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Democratization
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The economic transition in Central Asia: Implications for democracy
John Glenn
a a

Department of Politics, University of Southampton, UK

Available online: 06 Sep 2010

To cite this article: John Glenn (2003): The economic transition in Central Asia: Implications for democracy, Democratization, 10:3, 124-147 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510340312331293957

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The Economic Transition in Central Asia: Implications for Democracy
JOHN GLENN

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Ten years have now passed since the August coup of 1991 heralded the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whilst many of these states have successfully navigated themselves through the processes of democratic transition and consolidation, others have not. Although each of the states within the Central Asia region have held elections so that we can speak of some sort of formal democracy having been established, substantive democracy within these states is either absent or falls short of the mark. This article identifies the obstacles to democratic transition and consolidation arising from current economic circumstances and the leaders’ appraisal of the political costs of further democratization.

Introduction The August coup of 1991 eventually resulted in the end of an era that had witnessed the unprecedented division of Europe into two competing ideological camps and their attendant social systems. Yet, despite a decade of transition within Central Asia, fully fledged democracies have failed to materialize. This article identifies the obstacles to democratic transition and consolidation arising from current economic circumstances and the Central Asian leaders’ appraisal of the political costs of further democratization. The article examines how the economic decline of the last decade affects three main issues that are of concern to the presidents of these countries: the decline in presidential popularity, the rise of non-democratic forces, and regional competition. It is argued that although these leaders probably already had concerns over these three issues, the precipitous decline in their states’ economies has served to exacerbate certain social tensions bringing these issues to the top of the political agenda. The ‘springtime of nations’ that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union had in fact begun earlier in eastern Europe. Triggered by the Soviet embrace of the ‘Sinatra Doctrine’ as a replacement for the centralism of the Brezhnev Doctrine these states were finally given the option of ‘doing it their way’. The desire for such independence was dramatically illustrated by the breaching of the Berlin Wall at the end of 1989. The unique events of
John Glenn is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics, University of Southampton, UK. Democratization, Vol.10, No.3, Autumn 2003, pp.124–147
PUBLISHED BY FRANK CASS, LONDON

and several true opposition parties contest the elections) and the latter consisting of Uzbekistan.7 Recent events would suggest that the situation has remained relatively unchanged. by and large. they have not managed to maintain the kind of political environment that one usually associates with full blown democracy. they have not yet established themselves as fully fledged polyarchies.8 Although presidential elections continue to take place (January Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 .103dem06. the electoral process in both countries continues to be severely criticized by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). A succinct outline of the last ten years of democratization is not possible here. to employ Robert Dahl’s term. Kyrgyzstan.3 Although each of the states within the Central Asia region have held elections. defined here as Kazakhstan. the Central Asian leaders seem to have been more concerned with portraying their states as multi-party democracies to the outside world rather than ensuring the existence of substantive representation of the population’s interests. since the civil war in Tajikistan has created a political and economic landscape that is somewhat different to the other countries of the region. others have not.2 Included within the latter group are the states of Central Asia. substantive democracy within these states is either absent or falls short of the mark. The reader is therefore directed to several references that provide an overview of that process. the tendency has recently been towards a strong form of presidential rule.4 But even in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan where. opposition parties are permitted to gather support without overt government control. Although traditionally Tajikistan is included in any definition of Central Asia. or. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.5 Even if one were to concede that these two states have established multi-party democracies. this article will only deal with the other four states. Parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are more democratic than their southern counterparts in the sense that they involve the participation of opposition parties.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 125 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 125 this period not only bestowed independence on eastern Europe and the 15 states of the former Soviet Union but also fortified the so-called ‘thirdwave’ of democratization. within each of these states the conditions vary enormously in comparison with each other. it might be more accurate to divide the region into a more democratized northern tier and a less democratized southern tier. Of course. then.1 But whilst many of these states have successfully navigated themselves through the processes of democratic transition and consolidation. However. For example. so we can speak of some sort of formal democracy having been established. the former consisting of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (because the media is less controlled.6 In general. and Turkmenistan where the media is strictly controlled and political parties are essentially ‘Potemkin parties’.

only one party. transition pacts and mass mobilization upon the transition paths of eastern Europe. In Kazakhstan. Kulov has since been jailed for ‘abuse of power’ during his period in office as vice-president.10 There has also been much discussion in the comparative literature examining the decade of change in the countries of the former Soviet bloc over which is the best approach to adopt when analysing the transitions within these countries. democracy. Also.9 per cent of the vote. in both countries the candidates that would have presented effective opposition were unable to run. was not allowed to run because he had ‘attended an unauthorized political meeting’.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 126 126 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N 1999 for Kazakhstan and October 2000 for Kyrgyzstan). a special commission was set up to test the various candidates’ knowledge of Kyrgyz. it examines some of the conditions that seem to impede the transition to a full democracy in the Central Asian states. In Kyrgyzstan. Akezhan Kazhegeldin.13 Whilst recognizing the possible benefits of large cross-country comparisons. refused to take the test. Felix Kulov. In Turkmenistan. this is mainly a shift of emphasis: impeding and facilitating factors can often be the opposite faces of the same coin. Linz and Stepan utilize the experiences of southern Europe and South America to investigate the importance of prior regime type. In Uzbekistan presidential elections did take place in January 2000 which resulted in Islam Karimov obtaining 91. But this was hardly unexpected given the absence of any true opposition candidate and the elections were subsequently criticized by the OSCE. within a sub-region of this field.14 Of course. and final consolidation of. more often. the Democratic Party. the main opposition candidate. Such writers have tended to opt for ‘small n’ comparisons choosing to limit their research within the bounds of the former Soviet bloc or. the former prime minister.11 For example. Instead. it was announced in December 1999 that Niyazov would become president for life and although parliamentary elections were held in the same month. It was only after his victory that Karimov invited the political opposition to return to Uzbekistan. rather than examining the various dimensions involved in facilitating the transition to. this account focuses on problems of democratic transition and consolidation within the Central Asian region. was allowed to run. thereby assuring President Akaev an easy victory.9 In Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan none of the true opposition parties have been able to run in elections. But by choosing the label Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 .103dem06. political parties endorsed by the presidents have been created. There are those who have argued that large comparisons using a large set of countries from many regions will yield interesting insights into the processes of democratization within the countries of the former Soviet bloc.12 Others have questioned the validity of such broad comparisons and how far such general models can travel in a changing international context and an environment so heavily influenced by communism.

or even.17 This may either result in political disputes remaining within the democratic framework and then a point of stalemate is reached when day to day government becomes unworkable. with their aspirations dashed and unable to be heard in a political forum. Rather. Hence. Rather the thesis is that these conditions do constrain the leadership but there is a strong volitional element to the policies currently adopted. and regional Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . The drive towards democracy would therefore not only be a waste of time but also may bring instability in its wake as the pro-democratic forces. it might be argued that democracy does not have historical antecedents within the area and preSoviet and Soviet traditions of rule continue to prevail. there has been interesting work carried out on democracy as an inculcated value and the importance of an affective mind set towards democracy. Because of this absence of historical roots. it is also possible that the regional complexities within each state may mean that Rustow’s background condition of national unity does not obtain and that the heads of state are worried that the various democratic institutions will divide along regional lines. openly challenge the newly installed government.15 There are several possible reasons why the leaders within Central Asia have not been inclined to embrace democracy. in the worst case scenario. the leadership sees little reason for implementing further democratic reforms.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 127 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 127 ‘impeding factors’ the inquiry seeks to highlight some of the difficulties that actually confront the leaders of these countries ten years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Thus the article examines the impact of the economic decline of the last decade on the decline in presidential popularity. the reform process would not ‘lead to a polity that legitimizes and accepts as normal conflict within the democratic framework’. democracy has failed to become so ingrained that it is regarded as a value in itself and instead is evaluated according to what tangible political gains it can offer. Although. this study focuses on the other three factors outlined above.103dem06. the aim is to raise the further dimensions that others tend to ignore. This should not be thought to imply that the policies within each state are justified.16 Fourth. the major factor as to why these countries have failed to democratize further.18 This is not to say that pre-Soviet and Soviet traditions are not an important. both in the population and its leaders. conflict would not be contained within the confines of the normal political process and instability would ensue. or. the rise of non-democratic forces. the leaders may be concerned that under fully competitive elections they would not be returned to power. Democracy would fail to consolidate and establish itself as ‘the only game in town’. Second. In other words. First. Third. conflict is not contained within the democratic framework that has been established. they may be concerned that non-democratic forces may achieve power and begin to undo the democratic reforms previously implemented.

