At the outset of independence 10 years ago, Kazakhstan's leaders promised that the country's rich natural resources, with oil and gas reserves among the largest in the world, would soon bring economic prosperity, and it appeared that democracy was beginning to take hold in this newly independent state. A decade later, economic reform is mired in widespread corruption. A regime that flirted with democracy is now laying the foundation for family-based, authoritarian rule. This book examines the development of this ethnically diverse and strategically vital nation. Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise also looks at shortcomings of U.S. policy in the region and at the future challenges that Kazakhstan will pose to the United States and international institutions.

Reviews for this publication

"This detailed but accessible work will be the definitive work on the newly independent state of Kazakhstan."

[Olcott] one of the most active and sought-after American scholars working on Central Asia."
Middle East Policy

"[Olcott]...knows more about Kazakhstan than anyone else in the West."
The New York Review of Books

"...not only shares the lucid insights and depth of a seasoned observer, it greatly enriches the literature on post-Soviet transitions."
Foreign Affairs

"For years anyone interested in Kazakhstan has had no trouble picking the very best book on the subject: The Kazakhs by Martha Olcott. Now, at last, there's a real rival: shrewd and sensitive to the deep problems of post-Soviet politics, and—of course!—by Martha Olcott."
Stephen Sestanovich, former Ambassador at Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State

"Olcott gives us the best up-to-date account of a transition to modernity that appears to have lost its way."
Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Chicago

"A bible for understanding the country, written by a preeminent scholar."
William Courtney, former Ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia