essay (courtesy of R. Kleinbach), Bishkek: American University of Central Asia, Bishkek. Finnemore, M. (1996) National Interests in International Society, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Freedom House (2005) Freedom in the World Comparative Rankings: 1973–2005, 1–2. < www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=15&year=2005 > (accessed 12 October 2006). Gleason, G. (2001) “Foreign policy and domestic reform in Central Asia,” Central Asian Survey, 20: 167–82. Huskey, E. (2002) “An economy of authoritarianism? Askar Akaev and presidential leadership in Kyrgyzstan,” in S. Cummings (ed.) Power and Change in Central Asia, London and New York: Routledge. Kardam, N. (2004) “The Emerging Global Gender Equality Regime from Neoliberal and Constructivist Perspectives in International Relations,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 6: 85–109.

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——(2005) Turkey’s Engagement with Global Women’s Human Rights, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishers. Karatnytsky, A., Graybow, C., and Motyl, A. (1999) “Nations in Transit, 1998: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States.” < www.freedomhouse.org.nit1998 > (accessed on 12 October 2006). Keck, M. and Sikkink, K. (1998) Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politic, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Kleinbach, R., Ablezova, M. and Aitieva, M. (2005) “Kidnapping for marriage (ala kachuu) in a Kyrgz village,” Central Asian Survey, 24: 191–202. Moghadam, V. M. (1994) “Introduction: Women and Identity Politics in Theoretical and Comparative Perspective,” in V. M. Moghadam (ed.) Identity Politics and Women: Cultural Reassertions and Feminisms in International Perspective, Boulder: Westview Press. Motyl, A. J. (2001) “Ten Years After the Soviet Collapse: Persistence of the Past and Prospects for the Future,” 1–6. < www.freedomhouse.org/research/nitransit/2001/ cover-materials/essay2.htm > 1–6 (accessed 10 December 2005). Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “Official Development Assistance (ODA)-Disbursement by Recipients and Type.” < stats.oedc.org/ default.aspx?DatasetCode=TABLE%202A > (accessed 29 January 2007) Peletz, M. G. (1997) “‘Ordinary Muslims’ and Muslim Resurgents in Contemporary Malaysia: Notes on an Ambivalent Relationship,” in R.I. Hefner and P. Horvatich (eds) Islam in an Era of Nation States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. UN Development Programme/Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (1998) Poverty in Transition? New York: UNDP/RBEC. Przeworski, A. and Teune, H. (1970) The Logic of Comparative Social Inquiry, New York: John Wiley & Sons. Rimby, M. (2004) Reproductive Decision-Making in Kyrgyzsta: A Qualitative Study among Young Urban Women, MA Thesis, Gothenburg: Nordic School of Public Health Gothenburg. Risse, T, Ropp, S. and Sikkink, K. (eds) (1999) The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tabyshalieva, A. (1997) “Women of Central Asia and the Fertility Cult,” Anthropology and Archeology of Eurasia, 36: 45–62. ——(1998) Otrazhenie vo vremeni: zametki k istorii polozheniya zhenshin Tsentralnoi Azii. Bishek: SOROS. True, J. (2005) “Feminism,” in A.J. Bellamy (ed.) International Society and Its Critics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. UNDAW (1994) “International Standards of Equality and Religious Freedom: Implications for the Status of Women,” in V. M. Moghadam (ed.) Identity Politics and Women: Cultural Reassertions and Feminisms in International Perspective, Boulder: Westview Press. UN General Assembly (2006) “Concluding Considerations of Turkmenistan’s Report, Women’s Anti-discrimination Committee Highlights Difficulties in Assessing Progress,” GA WOM/1558, UN Department of Public Information. News and Media Division, New York. < www.un.org/News/Press/docs/wom1558.doc.htm > (accessed 29 May 2006).

10 Education in Central Asia Transitional challenges and impacts Carolyn Kissane

The Central Eurasian region is engaged in a difficult process of transition, renewal, and redefinition. The former Soviet Socialist Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan provide provocative cases from which to examine the relationship between political transition and its impact on the educational systems of the region. The year 1991 marked a significant shift for the region, when each of the five republics which had formerly existed as part of the larger Soviet Union became independent. Terms such as transition and transformation have been used to describe the period following this historical juncture in the region’s history; however, the more accurate term for the changes made to the educational programs might best be described as tinkering. The reality of the region’s educational transition is mixed. In some places it is hard to imagine the Soviet period ever existed; change has been monumental, but in other areas, the changes have been incremental at best and regressive in the worst way. It is possible to visit schools where there is at least one computer in every classroom, talk with teachers using highly interactive teaching methods and versed in the latest educational methodologies, and where students are taking a full range of courses with resources to meet their learning needs. However, these examples are more the exception than the rule; most schools struggle to pay teachers, provide textbooks and heating, and may be working on double or even triple school shifts. There is no singular educational narrative in place, and this heterogeneous context significantly affects studies of education in the Central Asian region. The purpose of this examination therefore is to bring education out of the periphery and into the discussion of the large-scale societal change in the region. The cases presented in this chapter highlight the exacerbated tensions of transition when economic and political commitments are mixed, and when necessary educational resources to support both access and quality are not in place. A review of policies shows that while significant educational reforms exist on paper, the overriding concerns of governments for concentrating power and decreasing support for a public good such as education have assured that large-scale state-sponsored educational change is a process of tinkering, but not transformation. This ongoing process has developed into a splintering effect at work in education, where some groups can take

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advantage of educational opportunity because of their ethnic ties to the nation via their titular status, or because their wealth affords them either the option of accessing the best of the system, or seeking opportunity in the private education sector. The impacts on the region of such increasingly stratified and poor-quality education systems have the potential to be particularly destabilizing because education is indispensable for effective and active political and economic participation (Tomasevski 2003). There is no standardized educational policy approach across the region, and the differences between the five states are important for a fair analysis, but each state faces similar challenges in aligning their systems with educational reform requirements for the twenty-first century. This chapter provides first, a brief historical and contemporary comparative overview of education in the five states, focusing specifically on access, quality, and the various ethno-nationalizing policies implemented in the early years after independence. Second, it explores the influence of outside factors on the educational landscape, and, lastly, it considers how the issue of corruption pervades the region’s institutions, and heavily impacts the management and quality of education. How these five countries choose to negotiate and direct educational change has important implications for the region’s future, including political and economic development, ethnic relations, and the overall stability and security of the region. As a comparative educator and specialist in the Central Asian region it is important to explore the ways in which the former Soviet republics address and develop their education systems. Information for this chapter is drawn from a mixture of interviews, classroom observations, policy documents, and secondary literature sources. Data were collected between 2000 and 2006 during six separate research visits to the region. In order to study the educational trajectories of the five countries of examination since 1991, I reviewed educational policy documents from the various Ministries of Education, interviewed the former Minister of Education in Kazakhstan, Deputy Minister of Education in the Kyrgyz republic, conducted 15 interviews with students and teachers and observed classroom lessons at the secondary school level in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Context: educational transition In his research on educational transition, Birzea stresses, “the post-Communist transition is concerned with the totalitarian system of government which dominated for over fifty years in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union into ‘its exact political ideological and economic opposite,’ identified as the open society” (Birzea 1994: 4). Sixteen years into the “post-Communist transition,” open society is still not a term that would aptly describe the current political or societal landscape of the countries under study. The former Soviet system has disintegrated in name only; many of the same structures remain in place, and this is especially true in the area of education. Hofmeyr

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and Buckland, in their research on education and political change argue, “education systems do not change just because there is a change in government” (Hofmeyr and Buckland 1992: 17). The post-Soviet educational landscape examined for this study is in some ways strikingly similar to the pre-1991 period; while a number of new policies and calls for improved teaching and learning practices are in place, the translation of these policies and practices into action has been slow and incremental. There are many exciting cases of individual schools and teachers implementing innovative strategies, but they are isolated best-practice examples of how schools can promote an open society. The broader picture unfortunately remains one of a system constrained by limited human and financial resources, and this situation is further aggravated by the absence of political will. It is critical for this examination to recognize the strong educational foundation that existed during the Soviet period. The region of Central Asia had the least developed infrastructure and weakest formal education system within the Soviet Union in the first half of the twentieth century. The Russians and later the Soviets understood that education had the greatest potential for secularizing this predominantly Muslim region, and for fostering allegiance to first Russia, and later Marxist–Leninist ideology. The level of literacy in the region rose from the single digits in the early twentieth century to almost universal literacy by the early 1980s. There were great disparities across the five republics. For example, Kazakhstan was the most Russified and educationally developed, while Tajikistan remained the poorest and most educationally underdeveloped. Both universal access and the promotion of gender equality were supported. The Soviet system of education consisted of a highly centralized public administration of education, with each republic housing a small ministry of education that implemented the directives from Moscow. Science and mathematics programs were considered to be some of the best in the world; these two subjects were emphasized, beginning in the lower primary grades and became more specialized as students moved into secondary school. The humanities and social sciences were heavily laden with Marxist–Leninist ideology (Kanaev and Daun 2002; Chapman et al. 2005). The Soviet schooling system was described as “among the strongest educational systems in the world,” as well as “fundamental,” having “stood the test of time,” and “even in its weakened state, second to none” (Asanova 2006: 659). The region inherited a comprehensive educational system, including kindergartens, boarding schools, special education schools, schools for gifted children, in addition to primary, secondary, higher educational, and vocational schools. Formal systems of education existed in each of the republics. With independence, each country set out to establish separate systems. The enormity of such a project after almost 70 years of working within the larger Soviet educational framework was tremendous. Each country faced the challenges of redefining the curriculum, organization, and governance of schools (DeYoung and Suzhikova 1997: 22). Because of the sharp decline in revenues, educational institutions fell victim to budget cuts.