3 –1. The dismantling of the integrated economy was bound to have a devastating effect. The Economy Ten Years On There are some difficulties in comparing the economies during the Soviet period and afterwards because the Soviet system used to measure net material product (NMP) rather than gross domestic product (GDP). TABLE 1 ECONOMIC GROWTH IN REAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (PERCENTAGES) 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Kazakhstan –0. Although much of the data has been re-worked so that they are compatible with measurements of GDP. several of the states also initiated reforms in order to move from the former command economy to a market economy.6 –0.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 128 128 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N competition.3 –4. 2001). but this was especially so in regions like Central Asia where much of the production was based in the primary sector. The .4 Kyrgyzstan 8.3 –7.4 5.20 Similarly. 2000).0 2000 9. despite this inhospitable environment all four states displayed strong positive economic growth in the last few years.0 –19.9 –0.1 –5.0 –2.0 17.6 5.5 2.0 12.0 –5. Table 1 illustrates the deleterious impact that the concomitant dissolution of the Soviet Union and economic liberalization has had on economic growth within the region.6 2001 13.1 9.7 3.2 –6.7 –5. At roughly the same time. certain inaccuracies are bound to remain.9 1.3 3.2 –12.5 1.2 0.6 2.21. Most of these economies began to recover in 1996 and 1997 but were then stymied by the Asian crisis and the ensuing financial collapse.1 16.16 and Annual Report 2001 of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (London: Ventura Litno Ltd.9 1.9 –9.0 5. p.5 –11.0 Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 Data for 2000 are preliminary actuals. However.1 4.9 2.4 7.2 –0.3 –10.7 4. the precipitous economic decline has served to exacerbate certain social tensions bringing these issues to the top of the political agenda.7 Turkmenistan –6.19 Anyway.1 4.7 3. p. It argues that although these leaders probably already had concerns over these three issues.0 –4. mostly government estimates and 2001 represent EBRD projections.0 –16.103dem06. the precipitous decline in the national economies of the Central Asia states overshadows any minor corrections that may be necessary.4 –13.0 Uzbekistan 3.0 –20.7 –11. Kyrgyzstan’s extremely strong growth in 1997 and its relatively strong growth since then is mainly a result of the Kumtor gold mining operation coming on line.6 –8. Kazakhstan’s improving economic situation can be largely attributed to the opening of the oil pipeline from the Tengiz oil field situated close to the Caspian Sea to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Source: Annual Report 2000 of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (London: Ventura Litno Ltd.1 –2.0 –17.0 1.

Economic Survey of Europe 2002.7 82.6 102.8 106.9 39.6 46.3 37.1 121. increased output in the construction and trade sectors partly offset the losses mentioned. this seemingly positive picture should be tempered by taking into account the possible GDP growth if the dissolution of the Soviet bloc had not occurred.2 81.1 (Geneva: Economic Commission for Europe.2 100 101. in 1999.5 100 98.5 62.3 41. However.0 89.2 79.7 77.5 36.9 75.1 60.0 33.1 104.2 56.5 88.8 34.3 32.5 Source: Economic Commission for Europe.5 30.9 86.7 66.7 55.8 29.2 69.3 26.4 33.2 34.9 48.6 78. Slovakia and Hungary with possibly a greater growth rate under the free market than if an evolved form of the previous .0 92.2 82.1 96.0 83.8 58.3 85.2 87.1 67.6 60.9 55. Data for the Soviet Union prior to 1991 (Turkmenistan until 1992) are based on NMP (net material product).6 58.7 97.3 89.9 33.6 45.0 88.0 57.8 30.9 46.2 58.1 86. First.0 26.0 52.8 100 97.3 94.3 87.1 89.1 89.8 39.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 129 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 129 Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 rather erratic results for Turkmenistan during this period reflect the curtailment of gas supplies to Ukraine in 1997 in retaliation for nonpayment of services. Table 2 presents the GDP of east European and former Soviet Union countries from 1989 to 2001 relative to their GDPs in 1989.5 64.9 83.7 52.2 44.2 69. Baltic States Belarus Moldova Ukraine Russian Fed.7 84.1 62.2 78.4 39. 1989–2001 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Poland Hungary Slovakia Czech Rep.4 100 96.6 81. in comparison with eastern Europe the former Soviet Union (FSU) has fared much worse in terms of overall production.8 100 99.6 102.8 63.2 94.9 98. No.9 86.0 100 104.9 52.2 97.4 82.8 61.9 96.4 40.5 100 97.103dem06.2 70.9 98.9 93.1 99.7 29.7 88.8 41.8 53.1 56.8 98.2 81. Uzbekistan not only had to contend with the ramifications of the Asian crisis but also a decline in cotton production alongside a decline in cotton and gold prices.1 84.8 126.0 37.1 70.4 107.4 58.0 89.4 66.3 31. Uzbekistan’s economy is less liberalized than either Kazakhstan’s or Kyrgyzstan’s and the economic downturn may therefore have had less of an impact.8 90.8 64.7 102.4 39.0 41.6 36.4 78.1 100 97.4 67. TABL E 2 R E A L G R O SS DOME S T I C P RODUCT I N T HE TRA N SITIO N EC O N O MIES.0 64.9 80.4 100 97.7 35.0 36.5 81.4 96.2 87.0 56.6 43.2 56.9 87.7 83.3 100 94. This would leave only Poland.1 87.21 On top of this.4 83.7 23.9 66.1 35.5 111.6 57.9 58.9 62.1 75.7 83.1 85.3 84. Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan 100 88.7 95.8 100 100.4 62. This improvement in GDP was given further impetus by the increased volume of crude oil that was extracted during 1998.4 63.5 63.7 100. 2002). In addition.7 128.2 73.6 68.5 68.7 117.2 40. the country benefited from ‘bumper harvests’ of wheat and cotton.2 85.2 39.4 77.6 100 96.1 98.22 From 1997 to 1998. There are several points to note from this table.3 24.2 58.7 65.3 95. However even in eastern Europe.3 108.6 86.7 81.5 80.9 97.8 73.2 36.7 65.9 52.8 100 98.0 92.8 54.4 65.5 60.5 98.9 62.6 69.8 70.2 68. the resumption of this trade helped to produce positive growth in 1998.0 71.2 72.0 76.4 60.0 100 88.8 52.4 86.0 91.5 100 84.9 67.1 49.9 100 99.6 38.2 31.8 67.0 46.6 104.3 60.

However. Turkmenistan’s by four per cent. Kazakhstan’s by two per cent. which estimates that Turkmenistan’s GDP in 2000 was running at 75 per cent of output generated in 1989. This is because of several factors. It should be noted that the manner in which real GDP is calculated in Uzbekistan does lead to some difficulties in assessing the real impact of the Asian and Russian financial crises. and by 1999 all of the Central Asian states had attained positive overall growth.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 130 130 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N system had continued. there is a large discrepancy between the figures given above for Turkmenistan and the figures generated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. though. much of the economy of Central Asia is based on the production of primary products. the prices and Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . The decade preceding this period also had strong positive growth with most of the republics obtaining slightly higher growth than the 1980–1989 period.25 But even allowing considerable leeway because of this. During the period 1980 to 1989. Even the relatively more industrialized and strategically located Baltic region has failed to achieve outputs anywhere near their 1989 levels. the Central Asian region has fared better than many other regions of the former Soviet Union. these economies grew as follows: Kyrgyzstan’s economy grew by four per cent. these states have only recently exhibited stable positive growth and Tajikistan is operating at just over a third of its 1989 output (Tajikistan’s poor performance is not surprising given its descent into civil war in 1992). Uzbekistan’s by three per cent. not least of which is the successful reorientation of trade links. the results indicate that for at least a decade these countries have been operating well below 1989 levels. their economic performance may not be as strong as it first appears.103dem06. then.24 These figures should be treated with some caution given the different methods of measurement adopted during the Soviet period and also the alleged inflation of production figures (done in order to curry favour with the Moscow elite) and satisfy the demands made upon the regions by the centre. Apart from Tajikistan. First.26 Similarly. the economies of the eastern European countries have improved to a far greater degree than the FSU states. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan would appear to have improved their GDP beyond the rates of 1989.27 Two other points need to be considered. However. This decline in economic performance is even more dramatic when taking into account the economic record of the preceding decade. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have managed to sustain positive growth since 1996. In general. optimism for the future should be tempered. However.23 But what is most striking is the devastation wrought on the economies of the former Soviet Union in general with some countries having their GDP cut to a third of their 1989 levels. Table 2 summarizes the cumulative impact that the transition has had upon the Central Asian states.

