Kazakhstan’s June Referendum: Accelerating Reform
The violence of January 2022 exposed both the demand for greater change in Kazakhstan’s society, as well as elite conflicts involving influential forces seeking to block President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s reform initiatives. As President Tokayev emerged from the crisis with greater authority over the country’s governing institutions, he fast-tracked a political reform package planned for later in the year, and submitted it to a nationwide referendum scheduled for June 5. The changes envisaged accelerate the pace of reform in the country, but remain within the fundamental paradigm of top-led gradual change to the system that has been Tokayev’s intention since his election in 2019. Conditions for their implementation will not be easy, given a difficult economic and geopolitical environment. Still, these reforms represent a shift: while earlier reforms sought to build participatory and competitive politics only very slowly at the local level, the current reform package envisages a gradual liberalization of the political system at all levels in order for the system to maintain its legitimacy.
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 […]
Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.
The issue isn’t what Sweden says or does but what the United States does or fails to do on the ground in Syria that matters for Turkey’s national security interests. […]
TURKISH QUAGMIRE: WHY TURKEY BLOCKS SWEDEN’S NATO ACCESSION
Turkey was bound to have issues with Sweden and its pro-Kurdish stance, and singled out Sweden because of its longstanding commitment to Kurdish aspirations. However, it is the continued US […]
Joe Biden’s Approach To Eurasia Is Stuck In The Past
Introduction: With considerable pomp and circumstance, the Biden administration recently unveiled its signature National Security Strategy. The document, intended as an authoritative expression of the Administration’s priorities in the field of […]
Learning from Kazakhstan’s January Crisis
Introduction: In January 2022, Kazakhstan went through an unprecedented crisis. While it was since overshadowed in the eyes of the world by the events in Ukraine, Kazakhstan’s crisis marked a […]
Between Bandits and Bureaucrats: 30 Years of Parliamentary Development in Kyrgyzstan
Executive Summary: In 2010, Kyrgyzstan took a decisive step towards establishing a parliamentary form of government. A decade later, the parliamentary experiment had, at least for the time being, come […]