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The years immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union were economically devastating, and since educational change requires budgetary allocations for reform, most of the reforms had to be initiated by the international community. The democratization rhetoric of the governments was not supported in policy, or in practice. Educational reforms focusing on decentralization, cooperative learning, student-centered teaching approaches, and critical thinking were designed and funded through international assistance programs. Yet few of the actual reforms were set into policy by the respective governments. McLeish notes: To effect a comprehensive change in practice is very difficult, especially when engaged in a process of transition which has democracy as its aim. It would be hypocritical to employ authoritarian tools in an effort to secure democratic practices. (McLeish and Phillips 1998: 19) In early proclamations following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new governments in these young countries underscored the importance of education in developing independent national identities and establishing strong postSoviet trajectories for economic and political development. The educational reforms during the first decade of the region’s independence called explicitly for national self-determination, more market-oriented and decentralized systems, and the establishment of humanitarian principles within the educational sector. What this meant, in effect, was a move away from the Soviet system of education towards the creation of independent national curricula, content, and management. The emphasis in the early years focused on de-Russifying the system through changes in language laws to support the national titular language, as well as revising and rewriting history textbooks to reflect the more nationalistic consciousness of the new states of Central Asia. Dual discourses were emerging with support for strengthening national identity through titular national preferences in language, history, and access while at the same time proclaiming democratization of the educational system. The democratic rhetoric of the early transition period was heavily influenced by international organizations and governments, especially the USA and European Union, which responded in 1991 with a number of educational initiatives to support decentralization and civil society development. School and community programs were implemented on the ground through international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As the recipients of democratic assistance money, the Central Asian countries quickly learned how to integrate the new vernacular into their policy talk. However, problems emerged in the delivery and implementation of democratic initiatives in the education sector. The governments talked about policy in terms of opportunities for openness and greater financial investment in education in order to improve the position of the citizenry. Yet as the results of this regional survey indicate, none of the states has matched the rhetoric with significant financial

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assistance to the educational sector (Kissane 2005: 57). Ultimately, the degradation of overall education quality and access means that the region (maybe with the exception of Kazakhstan) will not have in place an educated and skilled citizenry to meet the changing global challenges of the twenty-first century. The results of Central Asia’s educational transition do not reveal a strong showing in the area of democratization and improvement of educational indicators. In two of the five states, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the situation has greatly deteriorated, with leadership under two autocratic dictators showing complete disregard for human rights and the rule of law. Tajikistan remains the poorest and most underdeveloped, having suffered a five-year civil war (1992–97), and it is only now beginning to show improvement in the areas of poverty alleviation and improved government integration. Kyrgyzstan is somewhere in the middle, showing progress in some key reform areas. Yet the instability of the current regime could lead to a reversal in direction. Kazakhstan is the one that stands out in the region, with the strongest economy, sporting annual growth rates of more than 9 percent, and the most stable political system. It also boasts the most significant natural resources in the region and is considered, along with Russia, a significant non-OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil producer.

Influence of ethno-nationalizing policies on education In addition to the economic and political challenges facing education, the systems also confront issues of national identity, history, and language. Since gaining independence, each newly independent state has set out to forge a national identity separate from that of the Soviet period. The post-Soviet education changes in language of instruction, history education, and the new importance placed on ethnic symbols and traditions in schools is part of what are referred to as the implementation of ethno-national policies in schools. The dissolution of the USSR set into motion a redefining and reaffirming of national identity that focused on the ethnic over the multicultural. The areas where this was most easily achieved were in the areas of language of instruction and history education. In the area of language, the question of alphabet and language of instruction have both been powerful and contentious educational issues impacting social cohesion. The alphabets of Central Asia have gone through multiple changes over the last century: Arabic (1923–29), Latin (1929–40), and Cyrillic after 1940. Stalin mandated the use of Cyrillic in order to better unify the federation, but in the 1980s there were calls for a return to national languages, as well as demand for a change in scripts. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan retain the use of Cyrillic. Kazakh is the official language of Kazakhstan, but most citizens speak Russian, which remains the second official language of the state. Kyrgyzstan tried to make Kyrgyz the exclusive state language, but changed the law in early 2000 to allow for both Russian and Kyrgyz. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have moved to using the Latin alphabet and have made Turkmen

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and Uzbek official languages. Tajikistan moved to Arabic and Tajik is the official language. There are seven different languages of instruction used across Uzbekistan with over 91 per cent of schools using Uzbek, three per cent Karakalpak, and only 1.2 per cent now offering instruction in Russian. The government’s policy around language supports national consolidation and favors ethnic Uzbeks over non-Uzbeks, but the government’s support for the Uzbek language over Russian has caused severe difficulties in the area of Uzbek textbooks and educational materials, which remain in short supply. The Central Asian states moved towards making the titular language the national or official state language, and great energy went into rewriting history to tell another version of the Soviet narrative. In order to understand the processes and outcomes of ethno-nationalism within educational policies, it is important to look at the approaches taken by the five Central Asian republics. Kazakhstan is an interesting case to study some of the issues involved in the tension between promoting a more ethno-national educational project versus a more multicultural civic-oriented national project. Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan share similar backgrounds approaching the language and history question within education. The issue of religion deserves special mention in the context of education in Central Asia. Citizens of the region are predominantly Muslims, though each of the countries publicly promotes secularism. Uzbekistan has actively sought to stifle any religious movements the government deems threatening to its hold on power. The governments seek to limit and implement stricter controls over Islamic practice. Radical changes occurred after 1991, with a religious revival and the opening of both old and new mosques, the re-establishment of religious schools, and a surge in the interest around the study and practice of Islam. In the early 1990s through the end of the decade, money came from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan to support religious education, both in the formal context of schooling, as well as through informal after-school programs. Over the last four years, the governments of Central Asia have imposed restrictions on religious organizations and funding from abroad for the establishment of religious schools. New laws limit funding, actions, and operations, and not only do both the governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan prohibit religious education of any kind in state schools, they have made it more difficult to get approval for opening up private schools that promote a religious ideology. Turkmenistan bans the practice of all religions except Russian Orthodox Christianity and Sunni Islam. Religious education therefore has taken on more covert forms through the establishment of afterschool religious education programs that are more difficult to control because they are outside the formal institutional structures.

Access and quality: regional overview Examining some educational and social indicators for the region illustrates the challenges facing the five states in this survey. According to the UN

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Human Development Index, the five states still suffer from what is referred to as middle to low human development. Four of the five republics rank high on education indicators, but it is important to note that enrollment and access to quality education has diminished for large sectors of the population, especially those in rural areas and the urban poor. The gross enrollment ratio (GER) has decreased for each of the five states since 1991. In Tajikistan the decrease is dramatic, and much of this is the result of the civil war and the ongoing economic problems facing the republic. According to the Freedom House Survey (2005), Freedom in the World, not one of the five republics is considered free, revealing a very poor record protecting civil liberties and political rights. Data for four of the five countries under study show a decline in government expenditure for education as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and the Freedom in the World rankings indicate weak to non-existent civil societies, as well as the continuation of authoritarian governments (Table 10.1). Compared with those of developing countries, educational indicators in the former Soviet republics, including those in Central Asia are generally still strong. Adult literacy rates are close to 100 percent, basic education enrollment and completion rates are high, and a substantial network of schools and universities remains intact. Yet compared regionally, primary and secondary enrollments are lower in Central Asia than in other Eurasian countries, with noticeable declines in upper secondary education (with the exception of Uzbekistan). Several reasons cause the precipitous decline in education quality and opportunity, including insufficient government resources directed towards education, lack of internal capacities within the ministries and local educational offices, and a long list of inchoate policies that create more obstacles than opportunities for positive educational change. Materials for learning improvements and school renovations are limited, particularly in rural areas. During the Soviet period, expenditure on education was much higher, and for all five countries, funding for education has dropped off precipitously,

Table 10.1 Tracking socio-economic and political developments

Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

HDI

GER

Expenditure on education (2005) (% of GDP)

Corruption Freedom in the perception World (2006) index

80 102 122 87 111

85 79 71 81 76

3.4 3.1 2.4 – 6.4

151 161 155 164 175

Not free Partly free Not free Not free Not free

Sources: United Nations Development Programme 2006; Freedom House 2006; Transparency International 2007. Notes: HDI, human development index; GDP, gross domestic product; GER, gross enrollment ratio.

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undermining the quality of education. The system as a whole has deteriorated since 1990, as education financing declined across the region. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, because of the difficulties of accessing accurate and reliable data, are hard cases to evaluate specifically with regards to educational development and opportunity. Qualitative data analysis, conducted through a review of educational documents and literature reveal a deteriorating situation in the area of education, especially for Turkmenistan. Though more developed in terms of educational institutions and policy, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have both retreated in providing adequate support for basic education and a growing level of socioeconomic stratification is evident within the population, especially in Kazakhstan. Tajikistan is largely dependent on outside agencies and governments for funding social services such as education. Funding shortages impact all countries in the region and interfere with meeting minimum quality standards of education. All five countries guarantee the right to education through secondary school. Kazakhstan’s constitution of 1995 specifies that education through secondary school is mandatory and free. In addition, citizens have the right to compete for free education in the republic’s institutions of higher learning (Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution, Article 30). However, the reality of this constitutional right to free primary and secondary education is applied differently in practice. Schools and universities have addressed financing problems by requiring parents and students to assume the costs that the government no longer covers. This has resulted in an increased disparity between well-off and poorer communities, with the wealthier communities having access to better schools. The majority of “free” state schools require students to pay a fee, and this is true throughout the region. Even parents in the state schools are forced to pay some kind of a fee, especially if parents want their children to have access to be better teachers, and more options beyond the standard curriculum. In 2006, the government of Kyrgyzstan initiated a new policy prohibiting the collection of school fees. Yet since schools depend on the fees for their financial survival, most school directors ignore the policy and even most international educational programs encourage parental participation in the form of financial contributions such as support for school infrastructure, contributions for the purchase of textbooks, etc. Fees vary across schools, from US$15 a month to US$200 a month. Since a majority of the state and officially free public schools in the republic require a school fee, the constitutional right of citizens to free education is not honored in practice. Many rural schools lack textbooks, or only have textbooks from the Soviet period, and many teachers state that it is impossible to survive on their low teachers’ salaries. Most are forced to hold one or two outside jobs in order to support their families and remain in the classroom. As a result of the low salaries, difficult working conditions, and an overall loss of prestige in the teaching profession, there is a severe shortage of teachers throughout the five nations. The following country sections provide brief overviews of the major challenges confronting each of the five Central Asian states. The challenges are

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similar, but opportunities are also emerging, especially under new development strategies that target education. Kazakhstan, because of the wealth generated through oil revenues and its rapid economic development over the last five years, boasts the most developed education system in the region, but it shares with its neighbors the same challenges that come with authoritarianism and its impact on education. Kazakhstan In Kazakhstan, between 1990 and 2003, the total allocation of government funds for education decreased dramatically in both absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP.1 The UN’s most recent human development country study for Kazakhstan reveals that between 1995and 2001 public expenditure on education was cut by 1.4 times, from 4.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent of GDP; however, in 2004 it increased to 3.4 per cent (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2005: 18). Kazakhstan’s economic growth is the most impressive of the region, and its per capita GDP is currently approximately US$5,500, but the government is still not meeting the 6–7 per cent of GDP recommended by the Dakar Conference on Education for All. Kazakhstan, along with the other countries studied in this chapter all allocate a smaller percentage of GDP to education than most developing countries. According to former Kazakh Minister of Education Zhaksibek Kulkeyev “place of residence greatly impacts the quality of education with many rural areas of Kazakhstan only able to provide primary education, and some incomplete secondary education” (Kulkeyev 2003). The rural population accounts for 42 per cent of the population. More than 6,000 of Kazakhstan’s schools are located in rural areas (Republic of Kazakhstan 2003: 15). A field visit to a rural school in Zhambul in the month of February of 2000 provides an illustration of the difficulties prevalent in rural schools. Half of the school was not in use because there was no heat, even as temperatures outside reached below minus 15 degrees centigrade. Administrators, teachers and students wore coats during the lessons and commented that the shutting off of heat is a regular occurrence during the winter months. Additionally, Zhaksibek Kulkeyev explained that few schools have good, well-qualified teachers. Many teachers are unable to teach foreign languages and upper-level math and science, and cannot offer students their constitutional right to a complete 10–11 year education. Approximately 52 per cent of Kazakhstan’s 7,500 schools are categorized as incomplete and inferior to regular schools. These incomplete schools serve approximately 15 per cent of the school age population, and 76 per cent of the schools are located in rural areas (Kulkeyev, 2003). The growing socioeconomic disparity across the republic has also given way to an increase in the number of private schools and is creating further educational inequality in terms of access and quality. Some of these schools boast excellent resources with well-equipped science laboratories, instruction