5 per cent of the population was below the national minimum wage in 1994 and 27.6 per cent in extreme Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . which are based on incomes. The possible exception is oil. In 1997 it was estimated that in Turkmenistan the proportion of the population at or below the poverty line totalled 30 per cent. Central Asia has experienced significant declines in the prices of gold. In the last decade. which tend to bias against the inclusion of the extreme poor such as migrants and are also biased towards the sampling of particular socio-economic classes.30 A degree of caution needs to be applied to these figures as the poverty line is in some degree arbitrary.103dem06. it is apparent that during the latter period per capita income declined sharply. 44. the World Bank uses $1 a day and sometimes $2.32 In addition to this. Taking a poverty line of US$120 (purchasing power parity) per capita per month at 1990 prices and comparing the percentage of the population in poverty in 1987–88 with 1993–94 we find that for Kazakhstan the percentage in poverty has increased from 5 per cent to 50 per cent. In human security terms. and in Uzbekistan from 24 per cent to 47 per cent. for 1996 the poverty rate in Kazakhstan was 34. In addition.4 per cent. which is unique because of OPEC’s influence. in Kyrgyzstan from 12 per cent to 84 per cent. although until recently the price of this commodity had also declined considerably. the increasing number of young adults seeking work presents a major problem for the authorities. If we compare income levels during the late Soviet period with income levels during the transition.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 131 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 131 yields of which can be quite volatile and the economic performances of these economies fluctuate accordingly. such data fail to take into account the number of people obtaining extra income from the unofficial economy. For Uzbekistan. Although this does not have the advantage of facilitating international comparisons (poverty levels are national minimum subsistence levels).33 Another way of measuring poverty is to establish the value of a food basket at the minimum subsistence level and costs of other essential expenditures within the country. the worsening terms of trade for primary products looks set to continue. cotton.28 The second long-term problem confronting these states is the age structure of their societies which ‘exhibit the classic pyramid-shaped age structure – typical of “young” developing countries’.29 Although the birth rate has slowed in recent years. it should provide an informed estimate of national poverty levels.31 But.6 per cent and by 1998 this had increased to 43.15 a day as a measure of absolute poverty rather than $4 per day. According to these data. the economic decline has had a dramatic impact upon the population. on the other hand. cereals and other primary products. the figures are based on Family Budget Surveys. in Turkmenistan from 12 per cent to 57 per cent. for example. This may explain the rather high percentage rate given for Kyrgyzstan.

41a aBased on consumption. was 43. based on expenditure rather than income.327 0. TABL E 3 C H A NGE S I N I NE QUAL I T Y – GI NI CO EFFICIEN TS (IN CO MES) FO R CE NT RAL A SIA 1986 Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Turkmenistan 0. by 1999 this had increased to 55. United Nations Development Programme. DC: World Bank.47 0. in Roy Allison (ed. Jane Falkingham. Welfare in Transition (London: CASE.3 per cent. Appendix D.5 per cent. ‘Distribution of Income’.421 0. Income. the difference between income and expenditure rates of poverty was as high as 19 per cent. The figures since 1996 for Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan also indicate that the poverty rate in these two countries has further increased and in all probability the situation has deteriorated further in both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. p. a direct comparison between the data based on the national poverty line and the data employing an international standard is not possible.333 0. and UNDP.250 1993 0.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 132 132 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 poverty in 1996. and Poverty during the Transition from Planned to Market Economy (Washington: World Bank. For example. It is too early to say whether this is a short-term effect of the Asian and Russian crisis or whether it indicates a long-term decline in the economic well-being of a large part of the population. 1999).347 0.353 0. 2000). Source: Kaser and Mehrotra. Human Development Report For Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS: 1999 (Bratislava: UNDP.358 1997 0.11. Appendix 4. 2000).20.34 The figures for Kyrgyzstan are lower than previously quoted because they have been recalibrated to take into account the crisis of 1997–98 and the resulting change in patterns of consumption.37 Unfortunately. prior to the recalibration mentioned in the previous paragraph. World Bank. Inequality. survey year 1998. In Kyrgyzstan the proportion of the population in poverty during 1996. p. the figure for Turkmenistan fails to take into account a high rate of production of home goods in rural and poor households. for Kyrgyzstan.103dem06. Branco Milanovic. it was found that the latter generally had twice as many cattle as high income households. they indicate a huge increase in the number of people living below the poverty line within these states. . 1996). Human Development Report 2001: Uzbekistan (Tashkent: UNDP. Making Transition Work for Everyone: Poverty and Inequality in Europe and Central Asia (Washington.259 0.36 Similarly.246 0.263.). Challenges for the Former South (London: RIIA. 1998). p. 1999).35 The statistics based on income fail to take into account domestic production and are therefore higher than those based on expenditure.258 0. Though one must use these figures cautiously.

compared to Kyrgyzstan which experienced a decline of over ten points from 0.39 In 1999. as indicated in Table 3. Table 3 gives a comparison of the Soviet and post-Soviet period using Gini coefficients. Turkmenistan scoring 0. Central Asia has experienced a concomitant increase in the level of inequality during the transition period. an activity that is very common within the region. based on incomes. we find that: in Kazakhstan (1996) the richest 10 per cent had a 26. it does not include economic activities such as work on private plots of land. but it is clear that in just one decade there has been a massive increase in poverty across the region. The deleterious level of welfare outlined in this article is therefore closely associated with their periods in office. ranging from seven points for Kazakhstan to over ten points for Turkmenistan. Of course.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 133 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 133 Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 Alongside this growth in poverty rates. This may have the effect of exaggerating the real degree of inequality because.347 in 1997. As can be seen from Table 3. ‘Specific support’ .353 to 0. The current heads of these states came to power only shortly before independence and have presided over the economy for the last decade. It should be noted that the information is based on incomes to allow a comparison of the Soviet and post-Soviet period. the Gini coefficient for all four of the Central Asian countries increased dramatically between 1986 and 1993. even if we employ expenditure-based data the increase in inequality is still very high. the number of people in poverty varied according to the form of measurement. Uzbekistan had an income decile ratio for the top ten per cent of earners compared to the bottom ten per cent of 10.103dem06.3 per cent share of consumption compared to 2. In doing so.7 per cent of national income and the poorest 10 per cent received 2.7 per cent for the poorest 10 per cent. with Kyrgyzstan scoring 0. However.7 and this would translate into similar figures given above for Kyrgyzstan.47.42 (1997).327 in 1993 to 0.7 per cent share compared to 2.41 (1998). in Kyrgyzstan (1997) the richest 10 per cent received 31.7 per cent of the national income. for example.6 per cent for the lowest decile. in Turkmenistan (1998) the top 10 per cent had a 31. unlike expenditure based data. Kazakhstan scoring 0.35 (1996) and.40 Implications for Democracy The previous section detailed the impact that the economic decline of the last ten years has had upon the Central Asian population. Kazakhstan’s Gini coefficient increased from 0. For all four states the situation deteriorated further during the later period of transition but some fared better than others.38 A more tangible assessment of inequality within the region is to compare the highest and lowest deciles by percentage share of income/consumption. as a form of measuring inequality (0 represents perfect equality and 1 represents perfect inequality).

