Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: Features of the Transit of Power

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-2-89-99
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), Profsoyuznaya Str., 23, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The transit of power is an important and vulnerable stage in the development of political processes for any state. For States with unstable political institutions and a short history of independence, the change of the head of state is an even more serious challenge to stability. In 2016 and 2019, respectively, the two largest Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan launched power transit procedures for the first time in the history of their independence. The transit scenarios differed significantly, despite the common similarity in power structure, political culture, and stage of political development. The more closed political system of Uzbekistan at the time of the death of the first President, Islam Karimov, managed to take a consolidated approach to the choice of a successor and unite for the duration of the transit. In Kazakhstan, on the contrary, after leaving the post of President, Nursultan Nazarbayev remained a key actor in domestic political processes, creating together with his successor, the current head of the Republic, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, a bipolar political system that began to contribute to the formation of a split of the political class. One of the reasons for the distinct approaches to transit was the different model of initial capital accumulation after the collapse of the USSR, when large-scale privatization of state property in Kazakhstan created a class of large owners who actively promoted a more open and competitive political system to protect and promote their interests. In contrast to Kazakhstan, the main state property of the Uzbek SSR remained under the control of the state and quasi-state institutions, which slowed down the process of forming a class of owners independent from the state. Separately, each of the transits of power in the post-Soviet space became the object of research, but primarily from the point of view of the development of political systems. A methodological basis of the study was a systemic, comparative analysis of transit of power scenarios considering the politico-economic aspects of the privatization of state property and formation of the proprietary class.

Keywords: Political institutions, transit of power, succession of power, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, post-Soviet space, Central Asia


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For citation:
Pritchin S. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: Features of the Transit of Power. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 2, pp. 89-99.

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