The State as Investment Market: Kyrgyzstan in Comparative Perspective
Based on a detailed examination of Kyrgyzstan, Johan Engvall goes well beyond the case of this single country to elaborate a broad theory of economic corruption in developing post-Soviet states regionally—as a rational form of investment market for political elites. He reveals how would-be officials invest in offices to obtain access to income streams associated with those offices. Drawing on extensive fieldwork over an eight-year period, Engvall details how these systems work and the major implications this holds for political and economic development in the region. Often identified and criticized simply as obstacles to development by scholars, Engvall instead argues that these systems must be reinterpreted in the context of a standardized and entrenched method of organizing the state. He also shows how private actors have been unsuccessful in buying preferential treatment directly from the state. Instead, public officials have become the predominant conduit to influencing policy process and monitoring the sale of protection, property rights, and other privatized “public” goods.
China in Eurasia: Revisiting BRI amidst the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
This paper discusses China’s trade and connectivity plans under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Eurasian region and the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Chinese […]
ISDP Annual Report 2023
ISDP’s Annual Report for the year 2023. We look back on 2023, a year in which tensions and conflicts captured the strategic space in ISDP’s focus areas, making headlines around […]
IN DEFENSE OF THE LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL ORDER
In recent years, the geopolitical fight for global economic, diplomatic, and institutional control has acutely intensified, accentuating the crisis in the existing post-World War II Liberal International Order (LIO), championed […]
India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: Will It Get Subsumed by Its Grand Vision?
The recently concluded Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in New Delhi under India’s presidency was, undoubtedly, a crowning moment for India. From providing the G20 with new relevance among the […]
Promise And Peril In The Caucasus
America’s national security bureaucracy separates the Caucasus and the Middle East into different bureaus, with Central Asia in yet another office. This is part of the reason the U.S. has […]