given the inequality that has developed in the last ten years. at least in the short Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . demanding large sums for their release. thus far. led by Juma Namangani (Jumabai Khojiev) and numbering approximately 2. The presidents of these states are therefore reluctant to democratize any further because to do so may initiate the demise of their own political careers. The decline in the economies of the Central Asian states in the last decade is closely associated in the minds of the public with independence and the move away from a command economy towards a market economy.43 However.103dem06. health etc. that their influence has waned somewhat. whereby support is given on a ‘quid pro quo for the fulfillment of demands’.41 The socio-economic decline in the last decade is bound to give these leaders cause for concern as regards their chances of reelection in fully competitive elections.000 took four Japanese geologists and a Kyrgyz interpreter hostage in the Bakten Province of Kyrgyzstan. albeit not necessarily of the communist variety. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Such economic liberalization is also regarded by the population as implicitly connected to democratization. leading to a period of increased instability. more welfare-orientated alternative political system is a real possibility. Support for a less democratic. support for democratization may be called into doubt. The movement also gained notoriety when a contingent numbering approximately 1. The economic benefits that derived from the Soviet system may generate a desire to return to a more predictable economic and political system. in the minds of the presidents. Second. the current economic system does not compare favourably with the previous command economy. In addition. any move away from the present system is likely to provoke resistance from those who are benefiting from the current state of affairs. is obviously very low as a result of these political systems failing in particular areas of provision such as the economy. even if these states were to democratize further it is not at all certain that democratic consolidation will be guaranteed. had been operating within the southern tier of Central Asia.000. All of the above would suggest that the problems of stability that confront these countries during a transition to democracy would raise serious doubts about the process. no matter how limited such economic liberalization has been in practice. Given the economic performance in the last decade. given their links with the Taliban. social welfare. The leaders of these states are therefore confronted with the paradox that more democracy may mean less if a political party is voted in that is not particularly in favour of maintaining the system under which it obtained power.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 134 134 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N for these leaders. Furthermore.42 It is alleged that this movement was responsible for the bombs that exploded in Tashkent in 1999. since the terrorist events of 11 September 2001 and the probable death of the movement’s leader in Afghanistan it is highly likely.

Therefore. Akramiyya. If there is any economic improvement in the next few years. However. although these movements lack mass support. and leafleting by the group has occurred throughout Central Asia. this literature indicates that social unrest may also take place during a period of economic improvement if such expectations are not satisfied. but argue that ‘revolutions are most likely to occur when a prolonged period of objective economic and social development is followed by a short period of sharp reversal’. are important catalysts of social movements. These two groups are mainly located in Uzbekistan. then it is unlikely that this will be the case. Some studies suggest that rising expectation amongst the population and relative deprivation. There are two other major Islamic movements within the region. estimating the probability of a non-democratic alternative establishing itself within any of these states is of course very difficult to ascertain.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 135 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 135 term.46 Other studies concur that the expectations of the population are extremely important. although the threat from the IMU and other movements is real there is a lack of support from the general population. It should be said that if the recent economic history of other developing countries is anything to go by. It is thought that initially Hizb al-Tahrir advocated change via propaganda. but Hizb al-Tahrir has also begun a recruitment drive in Kazakhstan. Indeed.48 Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . the trend for many developing countries has been that economic inequality and social deprivation for the poorest within the populations concerned have increased. A leading expert on Islam within the region has argued that the idea ‘that radical Islam might present a threat to the stability of society seems quite far-fetched’.45 It is also clear that the Central Asian leaders are quite adept at using the spectre of a non-democratic Islamic regime instrumentally to maintain their grip on power.44 The events of 11 September. Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party) and a splinter group from this movement. which may explain why some revolutions have occurred ‘at times of rising prosperity’. rather than objective deprivation. they do present a source of instability and uncertainty within the region.103dem06. that is. It would seem natural to assume that the most difficult period of the economic transition has passed and that therefore the greatest threat to political stability is now over.47 Either way. this may not necessarily follow. however. but since the crackdown in Uzbekistan (1998) the use of violence to achieve political ends is no longer ruled out. the changing political climate in Afghanistan and the US presence within Central Asia has led to a changing political and strategic environment within the region. then it is important for the mass of the population to experience tangible economic benefits from this. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

4 per cent of Kyrgyz. the level of unemployment in the Osh Oblast is double the Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . The western and northern regions had poverty rates that were closer to the national average with 39.5 per cent in rural areas. based respectively on the primary and secondary/tertiary economies. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.55 The southern area of Kyrgyzstan suffers from extremely high rates of poverty (70 per cent in Jalal-abad Oblast and 60 per cent in Osh Oblast) and much higher rates of unemployment than elsewhere in the country.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 136 136 Regional Considerations D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N Although in Central Asian countries class cleavage is important and the increasing inequality already indicated highlights its salience for the contemporary period.15 per cent respectively.54 The situation in the southern region of Kyrgyzstan is somewhat different. therefore also has an ethnic element to it.51 The location of the Russian population in the north of both of these countries is especially significant. This is because the northern areas are the most industrialized. Such tensions that currently exist have been exacerbated by Uzbekistan’s bombing of Kyrgyz territory in August 1999 in an attempt to dislodge rebels belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who had taken the four Japanese geologists and a Kyrgyz interpreter hostage.49 Two countries.3 per cent respectively. 55. say.4 per cent).000 Tenge (83. in 1997. Mapping poverty rates by ethnicity indicates that. this was almost double the rate of the urban population (43. for example. only 17.5 per cent).7 per cent and 27. Any socio-economic differences between the urban and rural areas have therefore served to exacerbate tensions between the Russian population and the titular nationalities. it is important that we do not neglect the ethnic dimension within the region.53 In 1997.4 per cent and 34.52 The rural/urban cleavage. have large ethnic minorities.50 Kyrgyzstan has both a large Russian minority constituting 12. where more than 50 per cent of Kazakhs reside.5 per cent of the population had incomes below the subsistence level compared to that of.5 per cent of the population that resides mainly in the north and a large Uzbek minority constituting 13.103dem06. the majority of the rural population in Kazakhstan earned less than 3. In 1998.8 per cent of Russian households were below the poverty level compared to 67. In the south. the poverty rate for Kyrgyzstan (based on expenditure) in urban areas was 28. relations between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz reached their zenith in the Osh riots of 1990. which had 22.5 per cent of the overall population compared to 64. the central and eastern regions. Kazakhstan has a large Russian population constituting 30 per cent of the total population and mainly residing in the north of the country.8 per cent of the overall population that resides mainly in the south-west in the Ferghana Valley.

Aktube. mainly because its former status as the capital means it can derive income from its service industries. rather than to the larger system’. Once this is taken into account wage levels are quite low for Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . and if such discussions are successful they will go some way towards easing tensions. the Great Horde (zhuz) located in the south of the country. Rumours of a possible land swap between the two governments will.56 The situation is complicated by the fact that the Uzbeki/Kyrgyz border within the Ferghana Valley is disputed by both parties. In addition.61 Although each president has endeavoured to counter the growth of such regionalism.103dem06. if they turned out to be true.60 Given that the system at the national level is struggling to provide the economic goods to satisfy the population it is likely that the reliance on such informal networks has increased. and Pavlodar and Karaganda in north-east and central Kazakhstan respectively because of mineral extraction. we need to take into account the regional dimension within Central Asia and the informal social networks that exist on a regional basis. some of the highest rated regions are: Almaty City. excacerbating existing tensions between the two groups. central and eastern Kazakhstan and the Lesser Horde located in the west of the country. so is the cost of living. Central Asia is similar to many other newly emerging states in that ‘political socialization tends to be to the particular kinship. The situation is complicated by the fact that within several of these regions there exist certain oblasts that are centres of prosperity.59 Even if the negotiations are agreeable to all parties. In this sense. The Kazakh nation is divided into three sub-groups. Mangistau and Atyrau in the west because of oil and mineral extraction. have a highly destabilizing effect in the current situation. although wage levels are correspondingly high for these regions.58 The two governments have recently begun talks aimed at settling the border dispute.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 137 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 137 national average. However. Rating these using gross added value per capita.57 Problems in the area should be understood within the context of extremely high rates of poverty and unemployment within the region. this depends on the final agreement. All four leaders have acknowledged this trend towards regionalism. the poor socio-economic conditions within the Ferghana Valley suggests that many difficulties would remain. First. lineage or village group as a subsystem of the larger territorial jurisdictional system.62 It should be clear from the figures given above on poverty by region that the southern region occupied by the Great Horde suffers from the highest rates of poverty followed by the western region occupied by the Lesser Horde. the Middle Horde in northern. if large disparities exist between the regions it is likely that such regional differences will come to the fore leading to greater political instability within the states concerned.63 Several political issues arise from such wealth generation.

