nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2012‒03‒28
one paper chosen by
Koen Schoors
Ghent University

  1. External Drivers of Institutional Change in Central Asia – Regional Integration Schemes and the Role of Russia and China By Rainer Schweickert, Inna Melnykovska , Hedwig Plamper

  1. By: Rainer Schweickert, Inna Melnykovska , Hedwig Plamper
    Abstract: Russia and China are assumed to challenge democratization and to promote autocracy. In a first step, we analyze Central Asia as the most-likely case, considering both Russia and China as relevant external actors. We develop a concept for our analysis based on the different strategies of Russia (dominance) and China (doing-business) towards the region and present the results of a qualitative study of the main dimensions of autocracy promotion with respect to regional and bilateral schemes. In a second step, we extend a previous framework (Melnykovska and Schweickert 2011) and provide econometric evidence based on a panel of post-socialist countries. We show that bilateral schems are (still) more relevant for external influences in Central Asia and that (unintentionally) China’s doing-business approach may in fact promote institutional change. Arguably, democratization should not be a precondition for cooperation as in European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) but rather be promoted by sweeping economic cooperation incentives
    Keywords: Central Asia, China, Russia, Governance, Regional Integration, Trade, Minorities, Military Threat
    JEL: F53 F59
    Date: 2012–03

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