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in multiple foreign languages, computer access in every classroom, and highly diversified extracurricular activities. Parents pay anywhere between US$1,500 to over US$5,000 per year. Miras school, a private school with locations in Almaty and Astana, employs a number of teachers from the USA, and teacher salaries are more than triple those of public school teachers. Comparatively, Kazakhstan is the region’s education power house with active teacher networks and more diverse educational opportunities than any other country in the region. Kazakhstan navigated its way out of economic decline and today is regarded as an economic success story, with GDP growth rates above 10 per cent since 2000. The country’s structural reforms support a more market-driven economy, and this is reflected in the educational system, especially in the growth of private schools and universities, but a more destabilizing situation is developing around the way in which the country’s uneven distribution of wealth continues to widen. Kazakhstan is the only country in the region to establish a National Fund (for oil revenue) that also supports the region’s most progressive scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate study abroad. Bolashak, which means the future in Kazakh, is the name of a program for study abroad that currently sends approximately 3,000 students from Kazakhstan to study in 25 different countries. Kadisha Dairova, director of Bolashak, said the program shows: Kazakhstan’s forward-thinking policies, and support for encouraging overseas education while cultivating reform-minded young leaders … Students return with great understanding of issues and areas that are critical for the country’s continued development, and they come to better understand regional realities beyond their own borders. (Dairova 2006) In 2005, President Nazarbayev issued a mandate that all vice ministers in the ministries must have studied overseas, and a review of vice ministers shows that this is a mandate that is finding its way to full implementation. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan share a border, and are the most similar in terms of the former Soviet republics in that each has a large ethnic Russian population and historically similar development trajectories, but today the story is a different one, with Kazakhstan at the forefront of economic development and Kyrgyzstan falling behind on most basic socioeconomic indicators, including education. Kyrgyzstan Scholars and practitioners observing Kyrgyzstan in the early to mid-1990s witnessed positive political changes, including the emergence of democratic educational governance with a multicultural emphasis on curriculum and pedagogy. The tide turned in the mid-1990s as Kyrgyzstan moved from a relative position of stability to instability due to acute economic crisis and

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increasingly authoritarian tendencies on the part of the central government. The Kyrgyz Republic experienced the Tulip Revolution in March 2005, one of three “color revolutions” in the former Soviet Union, which replaced former President Askar Akayev with Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Popular support for the new leadership in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek has diminished dramatically since the spring of 2005, when hopes were high that the new leadership would decrease corruption and expand development opportunities for the country. As in Kazakhstan, funding for education has decreased as a percentage of GDP. Dramatic decreases in educational funding and access are more pronounced in the south of Kyrgyzstan than in other parts of the country (Lubin and Ribin 2000). Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan can boast the most progressive educational policies and opportunities for schools, but Kyrgyzstan suffers from severe budget constraints. Owing to limited financial and material resources, there exists a growing level of disparity between rural and urban schools, a prevailing problem across the region. The costs of educational expenditure cuts can be found in limited opportunities for parents to send their children to state financed pre-school programs, the reduction of compulsory education from 11 to nine years, the suspension of school maintenance repairs, and the almost complete elimination of grants for educational materials (Ushurova 2006: 4). Highly dependent on financial contributions from parents, inequality has increased because relying on private funds creates a privatized public education system where schools with wealthy parents are at an advantage, and rural schools are constrained because of higher poverty levels.

Tajikistan A more complicated picture emerges when examining the case of Tajikistan. The people of Tajikistan were witnesses to a six-year civil war from 1991 to 1997 that led to an acute humanitarian crisis, the loss of more than 50,000 lives, and the displacement of almost 600,000 people. During the civil war many schools were looted, and according to the IMF and World Bank, 20 per cent of schools were destroyed during the conflict. Since 1991, literacy levels have fallen from approximately 90 per cent to 60 per cent (UNICEF 2004). According to statistics from the Ministry of Education in Tajikistan, over 90 per cent of schools have insufficient heating systems, and many schools have no heating at all. While attending a regional educational workshop in December 2006, educational representatives from Tajikistan noted that schools had been without heat and electricity for over two weeks. In addition to the multiple infrastructural challenges facing schools, most schools also work on a multiple-shift schedule. Some schools have three shifts per day, while the majority of schools work under a double-shift program (Ministry of Education 2002). The government of Tajikistan currently spends 2.5 per cent of GDP on education, and enrollment stands at 58.4 percent, a very low rate by international standards. According to the World Bank, 64 per cent of the population

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lives below the national poverty line (World Bank 2004: 22). Many families cannot afford to cover the basic fees required to send their children to school. This also accounts for the decreasing level of girls’ enrollment. As in many other developing countries, parents often choose to send their sons to school over their daughters because of the perceived value of a boy’s education over a girl’s education. Education in Tajikistan has suffered greatly from lack of resources and many skilled teachers leave, migrate out, or do not practice due to the abysmally low salaries for educators. In 2003, Tajikistan’s parliament voted to increase the state budget by 44 per cent for 2004, to US$ 315 million (somoni 943 million). According to the plan set out under the new state budget, funding for education will increase by 60 percent, but given current budget constraints and Tajikistan’s heavy reliance on international assistance it is unlikely that this target will be met. A significant number of educational reforms under way in the country depend entirely on external funds. One example of an international assistance education program is the United States Agency for International Development Basic Education Sector Strengthening Program. The initiative focuses on primary education, grades 1–4, improving in-service teaching training, increasing parent and community involvement in schools (creation of parent teacher associations), institutional management, and improvement of school infrastructure. Student absenteeism is an issue that many of the rural areas in the region confront. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are both plagued by student absences. The reasons cited by school authorities focus on sickness, work requirements in and outside of the home, and education not seeming relevant for some students and parents who lack confidence that the system will provide opportunities for students to move out of poverty. Schools in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan witness a sharp drop in student attendance from mid-September through November, when students can be found in the fields harvesting cotton. The president of Tajikistan banned students from participating in the practice in 2005, but students still make up a large percentage of harvesters and local government officials call on parents and young people to participate. The Ministry of Education refused to grant school visits to international organizations during the fall 2006 cotton-picking season. The government did not want people to see the empty desks of students who were absent because they were required by the local authorities to assist with the cotton harvest. The magnitude of reform required to bring about system-level change is great. The financial difficulties facing Tajikistan are substantial, and though the prospects for the future look better than at any other time since independence, many obstacles remain. The country needs to improve educational quality at all levels and address the growing problem of girls not attending, or leaving school before graduation. The education of girls is diminishing in Tajikistan and the research shows that as girls leave school, the economic opportunities for the country will fall further. The World Bank recently launched a countrywide Fast Track Initiative (FTI) in Tajikistan, with US$9

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million being made available for the construction and rehabilitation of schools, teacher training, and textbook development. The FTI is part of a larger global educational initiative to target countries with low enrollment rates and provide assistance towards the achievement of Education for All, and the Millennium Development Goals. It is too early to assess the impact of the FTI, but it does represent an important international commitment to raising educational levels in the country. Though the situation in Tajikistan is difficult, the government appears determined to improve the country’s weak education system. Turkmenistan, however, is a special case and the following overview illustrates the radical turn the government made away from support for educational development. The case is best described as the implementation of regressive educational policies.

Turkmenistan It is quite difficult to imagine the societal landscape that is present-day Turkmenistan. The country and its policies challenge all rationality and warrant serious attention by the international community. The republic’s policies are intentionally debilitating an entire generation. Young people are being denied their rights to an education and basic health care, and are having their human rights all but disregarded in both theory and practice. Former President Niyazov went so far as to ban the diagnosis and reporting of infectious diseases, with disastrous results, especially given the increasing number of heroin addicts and prostitutes the government continues to ignore. Turkmenistan has a population of some 5 million and sits on the world’s fifth-largest reserves of natural gas. The 2004 Helsinki Committee report for Turkmenistan finds: the system of education in Turkmenistan has sharply deteriorated and become too politicized. It seems that the education system has become not a means of intellectual development but a weapon with which government politically influences the people. (Helsinki Committee: 9) The country presents the region with the most troubling and dangerous educational case of the five under review. The totalitarian practices of the former President for life Saparamat Niyazov, who suddenly died in December of 2006, led to drastic reductions in educational funding. Current policies categorically discourage the development of a knowledge society. The compilation and distribution of data is practically forbidden, and the state has a policy of almost total censorship. It is therefore impossible to interview educators and students about the current situation and the actions that have led to the demise of a once stable system of education. Niyazov was a tyrannical ruler, destroying the country’s human capital infrastructure by decreasing the number of years of compulsory schooling, closing regional libraries, enforcing

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a rigid curriculum that encompasses the study of only one primary text, and denying any critical educational experience to the people. Basic education was reduced from 11 years to nine years, and university from four years to two. Academic instruction decreased as more emphasis was placed on vocational education. While in 1991 the country’s official literacy rate was approximately 90 per cent and an established program of higher education was in place, today the literacy levels are falling sharply, schools are closing, and teachers are required to devote 15 minutes of every lesson, whether the subject is science or the arts, to reading one book, Turkmenbashi’s Rukhnama. This text focuses on proper social behavior, morals, and allegiance to the motherland and its (now former) glorious leader, Niyazov. The text is described by officials within the government as a “moral codex.” The text is required across all levels of the educational system from kindergarten to university. Students are tested on it at the end of every year and are required to pass it for entrance into university. In addition to the explicit cuts to all areas of education, the government put into effect an extreme new educational policy that does not allow for degrees obtained abroad since 1983 to be recognized. The former president outlawed all degrees obtained outside of Turkmenistan. In addition to his discriminatory practices in education, he has also unleashed a number of ethnocentric language and hiring practices that eliminate opportunities for Turkmenistan’s representation of other nationalities. The majority of schools offering instruction in languages other than Turkmen have been shut down, and the teaching of English is currently prohibited in state schools. It is hard to imagine the new president imposing even more regressive educational policies; Niyazov’s death may in fact bring the necessary impetus for actual educational progress.2