the issues of wealth generation.67 As mentioned earlier. Following the re-election of Akaev in October 2000 there were a series of demonstrations in southern Kyrgyzstan. one of the current concerns of the government must be the possibility that it will take on a more separatist character within its southern regions.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 138 138 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N regions such as Aktube. Atyrau and Mangistau in comparison to the wealth generated there. Atyrau and Almaty City were all net contributors to state revenue but only Atyrau and Almaty City are ‘consistent net contributors’. Pavlodar. The southern sub-grouping point to the extremely high levels of poverty within the region and the need for a greater share of the budget whilst the north feel that the system punishes those who generate the most for the country. extremely poor sub-regions. the geographical location of the main wealth-producing oblasts is significant. are in the south with only the neighbouring northern oblast of Talas registering such high rates. form the constituent elements of larger federations.69 The kidnapping of the four Japanese geologists and their interpreter by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the Batken region was also deeply worrying for the government. Mangystau. despite these regions producing a high rate of wealth per capita. Bishkek.70 Even though at present this movement is pan-Islamic in nature. Chui and Issyk-Kul Oblast. Unlike the Kazakhs. Two of the three poorest oblasts. Surkhandarya/Kashkadarya. Akmola.68 Again. several of these wealthproducing regions also provide the state with positive tax revenue that is then re-distributed to other areas.65 The fact that these regions are net contributors to state revenues combined with the two issues above have led to some governors of these regions to openly question the degree of taxation to which they are subject. especially now that the Kumtor gold-mining project is operational in the north-east Issyk-Kul region. which have poverty levels of 70 per cent and 60 per cent respectively. Unsurprisingly. levels of taxation and the degree of revenue redistribution have arisen. This issue is unlikely to go away. the southern area suffers from extremely high rates of poverty. Jalal-abad and Osh.66 The Kyrgyz are divided into many sub-national groups and these. are located in the north of the country. the Kyrgyz are divided into two major federations (rather than three). in a similar fashion to the Kazakhs. Khorezm. exist within some of these oblasts. In 1998.64 Finally. Samarkand/Bukhara.103dem06. and Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . The three oblasts with the highest rate of gross regional product. or raions. for example Kzylkoginskii Raion in Atyrau Oblast or Zhelezinskii Raion in Pavlodar Oblast. Politics in Uzbekistan is said to reflect a contest among five regions – Ferghana. the Otuz Uul in the north and the Ich Kilik located in the south. Second. Throughout the 1990s relations between the centre and the south have been tense with the latter strongly resisting what they see as greater control by the former.

77 However. although the Akhal region ranks slightly higher than Mary in per capita income. located in the west.73 Yet it is still noteworthy that the gap between the richest and poorest regions outlined above have increased from ‘a factor of 3. it is therefore not surprising that President Saparmurat Niyazov is from this group. there is said to be rivalry within the Tekke group between the Akhal and Mary Tekhines (neighbouring regions in the south of the country). This is especially so given the rivalry between the Tekke and Yomud and the fact that the latter reside in the oil rich region adjoining the Caspian Sea. such as Mary and Dashoguz. Saryk and Chowdor. Göklen. located in the south. Khorezm and Namangan had the lowest.7 in 1998’. had triple the per capita income of other regions.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 139 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 139 Tashkent – with Ferghana and Tashkent the most influential out of the five.75 The Tekke is the largest and most politically influential group amongst these seven. Yomud. the question of how to redistribute the wealth derived from mineral extraction. the greatest differences are between both Ashgabat City and the Balkan region and the rest of the regions due to the service industry in Ashgabat and the oil production in the Balkan region.76 For example. there is little information on budgetary reallocation between the regions. Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . Competition for political influence is mainly between the Tekke and Yomud clans.103dem06. Ersary. However. the city of Ashgabat. By 1998 some of the rankings had changed somewhat with Tashkent City. Tashkent regions and Karakalpakstan having the lowest. Namangan.74 Unfortunately. There are seven main clan groupings within Turkmenistan: the Tekke. Navoi and Ferghana regions having the highest incomes with Dzhizak. is likely to remain high on the political agenda and will increase in importance if such regional disparities continue. had almost double the per capita income and the oil-rich Balkan region. such as oil and gas. once again.72 However. But Ashgabat and Balkan still attain the highest rankings for human development of all the regions.1 in 1996 to 4. it should be emphasized that this comparison is based solely on per capita monetary income. It therefore fails to take into account variations in household size between regions as well as the differing levels of household husbandry (which would usually be greater in rural areas thereby partially compensating for lower monetary income). In addition. but if such inequality persists or indeed increases as the data suggest then issues of inequality and redistribution will register at the top of the political agenda with increasing regularity. although the disparities are not as great as one would assume from just considering the per capita incomes of the regions. Salor. the cost of living in these areas is higher and once this is taken into account the disparities are considerably reduced.71 A study conducted in1994 indicated that Tashkent City and Ferghana had the highest per capita money income whilst Karakalpakstan.78 In similar fashion to Kazakhstan. Surkhandarya.

or sometimes both.80 Although each president has endeavoured to counter the growth of such regionalism. it should be borne in mind that an exaggerated local patriotism and its aggressive advancement impede the consolidation of the nation. This extends to the economic sphere where the provision and extraction of resources from the citizens of a state may become highly charged if the process is carried out in a partisan manner. All four leaders have acknowledged this trend towards regionalism.81 Recent work on transitions to democracy has indicated that such a period is bedevilled by instabilities. The leaders of the Central Asian states are confronted with a reduction of societal consensus within their respective states. and give rise to a series of other threats to the stability and security of state and society. Any further economic decline may therefore further exacerbate existing divisions. inevitably lead to internal separatism and cultural isolation. leading to greater political instability within the states concerned. Given such support the state may acquiesce to such demands but this practice runs the . The legitimacy of the state depends upon the balanced representation of the various interest groups existing within its borders.. President Karimov recently warned that it is a priority of the highest political importance to urge the need energetically to cut short regionalism and the formation of cliques which are hampering our common cause . Once again. However. It has been suggested that under such conditions there is a tendency for elites to get their issues on the agenda by drumming up nationalist sentiment for their causes. if large disparities exist between the regions it is likely that such regional differences will come to the fore. but that there is a tendency for this reliance on informal social networks to increase under worsening social and economic conditions. There is the possibility that giving greater political representation to the various ethnic or sub-national groups will encourage such groups to ‘turn inward and focus on their “difference”’ at the expense of a more general form of citizenship. whether from inter-ethnic or intraethnic divisions. it is difficult for the state to attend to all of the demands of all the groups all of the time. Given the diversity of interests that exist within multi-ethnic societies. it is difficult to assess how deep these divisions actually are at the moment. Given that the system at the national level is struggling to provide the economic goods to satisfy the population it is likely that the reliance on such informal networks has increased. It would appear that they are currently manageable.79 For example..103dem06. this places the leaders of these states in a quandary when considering democratization.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 140 140 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 Implications for Democracy The second part of this study has questioned whether Rustow’s background condition of national unity obtains within this complex region.

