Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-11042015-083036

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale
Thesis title
Central Asia and its countries: The political and economic development after the collapse of the Soviet Union
Course of study
relatore Prof. Mangani, Andrea
  • regional cooperation and integration
  • State capitalism
  • structural change
  • foreign direct investment
  • sectoral and geographical concentration of exports
  • export-oriented economies
  • raw-material economy
  • export revenues
  • remittances
  • Islam
  • multi-vector foreign policy
  • models of economic development
  • nationalism
  • democratization
  • clan-based super-presidential regimes
  • authoritarianism
  • Uzbekistan
  • collapse of the Soviet Union
  • independence
  • post-Soviet space
  • political and economic transition
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Central Asia
Graduation session start date
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the formation of a new geopolitical reality in the post-Soviet space with the emergence in 1991 of five new independent states in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and a complete transformation of their political and economic systems. The purpose of this study is the institutional and socio-economic evolution of the Central Asian region (CAR) and its states after
Chapter I defines geographically the different possible boundaries of the Central Asian region, which over the centuries were part of different empires, kingdoms, and states, and the population of which historically de jure and de facto never had their independent national statehood until 1991. The study also focuses on the consequences of the policy of the ethnic and territorial division adopted in the Soviet era in Central Asia on the current political instability in the region.
The chapter analyzes the features and results of the transformation of the Soviet political system into a Western democratic system in the CAR. Why did Central Asian countries abandon communism for democracy, then turn to authoritarian rule? This paper proposes a theoretical framework, which discusses the durability and sustainability of the super-presidential regimes in the region, and the key factors that have largely determined the failure of a democratic transition in all five post-Soviet Central Asian states. Special attention is given to the issues of political legitimacy of the current authoritarian regimes and the prospects of further democratic modernization.
Chapter II is devoted to an analysis of the main features and results of the socio-economic transformation of the Soviet planned economy to a market economy in Central Asian states. The research area includes an analysis of the structural changes in the five Central Asian economies. State capitalism and critical dependence on external factors have become today the main common features of all these economies.
In particular, the second chapter describes the restrictions imposed on the Central Asian commodity and labor exported economies and the protectionist policies adopted by national governments. Protectionist policies are aimed at reducing the economies’ vulnerability to external shocks, which are due to the high sectorial and geographical concentration of exports, significant migrants’ remittances and consistent inflows of foreign direct investments. The chapter discusses the issues of regional cooperation and integration and the perspectives of sustainable economic development in the states of Central Asia.
Finally, this study highlights the emerging challenges associated with the intersection of the competitive multidirectional interests of the major world powers, which consistently expand and strengthen their control over the natural resources of the CAR. Through different economic instruments, such as providing loans and investments, or the formation of alternative macro-regional integration projects in Eurasia, they seek to achieve their ambitious strategic objectives in Central Asia.