Uzbekistan Freedom House’s Countries at the Crossroads report describes Uzbekistan as: An authoritarian state in which civil liberties are sharply curtailed, rule of law is applied in a discriminatory manner, corruption is widespread and the operations of government are nontransparent, while public voice is stifled by extensive media censorship and a political machine designed to concentrate power in the president’s office. (Albion 2004: 2) Educational reform can be characterized as sporadic and uneven. The Ministry of Education sponsored Inventory Checks of Secondary Schools and found that 20 per cent of students are studying without textbooks, and 96.4 per cent of schools do not have qualified teachers in the areas of foreign languages, chemistry, history, and geography. These concerns are especially significant since young people constitute a majority (almost 56 per cent) of the population (UNDP 2003a). The government has committed to The State Nationwide

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School Education Development Program, which came into effect last year and is scheduled to be completed by 2009. The government of Uzbekistan declares education a key priority for the socio-economic development of the country. Reforms in the education sector are viewed as one of the most important mechanisms for achieving political, economic, and social progress. Throughout the 1990s, the main goal of education reform was a reorientation from Soviet education values towards the new demands of a market-based economy. In 1997, the Government launched the National Program for Personnel Training, which aims to extend compulsory education from nine to 12 years by 2009. In 2004 a new state National Program for School Education Development for years 2004–9 was adopted by special decree of the President of Uzbekistan. Taking into account a historically social role of mahalla (community) in the upbringing of children, the Government developed a National Concept on Cooperation of the Family, Mahalla and School in Students’ Upbringing in 1993. The Concept conveys a national idea and perspectives for community participation in education and upbringing process. The regulatory environment in Uzbekistan in relation to NGOs (both foreign and local) is unclear at the moment; the Government of Uzbekistan has recently introduced laws requiring registration and restricting programming opportunities.3 Despite these restrictions on civil society organizations, Uzbekistan has made legal commitments to promote community participation in education and has several structures in place to fulfill these commitments. At the national level, Uzbekistan articulates in its education laws that community participation in education is valued and encouraged. (Umurzakova 2006: 18) Despite these efforts to develop school governance structures that increase community participation in education, the mechanisms and standards to do so are still largely absent. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are both launching education programs in Uzbekistan in 2007 that are slated to work with school boards and increase the effectiveness of community participation in education.

Educational transfer and democracy promotion The period following 1991 brought forth an onslaught of outside educational initiatives in the form of bilateral, multilateral, non-governmental, and philanthropic assistance. Development agencies became essential in providing funding for educational reform (Asanova 2006: 660). The international community responded to the challenges of the transition with an active array of governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental assistance programs devoted to promoting democracy and the market economy, based on the assumption that “any country moving away from dictatorial rule is in transition toward democracy” (Carothers 2003: 23). The post-Soviet transition in

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education, as it was viewed from the outside, was to start with an infusion of new democratic and market-oriented practices to accelerate a democratic transition. Schriewer (1992) and Steiner-Khamsi (2000, 2002) identify these processes as educational transfer and borrowing, and explore how in times of political or economic change or crisis the source of authority for educational policy may be externalization, or references to examples from abroad that are transferred or borrowed to rectify internal problems with the system. Much of the international assistance in education has focused on educational management and governance, decentralization, the promotion of student-centered classrooms, critical thinking, and student exchange. Buzzwords like “decentralization,” “outcomes-based education,” “restructuring,” “democratic teaching,” “teacher-centered pedagogy,” and “education for citizenship” as well as educational management and market-oriented educational reforms are a part of the region’s educational vocabulary, but are rarely implemented in the classroom. Advocates for new approaches to teaching often experience opposition and resistance from educational authorities who seek to retain past practices. The underlying idea behind these reforms was to de-Sovietize the educational systems of Central Asia and promote democratization through the transfer of reforms from abroad (Steiner-Khamsi 2004). The majority of teachers interviewed for the study shared similar views regarding changes in their pedagogy and classroom practices, especially regarding being more democratic and humanistic. This is not uncommon in a transitional landscape. Discourse borrowing, especially regarding the employment of democratic teaching methods is often done for purposes of leverage, legitimation, and recognition, both nationally and internationally. The way in which teachers identify their style as democratic, suggests that they understand this style represents an internationally preferred practice. Although they may in fact continue to utilize more authoritarian teaching methods in the classroom, the inclusion of the new discourse and greater exposure to new pedagogical possibilities is also informing how they talk about their own teaching. Societies that are trying to reposition themselves in the world will often use international educational reforms to signal a progressive shift toward more internationally oriented educational practices and policies. Policy-makers will use international reforms and concepts to signal democratization and denote participation in the global society (Spreen 2004; Steiner-Khamsi 2000). The discourse on pedagogy follows much of the rhetoric of democratization. Teachers believe they have made a pedagogical move from a command style of instruction to a more democratic and open style of teaching, but many continue to use didactic teaching methods that provide little to no opportunity for student discussion, debate, and critical thinking. Teachers, especially those exposed to teacher training focusing on critical thinking and civic education, will often talk about the democratization of their pedagogy and classroom practice, but only a small majority of teachers actually have the opportunity to participate in these predominantly foreign-sponsored training programs.

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Policy constraints at the higher ministerial levels and the lack of resources needed in the areas of school infrastructure, curriculum materials, and more access to teacher training keep the numbers of teachers with access to more democratic teaching methods and learning small. Civic education was a key target of international organizations eager to promote democracy in the region. Throughout the early 1990s, programs were transferred into the region with substantial financial support from the West, notably the USA and the European Union. The objectives of the programs were to teach secondary school students the requirements of being a citizen, their rights, duties, responsibilities, and how to exercise critical independent judgment. In a class observed for this research, students were using a text titled We the People, which was published in the USA but translated into Russian and Kazakh. Students learned about what democracy looks like in the context of the USA, but were not able to connect the material to their own societies. When interviewed, many students and teachers noted the contradictions between content and actual government practice. Ottaway echoes the students’ sentiments when she writes, “Some semi-authoritarian leaders have mastered the concepts and language of democracy so well that they could easily become civic educators themselves” (Ottaway 2003: 218). In many ways, the civic programs that are transferred from the USA and the European Union are in direct contrast to the rest of the curriculum. For example, in Turkmenistan students cannot question the government or expose criticism of the president in public. Kazakhstan imposed a similar policy in 2001, which makes it illegal to defame the President; and the law has in effect silenced not only dissent in the context of educational institutions, but also has greatly diminished the power of the media. The problem with many of the internationally funded civic education projects is that the information taught to the students is not what they experience outside of the classroom. The authoritarian regimes of Central Asia may allow minimal democratization processes to filter through education, but at the same time in other areas of society the governments are stepping up efforts to prevent democratization (Katz 2007). Aside from the economic dislocations found within the systems as discussed earlier in the chapter, an equally if not more important point to acknowledge and address is the intentional absence of critical introspection allowed within the educational systems under review. Financial investments to improve quality and expand structural capacity is critical, but this alone will not open up the possibilities for necessary citizen participation that is presently being stifled by the political regimes in place.

Corruption within education: societal costs Why care about the existence of corruption in education? The answers are many, but the main motivation for acknowledging and dealing with the ultimate degradation of education because of corruption is that when “education loses impartiality, it loses quality” (Heyneman 2007: 5). Economic rates of

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return to education are also reduced as the value of degrees are reduced, and as suspicion sets in over the qualifications of graduates who come out of a system that allows for corrupt educational practices. The degree to which corruption impacts education is significant, especially at the level of higher education, where it is not uncommon to have students pay for their grades, degrees, and entry to university (Adambai 2005). The payment of bribes for admission and grades at secondary schools, universities, and professional institutes is endemic across the region. This amounts to professional misconduct, whereby teachers and administrators engage in acceptance of material gifts from students and parents in exchange for positive grades, assessment, or selection to specialized programs. Teachers, students, and educational experts all agree that corruption penetrates deep into the education system and is exacerbated by the low salaries for teachers and professors. One student I interviewed commented, “I can’t imagine life without corruption, and school is where I experienced it first-hand.” This student went on to describe the ways in which he would offer his teachers bribes for higher grades, and how some of his friends were buying their way into university. Corruption is not usually discussed when examining educational systems and institutions, but when exploring the educational landscape of the five Central Asian states it is necessary to acknowledge and address both the shortand long-term consequences of entrenched corrupt practices found within the educational sector. Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index reveals a high level of corruption in each of the five states. Many international initiatives have tried to tackle corruption in the region but to no avail. Bribes are offered for good grades, entrance into university or a specific program that has high rent reward for the future, and for diplomas for degrees that may or may not have been completed. The low salaries of administrators and teachers, the opaque nature of admissions and testing, all make the situation difficult to reform. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan changed the university entrance exam to make it more difficult for bribery to creep in, but in order for this reform to work there also has to be the political and societal will to eliminate it, and this will has yet to take hold. The tests are now standardized and computerized, but problems still remain with students paying large sums of money to enter university, and are ultimately able to graduate with a diploma but without any of the knowledge that is supposed to go along with the degree. The playing field in higher education is far from level. Iveta Silova, a former senior education advisor for the Open Society Institute (OSI), emphasizes the negative repercussions of a system of bribery in education that seems to be getting worse rather than better. “Over time, bribery has devalued the reputations of Central Asian schools—making it harder for local residents to study or practice outside their home countries. There is also a depreciation of diplomas” (Blua 2004: 3). Amageldy Aitaly, a former university vice rector and currently a member of Kazakhstan’s parliament, comments on the impact of bribery in higher education:

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Corruption is less apparent at the primary and secondary level, but it exists nonetheless and does so because of the severe economic conditions of the schools and the teachers who work in them. Research indicates that when levels of corruption are high, governments spend less on education and health and more on public works projects chosen not for their value to the nation but for their kickback potential (Rosenberg 2003: 30). Corruption is ultimately a major drain on educational resources that could be more effectively used to improve quality and alter present levels of inequity across the systems. There is a need for corrupt practices to be curbed, but how remains a question many policy-makers have yet to effectively answer.