democracy has failed to become ingrained as a value in itself. The possibility of the Central Asian leaders being re-elected under completely free and fair elections is hindered by the fact that they came to power only shortly before independence and have presided over the economy for the last decade. however. jeopardizing the chances of democratic transition. The former is defined in terms of ‘government by the people’: ‘Political choices are legitimate if and because they reflect the “will of the people”. The welfare declines are closely identified with their periods in office.103dem06.’ The latter is defined in terms of ‘government for the people’. The assessment carried out here indicates ‘output legitimacy’ is lacking for the Central Asian states. the economic decline is bound to have adversely affected support for the political system. less democratic but more welfare-orientated parties might come to power and rollback the existing democratic reforms. but instead is evaluated according to what tangible political gains it can offer. the probability of this Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . Although difficult to gauge accurately.83 Most developing states these days find themselves in an economic environment that makes attaining ‘output legitimacy’ extremely difficult. possibly to the extent that new contenders surface to challenge them.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 141 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 141 risk of engendering hypertrophied forms of nationalism and further instability. Thus the leaders of these states see little reason for implementing further democratic reforms. That means the political considerations that have been introduced into the analysis must be included in any full explanation of the stalled democratic process. thereby establishing ‘input legitimacy’. Plausible explanations included the possibility that pre-Soviet and Soviet traditions of rule continue to prevail and because of this absence of historical roots. Without dismissing this possibility.82 Second. where ‘political choices are legitimate if and because they effectively promote the welfare of the constituency in question’. Scharpf usefully divides democratic legitimacy into input-orientated legitimacy and output-orientated legitimacy. Since 11 September 2001 and US intervention in Afghanistan. the account has focused on several other factors. and without minimum levels of welfare provision it is hard to see how a state can successfully make a transition to democracy. Conclusion This article began with an outline of the possible reasons for the stalled process of democratization in Central Asia. by promoting greater representation of other ethnic groups and pursuing more equitable distribution of resources the leaders of such states may find that they have alienated their own support base. But if the democratic process were to be pushed further forward. thereby affecting the ‘specific support’ for these leaders.

Given these problems confronting the Central Asian states since independence. worse. for example President Islam Karimov’s statement that Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 inequality creates the danger of social instability in any country . or the implementation of further democratic reforms. then the population will seek other means to achieve their political objectives. in the case of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. the prioritizing of stability over democracy is understandable.86 At the same time. Increasing regional disparities are likely to engender tensions at the sub-national level but these are more likely to lead to sporadic and extremely small-scale conflicts at the local level rather than major fault-lines developing at the governmental level.87 The deterioration in welfare and. a continuation of this trend will do little to provide the societal stability that the Central Asian leaders seek. a possibility illustrated by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and by sporadic protests in the other three states. There is a danger that if political demands are not represented through some form of electoral process. to alleviate the inevitable difficulties of this period by adopting preventative measures and accommodating people to a new social environment. is likely to provide a solution to such problems in the long term even if it does shore up stability in the short term. it is also true that each one of the presidents has grown accustomed to the benefits of holding office and have become quite adept at using the spectre of both regionalism and non-democratic Islamic movements instrumentally to maintain their grip on power. the obstacles to further democratization are both real and tangible and even if these leaders were replaced by more reform-minded presidents. Extreme social contradictions may lead to internal confrontations and even to civil wars …That is why the most important task of the democratic state is to neutralize acute social contradictions. Neither the decision to create a façade of democracy.103dem06. they would confront the same difficulties that presently beset the current leadership.. Although it is understandable therefore that the Central Asian leaders have not wholeheartedly embraced a move towards either democracy. or to stall the transition process. as in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. as in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. in the case of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. and that this is somehow related to the way in which democratization in the broader sense of the word prevents ‘state capture’ by governing elites. there are also risks associated with maintaining the status quo.84 However.85 Nonetheless. there is some evidence that ‘income inequality is higher today in the “stalled transition” countries than in the more advanced reformers’.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 142 142 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N happening in the short term has waned considerably but the possibility of it occurring in the long term still remains. .. The overriding concern for stability is clearly evident in.

Vol. 11 January 2000. DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. No. pp. 8. p. The Politics of Central Europe (London: Sage. ‘National Forum Announces Niyazov Leader and President for Life’. for example. Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia’s Island of Democracy? (Amsterdam: Harwood. No. refer to Shirin Akiner. American Behavioral Scientist. 1971) for what he considers to be the requirements for the establishment of democracy. p. pp.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 143 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A NOTES 143 1. Paul Lewis. 1994).245–67. New States. Nikolai Biryukov and Victor Sergeyev.5. Belarus & Moldova (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Martha Brill Olcott. Kazakhstanskaya Pravda. 4 November 2000. ‘The “Comparative Revolution” and the Transition in Central and Southern Europe’. Larry Diamond. Geraint Parry and Michael Moran. p.2 (1993). ‘Kazakhstan: After the Landslide’. ‘Islam Karimov Snova Izbran Prezidentom’. pp. p. idem. 1998). 1994). Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot. Dilip Hiro. Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot (eds). 1991). New Politics: Building the Post-Soviet Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1997). 1999). The Soviet Legacy in Central Asia (London: Macmillan. No. Juan Linz. ‘Political Actors.422–49. 13 January 1999. Russia’s Future: Consolidation or Disintegration? (Boulder. 17 February 2001. 1999). No. Coexistence.5. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. No. Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras. The Economist. West European Politics. Vol. and Sally Cummings. Nezavisimaya Gazeta. p. they have been created with the support of the presidents and do not constitute a real opposition. G/1. 31 December 2000.231–52. The Economist. Greece and Spain. ‘Kirgizstan: And the Winner is…’. See for example John Anderson. 4. ‘Demokratiya i Etnopsikhologiya v Politike’. Kazakhstan: Centre-Periphery Relations (London: RIIA.11. 11 May 2001. Calls on Opposition to Work for Homeland’.143–64. Attila Agh. Samuel Huntington. pp. Central Asia’s New States: Independence. ‘Kyrgyzstan Trying to Rebuild its Democratic Reputation’. ‘Kirgizstan: An Inspector Calls’. 25 January 2000.133–51.5. Democracy and Democratization (London: Routledge. 1994).103–17. Journal of Theoretical Politics. 1993). For a detailed analysis on the difficulties confronting Tajikistan. 2000).3 (1990). ‘Transitions to Democracy’. Democratic Changes & Authoritarian Reactions in Russia. CO: Westview Press. Between Marx and Mohammed (London: Harper Collins. 2. p. 5. Tajikistan: Disintegration or Reconciliation (London: RIIA. Douglas Frantz.35.13. 1997).7–8. Attila Agh. The Consolidation of Democracy in EastCentral Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ukraine. OK and London: University of Oklahoma Press.105.27. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.13. 3.103dem06.4/5 (1992). The Global Resurgence of Democracy (London: John Hopkins University Press. G/1. 1997). refer to Geoffrey Pridham. New York Times. Vol. pp. For literature on the difficulties associated with democratic consolidation. Vol.81. 1997). There is a burgeoning literature on the democratic transitions within the Soviet bloc.67. Russian Politics in Transition: Institutional Conflict in a Nascent Democracy (Aldershot: Ashgate. ‘The Consolidation of Democracy and Representation of Social Groups’. Journal of Public Policy. ‘OBSE: sotrudnichestvo s Kazakhstanom prodolzhitsya’. 1996). Philippe Schmitter. John Anderson. ‘The Transition to Democracy in Central Europe: A Comparative View’.3. Douglas Blum. 10. pp. That is. The Washington Quarterly.23–64. Vol. pp. ‘President Karimov Says God is on his Side. Foreign Policy and Regional Security (Washington. 2001). p. The Economist. and John Glenn. 6. 16 January 1999.2 (1991). ‘Democratization in Eastern Europe’. Vol. Refer to Robert Dahl’s Polyarchy (New Haven. Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . 9. 7. CT: Yale University Press. pp. 1996. Nezavisimaya Gazeta. 14 March 2000.1. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late 20th Century (Norman. 1997). No. Huntington argues that the third wave of democratization began in the 1970s in the southern tier of Europe: Portugal.4 (1990). Stabilising Fragile Democracies (London: Routledge. Refer also to the literature cited in the footnotes that follow. Linkages and Interactions: Democratic Consolidation in Southern Europe’.4 (1990). Attila Agh. The International Politics of Central Asia (Manchester: Manchester University Press.

