Kyrgyzstan is in the midst of historic political upheaval, spurred on by nearly three decades of government misrule, a frustrated civil society and the rise of unsavory criminal groups to positions of power. The Central Asian nation looks set for more volatility—and the Kyrgyz people will pay the price.
Like the rest of the world, Central Asian states and societies are being stress-tested by the COVID-19 pandemic. Can they withstand the storm?
Almost 30 years after the collapse of the USSR, Central Asian citizens are growing tired of stagnating economies, rampant corruption, and their governments’ empty promises. In 2019, they made it clear they want improved services, more transparency in decision-making, and better opportunities.
The EU will need to increase its visibility in Central Asia if it wants to have influence in a region facing immense challenges from China and India, but also from Afghanistan and threats of terrorism.
Unlike in Russia and Kazakhstan, an effort in Kyrgyzstan to carefully orchestrate the transition of power backfired.
Brighter prospects for Central Asian integration come amid political and economic liberalization in Uzbekistan, hardening authoritarianism elsewhere in the region, widespread economic distress, and China’s growing influence—the five major trends that marked Central Asia in 2018.
The five states of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — mark 27 years of independence in 2018.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era.
Kyrgyzstan could yet evolve into an island of pluralism with stable institutions, but global and domestic trends may be pointing it in a different direction.
A prerequisite to building an effective anticorruption approach is an intimate—and unflinching—examination of the specifics of corrupt operations in the individual country of interest and its physical and electronic neighborhoods.