Conclusion This chapter illustrates the transitional difficulties faced by the region and the challenges of improving educational quality and access. What does it mean when countries fail to invest in education, diminishing educational possibilities for large sectors of the population? Today some groups can take advantage of educational opportunity because of their ethnic ties to the nation via their titular status, or because their wealth. The Central Asian region sits at the crossroads of intense global change, and unless the issues of repression within education, and in the larger society, and the lack of investment in the region’s most important resource, its citizenry, are addressed, the future of the region is in jeopardy. “Most poor countries face major challenges in providing sufficient classroom space for all children at all levels, not to mention equalizing the quality of all schools across communities” (Holsinger 2007: 305). The educational trajectories of the five countries in this overview show a marked exacerbation of social inequalities, and rather than education serving as equalizer, the policies and practices of today reveal increasingly stratified and disconnected systems. To date, the majority of the population have not benefited from educational development, and education although it is stated as a governmental priority in each of the five countries has not been offered the financial assistance and support needed to overcome 16 years of diminishing investments. The lack of a significant and continued commitment to education jeopardizes both current and future generations, and inhibits the development of

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an informed civil society. An equation for successful political, economic, and societal development must emphasize education, and provide much more than rhetorical support for educational development. There is a wide and growing gap between the changing needs of the market and the skills being taught at schools. Instead of having to start from scratch, the educational systems of the countries under study began this transition with a deeply entrenched belief in education as an instrument for change, as is evidenced from the important role given to education during the Soviet period. Education, if effective, offers students opportunities for learning and the opportunity to meet the changing requirements of time, but can also contribute to economic, political, and civic development (Tyack and Cuban 1995: 135). Educational change is a complex enterprise and requires commitments on all levels: from the national government, from regional and local education departments, and, most importantly, from individual schools and the teachers and administrators that work within educational settings. There is an urgent need to increase public expenditure on education, especially in the more rural areas, and in order to alleviate the growing socioeconomic divide both within and among the countries of the region. A more concerted and intentional effort to earmark education for greater financial inputs and more openness are two important first steps the governments of the region along with the larger support of the international community can take to improve education and alleviate the inequalities that support unstable future development.

Notes 1 In [0]1990, expenditures were 8.2 per cent of GDP, in 1995, 5 per cent and by 2003 they fell further to 3.1 percent, while total educational expenditure declined from 24.5 per cent of the state budget in 1990 to 14 per cent in 2000 (Republic of Kazakhstan 2001; 2003). 2 It is critical to note that 45 per cent of the population of Turkmenistan is under 19 years old. The rapid disintegration of the educational system is cause for alarm in a country with such a young and increasingly uneducated population. In 1991 there were approximately 40,000 students enrolled in institutions of higher education—currently there are approximately 7,000 (UNDP 2003b). Approximately 22,000 teachers were laid [0]off in 2002, and the teachers who remain are paid miniscule wages and teach in overcrowded classrooms with a shortage of basic texts, and a lack of any kind of instructional support. 3 For example, Articles 202 and 239 of the new Criminal Code and Code on Administrative Liability of Uzbekistan approved by the senate on December 3 2005 set stringent restrictions on the [0]registration and operation of national and international NGOs in Uzbekistan.

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Republic of Kazakhstan (2001) Republic of Kazakhstan Statistical Yearbook, Almaty, Kazakhstan: State Statistical Agency. ——(2003) Republic of Kazakhstan Statistical Yearbook. Almaty, Kazakhstan: State Statistical Agency. Rosenberg, T. (2003) “The Taint of the Greased Palm,” New York Times Magazine, 10 August 2003: 28–33. Schriewer, J. (1992) “The Method of Comparison and the Need for Externalization: Methodological Criteria and Sociological Concepts,” in J. Schriewer, and B. Holmes (eds), Theories and Methods of Comparative Education, New York: P. Lang. Socium Council (SC) (2006) Midterm Education Financing Strategy in Kyrgyzstan, 2006, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Ministry of Education. Spreen, C. A. (2004) “Appropriating Borrowed Policies: Outcomes-Based Education in South Africa,” in G. Steiner-Khamsi (ed.) The Global Politics of Education Borrowing and Lending, New York: Teachers College Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (ed.) (2004) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending, New York: Teachers College Press. ——(2002) “Reterritorializing Educational Import: Explorations into the Politics of Educational Borrowing,” in A. Novoa and M. Lawn (eds) Fabricating Europe: The Formation of an Education Space, Boston: Kluwer. ——(2000) “Transferring Education, Displacing Reforms,” in J. Schriewer (ed.) Discourse Formation in Comparative Education, Frankfurt: Lang. Tomasevksi, K. (2003) Education Denied: Costs and Remedies, New York: Zed Books. Transparency International (2007) Corruption Perceptions Index 2007. “Turkmenbashi Drives His Lessons Home,” Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Central Asia, 17 August 2004. “Turkmenistan: Brain Dead,” The Economist, 24 July 2004: 42. Tyack, D. and Cuban, L. (1995) Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Umurzakova, M. (2006) “Community Participation in School Governance in Uzbekistan,” draft report prepared for USAID Participation in Education and Knowledge (PEAKS) Project, Tashkent: Uzbekistan. UNICEF (2004) Basic Education and Gender Equality and UNICEF, Tajikistan: Background. < www.unicef.org/infobycountry/Tajikistan.html > (accessed 15 September 2006). United Nations Development Programme (2003a) The Common Country Assessment of Uzbekistan, United Nations, 2003. New York: UNDP. ——(2003b) Education in Turkmenistan 2003. New York: UNDP. ——(2005) National Human Development Report: Kazakhstan 2005. New York: UNDP. ——(2006) 2006 Human Development Index Rankings. New York: UNDP. Ushurova, R. (2006) “Financing Textbooks in Kyrgyzstan: Issues and Options,” draft paper for Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative: Open Society Institute Bishkek. World Bank (2004) Tajikistan: Poverty Assessment Update. Washington, DC: World Bank. Zheksimbeyev, M (2000) Secondary school student, interview with the author, Astana, Kazakhstan, October.

11 Multivaried and interacting paths of change in Central Eurasia Amanda E. Wooden and Christoph H. Stefes

As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of Soviet rule, it is fair to say that the initial transition phase from communism has ended, encouraging us to rethink the assumption that the political, social, and economic developments in Central Eurasia are still largely in flux. Pre-Soviet and Soviet legacies already limited the variety of possible paths that post-Soviet societies were likely to take after 1991. The policies and institutions that have been adopted after 1991 have further reduced the range of available choices. Early winners of the transition period—frequently, the old Soviet elite that enjoyed a head start in 1991—have largely succeeded (albeit not in every country) in their attempts to secure their interests by putting favorable policies and institutions in place. In turn, this assumption implies that challengers will face a difficult time trying to upset the status quo, which leads us to further conclude that paths once taken are unlikely to be challenged and abandoned fast or frequently. Historical institutionalists refer to path dependence as “the dynamics of self-reinforcing or positive feedback processes in a political system” (Pierson and Skocpol 2002: 699). Once these paths are unearthed, current developments in Central Eurasia become more comprehensible, making predictions about future developments less uncertain. As Pierson (2004: 11) reasons, “Exploring the sources and consequences of path dependence help us to understand the powerful inertia or ‘stickiness’ that characterizes many aspects of political development … .” Old paths are abandoned and new ones are frequently taken at critical junctures, dramatic events that make following existing paths difficult or impossible. The disintegration of the Soviet Union certainly was such a critical juncture. However, the end of the Soviet Union was not a historical rupture. In other words, post-Soviet societies did not start from scratch. Instead, their transitions from communism were embedded in numerous social, economic, and political legacies. These legacies of the Soviet and pre-Soviet past have continued to shape developments of the post-Soviet present, as many contributors to this volume have demonstrated. While the time of critical junctures in Central Eurasia reached its zenith in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the dramatic political events in Georgia (2003 and 2008) and Kyrgyzstan (2005) have demonstrated that surprises are still in

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the wings. Although we need to be careful not to overemphasize the importance of these events as potential critical junctures, at least Georgia does not look the same today as it did in the 1990s. We need to account for departures from seemingly stable paths to explain continuity and discontinuity in Central Eurasia. Historical institutionalists emphasize the importance of conjunctures—“interaction effects between distinct causal sequences that become joined at particular points in time” (Pierson and Skocpol 2002: 702). The joining of these distinct sequences can reinforce existing interests, identities, and power structures. Yet they can also cause interests and identities to shift radically and severely redistribute power resources, thereby upsetting power structures. Conjunctures thereby become critical junctures. If we want to engage in the daring venture of prediction, we will have to identify conjunctures and assess their importance as potential critical junctures. In this concluding chapter, we summarize and discuss the studies of this book. Our contributors have identified a great number of continuities but also variations and nonlinearities of political, social, and economic developments and policy outcomes in the region. Using their insights individually and in combination, we reveal possible path dependencies but also critical junctures that account for the nonlinearities. Building on the insights of our contributors, we identify some factors that might help future studies of the region to analyze the sources and consequences of path dependencies and critical junctures. We are thereby specifically interested in identifying those dynamics that might upset current political and economic trajectories, allowing us to answer questions about the future of Central Eurasia’s conflicts and authoritarian regimes, the future directions of economic reforms and social welfare programs, and the protection of civil rights.

Trajectories of political development: stable and unstable paths All of our chapters link legacies of the Soviet and/or pre-Soviet past to current developments, helping scholars to understand better the constraints and opportunities for Central Eurasian decision-makers. The chapters by George, McGlinchey, Way, and Bayulgen outline path dependencies and discuss critical junctures concerning political developments in post-Soviet Central Eurasia. Thereby, the authors focus on various aspects of political development, including ethnic conflict, societal mobilization, the coercive capacities of states, and the emergence of rentier states. By considering political trajectories in Central Eurasia’s societies and states, we are able to discern different patterns of state–society relations in this part of the world. George’s chapter emphasizes the centrality of Soviet institutional legacies to understand the outbreak of violent ethnic conflict in Central Eurasia. While she evaluates the actual and expected ethnic conflicts of the early 1990s, her analysis has clear relevance to that period’s frozen conflicts that have re-emerged. By granting several (but not all) ethnic minorities in the Soviet republics some political autonomy and corresponding administrative structures, Moscow