20. IMF Staff Country Report No. 1995). Dawisha and Parrott. in Geoffrey Pridham and Tatu Vanhanen. Republic of Uzbekistan: Recent Economic Developments. Linz and Stepan. 1995) p. Latin America and Eastern Europe (Aldershot: Ashgate. Vol. whose SNA data starts from 1992. IMF Staff Country Report No. p. 1986). Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe. p.111–27. ‘Regionalism in Uzbekistan’. Jon Elster.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 144 144 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N 11.4 per cent. See Kyrgyz Republic: Recent Economic Developments. (London: Ventura Litno.1–22.. this also increased from 2. 21. p. 27. A new system of economic accounting was agreed upon in 1993 called the System of National Accounts (SNA). p.173–85. 2000). 1996). No. Claus Offe and Ulrich Preuss.5 and Table B. Ibid.99/31 (Washington: IMF.979–87.16.53. 1999).1 (1994). Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 .. South America. 1994).965–78. 2000). 19. Philippe Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl.54. pp.54. 1998). and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore. See Juan J. Democratization in Eastern Europe: Domestic and International Perspectives (London: Routledge.). pp.103dem06. ‘The Conceptual Travels of Transitologists and Consolidologists: How Far to the East Should They Attempt to Go?’. This tends to exaggerate real GDP because the deflator employed is based on the (underestimated) CPI. ‘Should Transitologists Be Grounded?’.4 (1995). p. million tons in 1998.1 (Geneva: Economic Commission for Europe. University of Southampton. A good summary of these perspectives can be found in Richard Samuels’s unpublished doctoral thesis entitled Evaluating the Support for Democracy in Post-Communist Europe: The Case of Poland (Southampton: Department of Politics. Vol.).16. Transitions to Democracy: Comparative Perspectives from Southern Europe. refer to the 27th Congress of the Communist Party in Current Soviet Policies IX: The Documentary Record of the 27th Congress of the Communist Party (Columbus: The Current Digest of the Soviet Press. Uzbekistan 6. idem. 18.3 million tons in 1997 to 6. 2001). p. 1996).54.4 (1995) pp. 13.1–11. 17. Dankwart A. Crude oil increased from 5.5. 24. ‘Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model’.8. Vol.72.1 (1995) pp. Institutional Design in Post-Communist Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 12. 14. The Consolidation of Democracy. in Yaacov Ro’i (ed. Linz and Alfred Stepan. 15. p.2 per cent and Turkmenistan 4 per cent.1 (1994). Slavic Review. IMF Staff Country Report No. ‘The Social Requisites of Democracy Revisited’. 16. See Pridham’s division of democratic transition literature into functional and genetic approaches in his ‘Democratic Transitions in Theory and Practice’: Southern European Lessons for Eastern Europe’.59. idem.15 of the Appendix. Biryukov and Sergeyev. See Demian Vaisman.6. No. pp.00/36 (Washington: IMF. Economic Survey of Europe 2000. p. Annual Report 2000 of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Valerie Bunce. No. No.8. No. Rustow.5 million tons in 1997 to 4 million tons in 1998.99/140 (Washington: IMF. MD: John Hopkins University Press.173.4 per cent. 23. Slavic Review. except Turkmenistan. ‘From an Iron Curtain to a Paper Curtain: Grounding Transitologists or Students of Postcommunism?’. See Turkmenistan: Recent Economic Developments. 2000). All CIS countries have reworked economic data since 1990 to fit this standard. Kazakhstan 4. See Seymour Martin Lipset. Much of the Turkmen share of this is exported after refining. Slavic Review. For a record of Soviet denunciations.89. ‘Paper Curtains and Paper Tigers’. pp. 26. 22. 25. Output also benefitted from increased production of oil as a result of new technology. in Geoffrey Pridham (ed. 1999). American Sociological Review. Between 1971 and 1980 the growth figures were as follows: Kyrgyzstan 4. Slavic Review. World Development Report 1996: From Plan to Market (New York: Oxford University Press. Vol. Muslim Eurasia: Conflicting Legacies (London: Frank Cass. No. It should also be noted that the IMF concludes that the manner in which the official state consumer price index is calculated tends to underestimate price rises. Vol.

Refer to Emine Gürgen. See National Human Development Report. 1999).eurasiannet. Jeni Klugman. 41. 2001). p. Jones and Revenga. 2001). 1999).74–5. Making Transition Work for Everyone: Poverty and Inequality in Europe and Central Asia (Washington: World Bank. p. pp. 2000). ‘In the Hot Zone’.14.27. 1998).3. 1 August 2000. Inequality. Human Development Report 1999: Uzbekistan. Household Welfare in Central Asia (London: Macmillan. recalibration was necessary because of the need to reassess household consumption patterns. Human Development Report 1998: Turkmenistan. pp.9-10. David Easton. Income. ‘Clashes in Southern Regions’.28. 1997).64–6. p. p. Tajikistan.16–17.32–3. Human Development Report 1998: Turkmenistan. 36. Human Development Report 2001: Uzbekistan (Tashkent: UNDP. Jimmy McHugh. 37. 1999). pp.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 145 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 145 28. 34. The Times of Central Asia. A Systems Analysis of Political Life (Chicago. Branko Milanovic. 44. On the problems of estimating absolute poverty see Falkingham. p. <www.94. Islam in the CIS: A Threat to Stability (London: RIIA. p. 1999). Sheila Marnie and John Micklewright (eds). Human Development Report: 1999: Uzbekistan. and Human Development Report 1999: Turkmenistan. Morgan Liu. 1999).74–92.103dem06. 31. 20 and Jane Falkingham.art Ltd.42–60.57 and Rezul’taty Vyborochnogo. p. 1998). pp. Chapter 5 on the evolution of terms of trade. 40. 7 per cent of GDP in Uzbekistan and 12–18 per cent in Turkmenistan. 30 September 1999. (Tashkent: Centre for Economic Research. Rezul’taty Vyborochnogo Obsledovaniya Monitoringa Bednocti (Bishkek: National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic. 29. 1998).94 and National Human Development Report 2000: Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek: ST. Uroven Zhizni Naseleniya v Kazakhstane (Almaty: Statistics Agency of the Kazakh Republic. Turkmenistan.64. Newsweek. ‘Evaluating the Appeal of Islam in the Ferghana Valley’. 2001). This has been re-evaluated and the rate quoted by the UNDP is now 42. pp. 1999).189 and Kazakhstan Human Development Report: Challenges for 2000 (Almaty: Akyl Kitaby. Economic Reforms in Kazakhstan. ‘Surveying Households in Central Asia’ in Jane Falkingham. Welfare in Transition. 39.211–13. 2000). pp. Harry Snoek.org>. How Moving to World Prices Affects the Terms of Trade in 15 Countries of the Former Soviet Union. p. 35.3. It was estimated in 1995 that the unofficial economy produced the equivalent of 34 per cent of GDP in Kazakhstan. p.00/29 (Washington: IMF. 43. From Security to Uncertainty: The Impact of Economic Change on Child Welfare in Central Asia.94. 2000). and Poverty during the Transition from Planned to Market Economy (Washington: World Bank. Unicef-Innocenti Working Paper No. pp. p. The problem arises because the poverty level is calculated from the cost of a basket of goods. 2000). For an example of this see Christine Jones and Ana Revenga (eds).57.26–9. and Republic of Uzbekistan. (Ankara: Ajans-Türk. Ivailo Izvorski and Ron van Rooden. For figures on this see Istochniki Sredstv Sushchectvovaniya Naseleniya Respubliki Kazakhstana [Sources of Income of the Population of Kazakhstan] (Almaty: Statistics Agency of the Kazakh Republic. IL: John Wiley and Sons. 1965).1. (Tashkent: Center for Economic Research. Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . Kyrgyzstan v Tsifrakh (Bishkek: National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic. Christian Caryl.147. Kyrgyz Republic. 1993). Welfare in Transition: Trends in Poverty and Well-being in Central Asia (London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. pp. p. Human Development Report 1999: Uzbekistan. On how to calculate the impact of the changing terms of trade on GDP see David Tarr. p. Working Paper WPS 1074 (Washington: World Bank. 8 October 2001.38–43. Jane Falkingham. 38. p. 2000). Appendix D. The figures for 1997 originally quoted a poverty rate of 51 per cent (World Bank and National Statistics). Yaacov Ro’i.268. and Jane Falkingham and John Micklewright. 42. 33. Rezul’taty Vyborochnogo. p. 32. p. p. pp.282. Staff Country Report No. 30. 2000). World Development Report 2000/2001 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. and Uzbekistan (Washington: International Monetary Fund.76 (Florence: Tipografia. also refer to Republic of Kazakhstan: Selected Issue and Statistical Appendix.9 per cent. p.95. Jon Craig. pp. p. Appendix A.

Ibid.. idem. James Davies. Development and Human Security: The Challenges of Poverty and Inequality (London: Pluto Press.103dem06. 1999).eurasianet. Refer to Nursultan Nazarbaev. p. ‘Clashes in Southern Regions’. 51. 1993). 1999). ‘Frustration Builds Among Uzbeks in Southern Kyrgyzstan’. 66. 56. 23. Relative Deprivation and Social Justice: A Study of Attitudes to Social Inequality in Twentieth Century England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. The Politics of the Developing Areas. 57. 53. 58.. p.27. 48. p. I wish to thank Richard Samuels for bringing this range of literature to my attention. American Sociological Review. 50. 55. 26 March 2001.30.17.49. For unemployment rates see Kyrgyzstan Common Country Assessment. p.6. <www. p.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 146 146 D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N 45. 52. ‘Ideological Consolidation of the Society as an Essential Prerequisite to Kazakhstan’s Progress’. Identity. 62..4 per cent of the population. 1985). p. See Natsional’nyi Sostav Naseleniya Respubliki Kazakhstana (Almaty: Statistics Agency of the Kazakh Republic. ‘Opposition Says Authorities Put Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 . who constitute 53. CA: Hoover Institution Press. 61. Kazakhstan Weekly. 67. National Human Development. 54. Ibid. pp. See Alexander Bennigsen and S.1. 1987). ‘Toward a Theory of Revolution’. ‘Batken Residents Furious Over Secret Kyrgyz-Uzbek Deal’.1 per cent household poverty in 1999. pp.30.eurasianet. p. 23 January 2001. Kazakhstan Human Development Report. p. 46. p. 49. No. without allowing for savings introduced by economies of scale in the household. Enders Wimbush.9.286–7 and Statistical Yearbook 1999: Republic of Kazakhstan. For a detailed breakdown of industrial and agricultural production see Kyrgyzstan v Tsifrakh. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.34. ‘Chinobnichii Proizbol Mozhet Privecti K Tragedii’. ‘Introduction: A Functional Approach to Comparative Politics’. Compared to Kazakhs.1 (1962). 69. G/1. p.80. p.196–9. National Human Development Report. the poverty rate was 77 per cent in Jalal-abad Oblast and 67. 64. p. Ibid. 59. in Gabriel Almond and James Coleman. Based on individual poverty. In the following discussion ethnic and sub-ethnic divisions are treated as cleavages. p. ch. 64–8 65. 4 April 2001. 1999). Nezavizimaya Gazeta. For English language sources see Kyrgyzstan Common Country Assessment. Caroline Thomas. Cummings. (Princeton.50. 63. p. Global Governance.1–3. <www.G. Competition. 2000). 60. 25 April 2001.65.eurasianet. and Electoral Availability: The Stabilisation of European Electorates 1885–1985 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. National Human Development Report. 1966). The Kazakhs (Stanford. pp. Runciman.15. Hurst & Company. p. p. 3 September.21. 1990). NJ: Princeton University Press. For statistics that give a slightly higher figure refer to Kyrgyzstan Common Country Assessment (Bishkek: UNDP. ‘Protestors Demand Election Rerun’. 1 November 2000. 47. On the three qualities of social cleavages refer to Stefano Bartolini and Peter Mair.org>. p.6 and Suparmurat Turkmenbashi.30.21. and Olcott. pp.org>.11. p. Muslims of the Soviet Empire: A Guide (London: C. p. ‘IMU Gradually Developing into Pan-Central Asian Movement’. Central Asia’s New States. See Kyrgyzstan v Tsifrakh.29. pp. 1999. The Times of Central Asia. Arslan Koichev.28 and 29.25. Gabriel Almond.1–2. Address to the Peoples of Turkmenistan (Ankara: Nurol. Martha Brill Olcott. These divisions have empirical and normative elements. pp. <www.214. Talas had a rate of 69. Vol.82.org>.65. 68.7 per cent in Osh Oblast. Alisher Khamidov. Kyrgyzstan Common Country Assessment. p. 15 December 1993. (Almaty: Statisitics Agency of the Kazakh Republic. No.5. 1960). Ahmed Rashid. W. p. so that they can be referred to as conscious social divisions and such divisions are often expressed in organizational terms.

That is. No. Down Two Protest Rallies on 24 December’. 1995).394 respectively compared to Dashoguz . Vol. No. For an excellent analysis of how President Nazarbayev and his family have used his office to amass a personal fortune see Martha Brill Olcott.102 (first published in Russia in 1822). Human Development Report 2001: Turkmenistan (Ashgabat: UNDP. The Human Development Index rankings for Ashgabat and Balkan were 0. p. ‘Return of the Citizen’. . Will Kymlicka and Wayne Norman. pp. 77. p. in idem. $3. Mary. Democracy and the Welfare State.139–78.50.756 respectively. No. The Times of Central Asia. International Security. ‘Democratization and War’. For coverage of these events refer to ‘Terrorist Take Hostages at Batken Region of Osh Oblast’. pp. p.103dem06. Kazakhstan Weekly. strong civil society and media. 1999). p.760 and 0.1 and ‘Captive Japanese Geologists Freed in Southern Kyrgyzstan’. p. 28 October 1999. Nursultan Nazarbaev. 86. in Falkingham et al. ‘A Look at Income Inequality’. Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic? (New York: Oxford University Press. Ibid. 12 August 1999.100. 87. p. 73. On the historical antagonisms between the Turkmen see Mehmet Saray.4.100. 82.711 for Mary and Dashoguz respectively. Unfortunately there is little information available on this.74.304. p. Journal of European Public Policy. 85. Many thanks to Rob Frith for bringing this literature to my attention.6. G/3. Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise (Washington. ‘Democratization and the Danger of War’. 74. Karimov. See Christine Jones and Ana Revenga.qxd 03/07/03 14:44 Page 147 ECONOM I C TRANSI TI ON I N CENTRAL A S I A 147 70. pp. Turkmenbashi. Lebap and Akhal which were $2. Uzbekistan on the Threshold of the 21st Century (Surrey: Curzon Press.1. also idem. See Fritz Scharpf.. Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 26 Aline Coudouel et al.1 (1997). ‘Ideological Consolidation of the Society as an Essential Prerequisite to Kazakhstan’s Progress’. Theorising Citizenship (New York: State University of New York Press. Human Development Report 1999: Uzbekistan. p. public monitoring of state activity. idem. 1997). For a full list of Turkmen tribes and a precise breakdown of the size and location of these groups see Bennigsen and Wimbush.79–97. DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.3 (1995). 83.5–38. The Turkmens in the Age of Imperialism (Ankara: Turkish Historical Society Printing House. The major oil fields of Nebit-Dag and Kotur-Tepe are located in the Balkan region. ‘Economic Integration. 72.107. 75. 76.505 and $4.123 respectively. ‘Regional Differences in Living Standards in Uzbekistan’. the opposition rallies demanding democracy which were suppressed in Turkmenistan. Vaisman. 81.17.1 (1995).7000 and 0.. 2001). transparency of procedures. The Times of Central Asia.18–36.497.26. 2002). p. The per capita income of Balkan and Ashgabat were $8. 79.. 15 December 1993. all of which act to prevent ‘state capture’ by a governing elite for private rather than public gain. 71. institutional accountability. Vol. Human Development Report 1999: Uzbekistan. 78.999 and $5. 80. 1977). Islam Karimov. No.909. pp. in Ronald Beiner.20.129. For example. 84. Making Transition Work. compared to 0. pp. ‘Protestors Demand Election Rerun’ and ‘Opposition says Authorities Put Down Two Protest Rallies’. p. $2. Vol. p. 29 December 2000. Foreign Affairs. 1989) and Nikolay Murav’yov. Journey to Khiva through the Turkoman Country (London: Oguz Press. Downloaded by [University of Cambridge] at 00:18 01 February 2012 Manuscript accepted for publication July 2002. p. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. the protests by Russians in north Kazakhstan and the demonstrations shortly after Akaev’s election in southern Kyrgyzstan.62–3. p.6.

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