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provided minority elites with the institutional capacity for ethnic mobilization. Yet the Soviet leadership allowed ethnic mobilization only to some degree. The situation changed with Gorbachev’s political reforms. Political liberalization and free elections provided ample room and incentives for both the ethnic minorities and majorities to organize along ethnic lines, as ethnic grievances provided readily available rallying points for political mobilization. Thus, calls for national unity by ethnic majorities and minorities’ demands for greater autonomy and even independence inevitably clashed in the wake of the Soviet Union’s disintegration, further aggravated through the intervention of neighboring countries. The conjuncture of the Soviet legacy of ethno-territorial divisions, Gorbachev’s political reforms, and the breakup of the Soviet Union caused an eruption of ethnic tensions that had simmered throughout the Soviet period. Nevertheless, George’s study suggests that while an intensification of ethnic conflict was probably inevitable in the wake of Gorbachev’s reforms, the outbreak of ethnic wars was not the inevitable outcome of this critical juncture if ethnic leaders on both sides had chosen more conciliatory courses of action. This finding indicates that path dependency does not determine a particular outcome but merely limits the range of decisions that are likely to be taken by political actors. It should also be clear, however, that roughly 15 years after successful secession, the range of options has further narrowed. The political leaders of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh are now even less willing to compromise with the Georgian and Azerbaijani governments, as the status quo of de facto independence provides considerable political and economic benefits (King 2001; Lynch 2004). Moreover, they can rely on powerful outside forces (Russia for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Armenia for Nagorno-Karabakh) that do not shy away from using military force to preserve the status quo. Taking path dependencies seriously therefore leads to the dire prediction that a peaceful conclusion of the conflicts is unlikely. The military escalation in South Ossetia of August 2008 is therefore most likely not the last war in the Caucasus region. This outbreak of violence also raises questions about what paths have now been closed. McGlinchey also highlights the importance of path dependency, emphasizing how the dynamics of positive feedback processes produce societal norms of political cooperation. In explaining variations in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek political protest in the post-Soviet era, he points towards “a self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating dynamic of learned cooperation” that ensued in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, but not in Kazakhstan. The paths that political opposition in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have taken since the late 1980s are remarkably resilient, as “strategies of protest are learned and though they may develop in one institutional environment they persist even when the coercive capacity of authoritarian regimes increases or decreases.” Given the emergence of norms of political cooperation, protest movements will continue to challenge the regimes in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, while political change in Kazakhstan is more likely to emanate from divisions among the

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ruling elite. However, without knowledge about the coercive capacity of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek state apparatus we are unlikely to predict the chances of success of protest movements. In fact, the almost bloodless ouster of Kyrgyz President Akayev in 2005 stands in stark contrast to the bloody repression of a protest movement in the Uzbek region of Andijan only a few months later. Way’s study focuses on assessing and explaining the different levels of coercive state capacity in Armenia and Georgia. He links the strength of Armenia’s security apparatus to the Karabakh war, which the Armenian side won, thereby facilitating state building efforts in the 1990s. In contrast, the 1990s were lost years for Georgia’s state builders due to the combined legacies of a civil war and two military defeats against ethnic separatists. Concerning path dependency, it becomes obvious throughout his study that the initial absence of a strong state in post-Soviet Georgia caused political and economic problems that frustrated later efforts by the Shevardnadze government to strengthen the state apparatus and especially its coercive capacity.1 In contrast, Armenia’s past and present presidents have been able to rely on a loyal and cohesive state apparatus, which facilitated consecutive efforts to fortify the state’s coercive apparatus. The ability of Armenian leaders to hang on to power despite massive street protests is therefore not surprising and stands in stark contrast to Shevardnadze’s rather unspectacular fall. If we were to apply comparative historical analysis to the insights that our contributors present in this volume, which conclusions could we draw concerning the political future of Central Eurasia? More precisely, can we identify steady trajectories in terms of societal mobilization? Are the political regimes that we find in the South Caucasus and Central Asia stable or not? Finally, what do the types of political regimes and societal mobilization tell us about state–society relations, and how will current and future state–society relations ultimately shape what we generally call political development in this part of the world? While McGlinchey and Way seemingly disagree with each other, the findings of their studies actually are complementary and together provide insights about patterns of state–society relations and future political developments. To repeat McGlinchey’s claim, institutional factors determine the strength of political opposition only to a limited degree. In other words, as the dynamics of opposition mobilization follows “an independent, society based logic”; a state’s coercive capacity and the political power of the opposition are not necessarily inversely related. Way’s study of regime stability in Armenia and Georgia confirms McGlinchey’s finding. In both countries, political protests have been prevalent and extensive since the late 1980s. In McGlinchey’s words, they might be the “product of socially produced norms of cooperation”—just like in Kyrgyzstan and to a lesser degree in Uzbekistan. In fact, the Armenian opposition has at times been able to mobilize more citizens for mass protests than its Georgian counterpart, despite the fact that the state’s coercive capacity has actually been stronger in Armenia than Georgia. Way thereby provides additional empirical evidence for McGlinchey’s claim that state capacity

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does shape the strength of opposition movements only marginally. Yet Way focuses not on the strength of the opposition movements but rather on the impact that opposition protests have had on the Armenian and Georgian regimes. His explanatory variable thereby is the coercive capacity of states. In other words, while McGlinchey reveals trajectories of society-based opposition movements, Way traces the paths of state building and the formation of coercive capacities. McGlinchey and Way thereby each identify two ideal paths—weak and strong society-based opposition as well as weak and strong coercive capacity. If we combine these paths, we arrive at four ideal patterns of state–society relations, as summarized in Table 11.1. Assuming that the four paths are stable, patterns of state–society relations should be relatively consistent as well. As far as political stability is concerned, the countries in the lower left cell are likely the most stable in Central Eurasia. In fact, few analysts expect mass-based protest movements to force regime change in the resource-rich countries of Central Eurasia. Authoritarian regimes appear to be safely in place. Referring to the rentier state literature, Bayulgen provides additional explanations why authoritarian regimes in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan should be considered stable regimes. She argues that natural resources enable authoritarian leaders to prop up the coercive capabilities of states, buy off the political opposition, and tie the political and economic elite to the state through patron–client relations and, more formally, public contracts. In this regard, Azerbaijan has shown that regimes are volatile only in the initial struggle for political control. However, once political authority is established the dynamic of self-reinforcing feedback processes is set in motion. As an increasing number of influential politicians and businesspeople rally behind the leadership, the risks of political and economic losses associated with deserting the pro-government camp rapidly increase. Combining Bayulgen’s with McGlinchey’s insights leads us to conclude that regime change in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and even in Azerbaijan is unlikely as long as oil and gas generate huge windfall profits for the governments of these countries. Most unstable are the countries in the two upper cells, representing patterns of recurring political crises. The difference between the two cells is that in the upper left one, incumbents are likely to weather the storms. Indeed, Armenia,

Table 11.1 Patterns of state–society relations in Central Eurasia Strong state coercive capacity

Weak state coercive capacity

Strong societybased opposition

Armenia and Azerbaijan (since mid-1990s), Uzbekistan (societal mobilization somewhat strong)

Georgia, Kyrgyzstan (at least 1991–2003/05), Azerbaijan (before mid-1990s)

Weak societybased opposition

Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

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Uzbekistan, and Aliev’s Azerbaijan have seen numerous but unsuccessful popular uprisings against the political leadership. In other words, while the societal norms of cooperation among protest movements will cause recurring challenges to the authoritarian regimes in these three countries, the Armenian, Uzbek, and Azerbaijani regimes are highly resilient in the face of societal upheaval. In contrast, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia in the upper right cell are prone to go through cycles of societal upheavals and extra-electoral replacements of governments, followed by a new round of political protests that destabilize the political regime. It is important to point out, however, that the chances of democracy (or, for that matter, any type of political regime) to take hold are slim in these two countries. As McGlinchey argues, “a new political culture is emerging [in Kyrgyzstan] where political change is achieved not through polls and the ballot box, but through protests and bullhorns.” The same observation could also be made for Georgia. Although most mobilization is peaceful and the state apparatus generally does not respond with violence, this kind of political culture is hardly a recipe for the creation of a stable path towards democracy. Finally, after a prolonged civil war in the early 1990s today’s Tajikistan (lower right cell) appears to have reached some measure of political calm. The reason for this tranquility has little to do with President Emomali Rakhmon, who is tolerated but not admired by the population. Nor is it related to the strength of Tajikistan’s coercive apparatus. Instead, the main cause of the stability of Tajikistan’s political regime lies in the fact that the political opposition is weak and divided. Societal upheavals occur infrequently and do not reach the extent of political protests as in Azerbaijan or Uzbekistan. In short, in Tajikistan a weak state meets a weak society-based opposition. Which factors might lead to critical junctures, upsetting current state– society relations and thereby opening space for more radical political change in the region? Rapid economic changes should certainly come to mind such as global economic downturns, rapid fluctuations in the price of natural resources, and bad harvests. Given the strong interrelations between political and economic developments in the region, these changes have the potential of leading to a reconfiguration of identities and interests and to a redistribution of political power. How wealth and opportunities for social and economic advancement are distributed in Central Eurasia’s societies generally affects political developments in the region and more specifically the ability of the political elite to stay in power. In turn, political leaders have a strong interest in shaping social and economic reforms to their political advantage. Yet this ability might be curtailed by the economic changes mentioned above. For instance, leaders were toppled in those countries of Central Eurasia—namely, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan—where a period of economic growth during the second half of the 1990s was followed by economic stagnation, dashing initial hopes for a better life. In contrast, where economic growth has been strong (Kazakhstan and Armenia) or at least steady, even when starting from a very

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low point (e.g., Tajikistan), societal unrest has either been muted (Kazakhstan) or governments have been able to nip the opposition in the bud (Armenia in 2004 and 2008, and Uzbekistan in 2005).

Trajectories of social and economic policies: gradual change or simply rhetoric? Our second group of contributors focuses on social and economic policies, locating the formulation and implementation of these policies at the intersection of state and society. Kissane, Liczek and Wandel, Blackmon, and Waters analyze educational and economic reform, gender equality measures, and human rights law in post-Soviet Central Eurasia. In her chapter, Blackmon stresses the impact that the Soviet economy has had on limiting the choices that the governments in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan could reasonably make following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan’s economy allowed the post-Soviet government to avoid economic integration with Russia and the West, which would have necessitated far-ranging economic reforms. In contrast, Kazakhstan could only loosen its economic ties to Russia on which it was heavily dependent during Soviet times by opening its economy to the West, making far-reaching economic reforms inevitable. Nevertheless, as Blackmon emphasizes, despite economic constraints, choices were available to the post-Soviet leaders of Kazakhstan and especially Uzbekistan, such as pursuit of economic reforms and economic integration with the West. Instead, Karimov decided against privatization, price liberalization, and a free trade regime, while his Kazakh counterpart opted for comprehensive economic reforms. Obviously, the breakup of the Soviet Union opened up opportunities for economic reorientation. Yet the choices that political leaders in Central Eurasia have made following their countries’ independence have put the economies on new (and sometimes not so new) paths, narrowing the choices for these countries today. For instance, Kazakhstan’s liberalization and privatization in conjunction with high elite turnover in the 1990s removed the Soviet guard from the corridors of power. This allowed for the rise of a new business class that supports capitalism and Kazakhstan’s close economic ties with the West. This class will fiercely resist any rollbacks of economic reforms. Likewise, Uzbekistan’s restrictions on business and trade have played into the hands of business groups closely allied with the Karimov regime. As these groups have expanded their economic and political reach, economic reforms are difficult to foresee in Uzbekistan. Comparing educational reform across the five former Soviet countries of Central Asia, Kissane finds that continuities in public policy from the Soviet era are prevalent. The post-Soviet educational landscape … is in some ways strikingly similar to the pre-1991 period; while a number of new policies and calls

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A.E. Wooden and C.H. Stefes for improved teaching and learning practices are in place, the translation of these policies and practices into action has been slow and incremental.

In evaluating the gap between rhetoric and reality in social reform, Kissane finds not only this continuity but also interesting discontinuities and heterogeneous outcomes. The jolting impact of the Soviet collapse on Central Asian education systems has led to funding shortages and a growth in private schools. Together with an increase in socioeconomic disparity, this has led to rapidly increasing educational inequality. Despite this significant change in the quality of education provision in the post-Soviet period, Kissane does not describe this change process as a transition or transformation, but rather as new nationstate “tinkering.” Also, Kissane demonstrates that this tinkering has happened in quite different ways in each of the five former Soviet Central Asian republics. “The reality of the region’s educational transition is mixed … There is no singular educational narrative in place, and this heterogeneous context significantly affects studies of education in the Central Asian region.” The conjuncture of centralized educational system collapse with national identity formation led Central Asian governments to use Western civic education funding and rhetoric. Kissane finds that in substance this combination of processes led to greatly varying ethno-nationalizing school policies across the region. In a similar way, nation-building efforts altered the status of women in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan and made reform difficult, as Liczek and Wandel demonstrate in their chapter about international gender equality norms. Many of the path dependencies generally discussed are the “Soviet hangover” type. However, using a constructivist approach, Liczek and Wandel identify a different path dependency in the reemergence and political instrumentalization of pre-Soviet customary norms in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. “The return to ‘pre-Soviet’ values for women … was part of a broader effort to present a national set of values alternative to the Soviet era. … ” Likewise, Waters introduces his discussion of Central Eurasian human rights reform by broadening the timeframe for which scholars normally evaluate the source of human rights norms. He questions the assumptions that such norms are only of Western derivation and therefore inapplicable to Central Eurasia. Human rights law is not just a twentieth-century construct, argues Waters, providing examples of ancient and medieval women’s rights laws in the Caucasus and Islamic human rights constructs. Waters also concludes that even nation-states founded on modern international human rights principles often diverge from the path of consistently and universally protecting human rights. Thus, the path of following international human rights norms is not straight and easy, but has complex, historical barriers to full implementation. Waters identifies the different characteristics of post-Soviet space that lead to variations in violation of these norms, for example comparing the egregious human rights record of Uzbekistan to the better but imperfect conditions in Georgia. In doing so, he identifies the possible characteristics that create conditions for change that may emerge in the region.

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The push factor Waters identifies is domestic human rights entrepreneurs who work to increase human rights compliance by challenging legal institutions to change. These are “individuals and civil society groups acting to bridge the gap between international standards and domestic implementation of those standards.” Waters argues that these civil society entrepreneurs can spark a transnational legal process through which international human rights norms can become embedded in societies. These actors emerge because of norm transmission, a transnational norm-learning process despite the lack of civic traditions and limited working relationships with the state. A factor that combines with this norm-learning process to enhance its effectiveness is international financial support for human rights entrepreneurs. Waters’ provides clear support for the supposition that a conjuncture of international financing and transferal of international human rights norms—upon a canvas of historical domestic rights values and specific domestic institutions—can lead to a gradual or evolutionary process in which domestic actors are able to transform themselves and society by pushing for institutional change in novel ways. Additionally, Waters notes that horizontal state-to-state pressure does matter for domestic institutional change when combined with internal civil society pressure, and it is necessary as well for a transnational institutional change process. Several other contributors evaluate the influence of external actors as one possible factor in path alteration and critical juncture emergence. The question that several authors raise is, how powerful and significant are international norms and funding for reforms to gain traction? In addition, are these changes (that seem to be influenced by external actors’ responses to the changed situation) merely superficial and ones of discourse alterations but not deep institutional reformation? Are there other factors that interact with international funding to create conjunctures for change or to limit their development? For example, the buzzwords of international educational programs have been adopted and integrated, reflecting what Kissane calls discourse borrowing in part to allow these new nation-states to achieve international legitimation and recognition, yet without demonstrating substantive change. She notes that, “The discourse on pedagogy follows much of the rhetoric of democratization.” Kissane concludes that the significant change in Central Asia from the Soviet period—in which education was the great equalizer and during which the Soviet system drastically altered gender equality, employment, and literacy in Central Asia—is the result of the centralized system’s collapse and not due to international civic education program’s success. Liczek and Wandel make the argument that norm internalization is a result of the conjuncture of international support competing with the pulling, or limiting, factor of traditional cultural norms about women. Liczek and Wandel conclude that socialization of international norms is determined not only by the interests of these countries in nation-building and gaining international legitimacy through compliance reporting, but also by the amount of funding available for institutional change. This raises the question: what determines differences in levels of international funding? Liczek and Wandel find, as

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many other authors have, that general political openness is the characteristic which attracts greater international financing. Kyrgyzstan has accordingly received much more international funding for its women’s rights groups than Turkmenistan has. Thus the sources of path dependence—pre-Soviet norms— interacted with the new factors of the degree of political openness and international funding, in the context of nation-state formation, to provide different outcomes in the degree of international norm internalization. Several important sources of possible future political change and continuity in social and economic policies have been identified in this book. These include the influence of domestic non-state actors, the causes and consequences of regime change and sources of destabilization, and the influence of international actors and ideas. The importance of non-state actors as push factors for political change was demonstrated by Waters’ and McGlinchey’s chapters. A specific example emerges from Waters’ discussion of the role of NGOs in the 2003 Georgian “Rose Revolution.” We can surmise that future possible patterns include the increasing influence of civil society actors. Waters claims that, “[i]t can be hoped that as awareness of rights spreads and access to court for rights challenges is made easier, competition in the rights market will increase and human rights work will become part of mainstream legal practice.” It is important to keep in mind the negative response of other Central Eurasian governments to this civil society reformist role, as Waters demonstrates in his discussion of Uzbekistan’s crackdown on domestic and international human rights and democratization organizations. While some countries have embarked on a post-Soviet path that likely leads to progressive political change, other countries have learned to respond to this possibility by closing off that path. “In fact the perceived role of Georgian NGOs in bringing about that country’s 2003 Rose Resolution has encouraged some of the region’s authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on civil society groups since that time (Eurasianet 2004)” (Waters this volume). This is similar to the cut-off of above-the ground Islamist organizations and educational funding, as described in the next section. Thus, we are likely to see heterogeneous outcomes in civil society development and influence, partially depending on how governments have reacted to the emergence of these actors in the political arena in the past decade and a half. Yet civil society development is also shaped by an internal logic, as McGlinchey argues in his analysis of the emergence of protest movements. He stresses the importance of learned norms of cooperation that develop independent from state action (namely, repression). We may therefore see a new role for Islamic organizations in Central Asia, forced to become hidden, secretive, and anti-government actors. As changes in leadership have occurred in several countries in the region— notably Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan most recently—our contributors have been able to not only identify sources of these changes in state– society relations (as discussed in the previous section) but also what impacts such changes are likely to have in the future. Liczek and Wandel’s cases exemplify the different possible results of regime change; they evaluate effects of pluralism

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decline in Kyrgyzstan since 2005, such as reduced political representation of women, as well as encouraging signs of formal commitments by Turkmenistan and demonstration of concern about representation in Kyrgyzstan. Some of our contributors dissect seemingly drastic changes in the aftermath of the Soviet Union and provide a cautionary note that some effects of this critical juncture were not as drastic as expected. In evaluating the “deficit” of the post-Soviet era government actions (Collier and Way 2004; see discussion of their work in Chapter 1 of this book), some of our contributors have found that these deficits were predetermined by the limited possibilities, constrained policy paths, established by institutional collapse. The superficialities of Soviet adherence to international human rights norms are clear and continue. The drastic changes in the post-Soviet space may have much to do with construction of norms, values and ideas of what culture is—the political creation and instrumentalization of culture in nation-building—as demonstrated by Kissane, Liczek and Wandel, George, and Waters. Nation-building was a serious and constantly changing undertaking in the Soviet Union, thus such “tinkering”, as Kissane calls it, may not be so discontinuous. Likewise, by using the historical institutionalist lens, we are able to see how slow-moving social processes interact with drastic institutional change to provide both unintended openings for political change (such as drastic turnaround in gender equality) and limit the opportunities for progressiveness in other areas (such as increased human rights protections). Yet the heterogeneous results of these varied attempts to nation building are becoming clear in the divergent postSoviet paths that countries have taken. George’s insights about the role of ethnic leaders in instrumentalizing cultural differences have particular relevance here. What these studies indicate is that sequencing of institutional and social change matters to explain unexpected inertia in the face of significant systemic alterations (Pierson and Skocpol 2002: 701). Similar to our contributors’ discussions of political development, several of those evaluating social and economic policy identify the important role of external international actors. Liczek and Wandel note that there are different impacts on women’s lives in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan based on the level of internalization of international gender equality norms. While in both countries this internalization is minimal at best with similar negative consequences for women’s health, violence against women, human trafficking, and women’s political roles (as Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans also find), even the slightly better internalization on Kyrgyzstan’s part reveals how small steps can have profound results. Liczek and Wandel likewise demonstrate that it was the perception of greater political openness and political will in Kyrgyzstan that led to the international funding which allowed for more thorough gender equality standard implementation. They argue this was the case even as Kyrgyzstan became less democratic; international perceptions of minor steps truly mattered. Similar to Waters’ finding about the creation of political space in Georgia, a non-isolated and relatively open political atmosphere provided the opportunity for non-governmental actors to play a role in

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promoting women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan, in sharp contrast to Turkmenistan. This in turn allowed the former to attract more funding to meet international obligations. Thus, non-state actors play an important role; Turkmenistan’s path limiting the development of these actors’ capabilities and influence may have significant impacts on women’s lives and consequently the economy and stability. Our contributors have identified social elements interacting with institutional change to understand state–society relations and policy outcomes that perplex upon first glance. How our scholars have chosen to identify these avenues of research is an important question as is the extent to which the study of the region is itself determined by the contexts in which research is defined, funded, and conducted.

Trajectories in research on Central Eurasia Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans evaluate the state of Central Eurasian research methodology and identify how the study of Central Eurasia has changed in the post-Soviet period. The authors focus on influential scholars, professional networks, and funding sources as indicators, identifying continuity in foreign scholars’ language training, and professional associations. Soviet-era conceptualizations, of Islam for example, continue to be used or influence scholars today. “As most graduate students and young scholars of today have been taught by Soviet scholars or Sovietologists—or taught by scholars trained by either—Soviet and Sovietological approaches still significantly influence current Central Eurasian scholars.” However, there is discontinuity in several important ways, including how scholars of Central Eurasia are developing professional networks outside of Russian-centric academic circles. A unique Central Eurasian approach may be developing, but just as with the slow-moving social processes evaluated by several contributors, sophisticated region-specific academic research agendas and approaches take time to emerge. Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans demonstrate how the political changes and continuities discussed by other contributors—authoritarianism, the color revolutions, regular leadership change, conflict, emergence and influence of international actors, nation-building, civil society activism—have helped to determine the study of the region in the post-Soviet period in often surprising ways. Openness to foreign scholars obviously was a major boon to research in the late Soviet period and the continuation or change in this relative openness after the Soviet Union’s disintegration distinguishes our understanding of politics in the region today (e.g., Georgia in comparison with Turkmenistan). Information access remains constrained in Central Eurasia, providing ample room for speculation about future political trajectories. It is not only information access and political conditions in Central Asia that affect scholars of the region, but also political changes in foreign scholars’ home countries and in donor countries. As Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans demonstrate in their

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gender research case study, local scholars rely on foreign funds almost entirely, and clearly these funders set the research agenda in accordance with their goals. Additionally, as identified in the environmental politics case, scholars often rely on donor-generated data and analysis, thus the particular perspective and policy needs of donors matters much for the study of the region. The critical juncture of the break-up of the Soviet Union and the new path dependencies created because of this process are exemplified best by combining insights from several chapters regarding the role of Islam in politics and policymaking. Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans demonstrate how the study of Islam has been influenced greatly by the “danger discourse” inspired by both Western (US, European) and Russian conceptualizations of this religion as a destabilizing force in the region. In an interesting connection to this idea, Kissane discusses the influence that funding from abroad had for religious education in the early post-Soviet period, which has been increasingly limited by Central Asian governments over the last four years because of this “danger discourse.” As a result of this constricted path, religious education has, “ … taken on more covert forms through the establishment of after-school religious education programs that are more difficult to control because they are outside the formal institutional structures.” Liczek and Wandel also address the role of Islamic practices in the gender rights discourse in Central Asia and distinguish between recently re-emergent Islamic practices and customary practices, arguing that both are central to analysis of gender equality in the region. “The manifestations of a reinstated vigor of the Islamic faith are mainly regulating women’s and girls’ lives and choices. Most of the time, the various forms and traditional practices stemming from Islam (e.g., polygamy) and the customary law adat (kalym, ala kachuu or bride kidnapping, checking the bride’s virginity) impact the full realization of women’s human rights in these countries (Kleinbach et al. 2005; Tabyshalieva 1998).” When evaluated together, these three chapters help us to identify new trends in cultural sources of conjuncture and how these factors are politicized, the newly constrained paths that Central Asian governments are pursuing, and the potential impacts for societies in the region and for the study of these societies. Wooden, Aitieva, and Epkenhans note, and the combined evaluation of these three chapters demonstrates, the need for scholars to utilize alternative methodologies—such as anthropological approaches combined with traditional political analysis—to allow greater understanding of the varied social politics of Islam in Central Eurasia. As for other areas of study, Central Eurasian Islamic studies require an improved methodological and theoretical basis “in order to drive research agendas by intellectual need rather than by foreign policy determinations” (Chapter 2: this volume).

Avenues for future research As this example of the Islamic factor demonstrates, our book’s contributions provide insight about the meeting point of the past and future, both when

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viewed individually and in combination. It is difficult to imagine all-encompassing approaches, theories or methodologies. However, it is useful to provide guidance to the understudied factors and underutilized scholarly tools and approaches that might best allow us to study those aspects often ignored. Particularly well suited to the undertaking of identifying factors for political change and inertia in Central Eurasia are the political economy approach and the theory of historic institutionalism suggested in this chapter. We have argued in this book for scholarship that moves beyond overly simplified conceptions and demonstrated how our chapters alone and in combination provide a rich historical and comparative perspective that does this. These chapters shed light on the nuances, homogeneities, and heterogeneities of political change and policy outcomes in the post-Soviet period by comparing countries over time, not evaluating single cases and politics out of context. When viewed without the comparative historical institutionalist lens we have employed, several elements our contributors ably identify are lost: feedback processes inherent in political systems, importance of economic and political development sequences, exogenous factors that influence domestic decision-making within particular institutional contexts, slow-moving nature of social and cultural change, unintended openings created by small alterations and choices made by reluctant or constrained leaders, and threshold effects when path dependencies conjoin and thrust change forward. Returning to the opening quote of the volume, this chapter has unified our perspective that the dichotomy of post-Soviet political fates is false. There are many more than the two political fates of pluralism or autocracy, capitalism or socialism, conflict or stability, that Baratynsky’s poem laid out for us at the beginning of this book. Rather, Central Eurasian countries have embarked on varied but seemingly similar paths in the last 15 years, with analogous Soviet foundations but divergent pre- and post-Soviet influences both domestic and external. Without a comprehensive view of these different elements and a magnifying glass that allows us to see the slowest moving pieces within the macro context, we become dismissive of the particularities of Central Eurasian political processes. It will be valuable for scholars to continue deepening our understanding of the temporal connections between social processes (Pierson and Skocpol 2002) within the context of institutional change in order to identify the many resulting variations possible in politics and policymaking in Central Eurasia.

Notes 1 For a further discussion, see Stefes (2006).

References Collier, S.J. and Way, L. (2004) “Beyond the Deficit Model: Social Welfare in Post Soviet Georgia,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 20: 258–84.

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Index

Abkhazia 14–15, 75–76, 78, 81–85, 88, 107–8, 110, 169, 251 Adat 214, 219, 223, 261 Ajaria 109, 115, 116 Akayev, Askar 96, 98, 126–28, 131–35, 142, 217, 223, 236, 252 Akramiya 96 Aliyev, Heidar 87 Aliyev, Ilham 88 Amnesty International (AI) 127, 192, 195, Andijan 47, 93, 96, 99, 129, 155, 195, 202, 252 Ardzinba, Vladislav 83 Armenian National Movement (ANM) 87, 105, 107, 109, 111, 113 Armenian Revolutionary Party (Dashnaks) 121, 127, 129, 137 Article 42 189, 200, 201 Asanbayev, Yerik 152 Bakiyev, Kurmanbek 128, 213, 221, 236 Berdymukhamedov, Gurbanguly 142 Birlik Party 129 Burdjanadze, Nino 115 Chanturia, Giorgi 110 China 164, 168 Citizen’s Union of Georgia (CUG) 106, 115 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 35, 59–70, 91, 97, 141, 147, 193 Communist Party 42, 87, 90, 106–7, 109, 111, 115, 132–33, 142, 150–51, 153 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 42, 191, 205–24 Council of Europe (COE) 193–94, 198–99

Dermichian, Karen 111 Dermichian, Stepan 112 Diaspora 109 Elchibey, Abulfaz 79, 87 Erk Party 129–30 Erkin Party 127 European Union (EU) 36, 193, 229, 242 Ferghana Valley 25, 75–76, 79, 81–82, 88, 92–100, 128, 132, 169 Freedom House 27, 157, 179, 196, 218, 224, 232 Gamsakhurdia, Zviad 27, 79, 83, 90, 105–8, 109–10, 114, 163 Gorbachev, Mikhail 78, 85–86, 99, 114, 117, 125, 132–33 Great Game 164 Hizb-ut Tahrir 94, 129 Human Rights Watch (HRW) 42, 111–13, 129, 192, 195, 198 Iran 163, 164, 167–71, 174, 181–82 Islam 24, 31, 40–50, 56, 61, 63, 94, 96, 128–29, 164, 219, 231, 260, 261 Islamic movement(s) 46–47, 97, 129 Karabakh (see Nagorno-Karabakh) 25, 75–78, 81–82, 85–87, 90, 92, 103, 105–17, 167, 169, 182, 251, 252 Karakalpak Autonomous Republic 95, 99 Karimov, Islam 22, 95–97, 128–30, 132, 134, 142, 149–57, 255 Khalilov, Erkin 153 Kocharian, Robert 87–88, 105, 108, 111–13

Index Kodori Gorge 109 Kolbin, Gennadi 90, 136 Kosovo 191 Kulov, Felix 127, 133, 135 Kunayev, Dinmukhamed 153 Mahalla 240 Meskhetian Turks 132 Mingrelia 109 Mkhedrioni 108 Nagorno-Karabakh 25, 75–78, 81, 85–87, 90, 92, 103–11, 167, 169, 182, 251 Nazarbayev, Nursultan 22, 90–91, 125, 130–31, 134, 136, 150–54, 195, 235 Niyazov, Saparmurat 142, 221, 223, 238, 239 Nomenklatura 106 Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) 33, 36, 43–44, 63, 133, 189, 195–96, 200, 219, 223 Novorossiysk 165, 167 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 191, 195 Oliy Majlis 153 Open Society Institute (OSI) 36, 41, 62, 66, 69, 243, 248 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 230 Osh 49, 92, 93, 95, 97–99, 126 Ossetia, North 82–83, 169, 196 Ossetia, South 75–88, 99, 107–8, 110, 151 Pakistan 164, 169, 182, 231 Pankisi Gorge 109 Patiashvili, Dzhumber 115 Patronage 104–6, 115, 118 Perestroika 46, 99, 125–26 Persian Gulf 167–68, 181 Polat, Abdurahim 129 Putin, Vladimir 173 Radzhab, Mukhammad 128 Rashidov, Sharaf 149–50, 157 Rose Revolution 27, 48, 63, 88, 99, 112, 198, 201, 258 Roundtable—Free Georgia 107

265

Roundtable (see Roundtable—Free Georgia) 38, 43, 107 Rustavi-2 38, 43, 107 Saakashvili, Mikheil 88, 99, 106, 115–16, 198, 201 Sargsyan, Serge 108, 112–13 Saudi Arabia 163, 168, 231 Shevardnadze, Eduard 27, 83–84, 99, 100, 105–9, 114–18, 169, 198, 252 Shkolnik, Vladimir 153 Siradeghian, Vano 111 Stalin, Joseph 230 Sultanov, Utkir 153 Sumgait 62, 109–10 Supsa 165, 169 Tereshchenko, Sergei 153 Ter-Petrosian, Levon 105, 107–11 Tiskov, Valery 58, 93 Transneft (pipeline) 165, 169 Tulip Revolution 98, 128, 236 Turkey 108, 110, 164–67, 173, 181–82, 231 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) 61, 79, 83, 86–87, 124, 150, 230 United National Movement 106 United Nations (UN) 18–19, 29, 60, 62, 84, 99, 170, 178, 187, 190, 209, 232, 234, 246, 248 United States (of America, US) 131, 237 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 184, 190, 191, 220 Uzgen 92–93, 95, 126 Women’s Rights 23, 61, 190, 205, 207, 209, 214–23, 256, 258, 260 World Bank 19, 20–21, 41, 143, 148, 151, 154, 175, 177–78, 196, 236, 237, 240 Xinjiang 168 Yeltsin, Boris 84, 93 Zhakiyanov, Galymzhan 130 Zhirinovsky, Vladimir 84 Zhvania, Zurab 115