Policy Memo # 305
Polina Sinovets 12-20-2013
Russia is one of the founding fathers of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and continues to play a major role in its framework today. Together with the United States, Moscow plays an important role in keeping the regime intact, both preventing the emergence of new nuclear states and complying with its own obligations as a leading nuclear state to work toward gradual nuclear disarmament. This memo analyzes Russia’s position on this second...
Policy Memo # 304
Arkady Moshes 12-02-2013
Tension in the relationship between Belarus and Russia has remained in the shadow of the more visible discord between Russia and Ukraine, stemming from the latter’s now-spoiled efforts to sign an Association Agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November. The quarrel between Belarus and Russia arose from a bout of assertive behavior on the part of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. For those who assume...
Policy Memo # 303
Nona Shahnazarian 10-29-2013
Co-authored with Matthew Light. This memo was revised in February 2014. This memo addresses current police reforms in the Republic of Armenia. We analyze these reforms’ origins, assess their successes and failures, and compare them with similar reforms adopted in other post-Soviet countries, notably Georgia. We find that police reforms in Armenia, as in other post-Soviet states, have been highly state- dominated though not completely insulated from...
Policy Memo # 302
Regina Smyth 09-27-2013
Since Russia’s 2011-2012 post-election protests, the Kremlin has introduced wide-ranging changes to the legal-administrative structures governing elections. This authoritarian version of electoral institutional engineering is designed to sustain a core component of regime stability—the need to maintain an aura of invincibility around the Kremlin and build a governing majority. This focus on a simple majority marks a change in the Kremlin...
Policy Memo # 301
Scott Radnitz 09-27-2013
As the war in Afghanistan winds down, the United States is at a turning point in fashioning policy toward Central Asia. If the 10 years beginning in 1991 focused broadly on issues of “transition,” or support for economic and political reform, since late 2001 policy toward the region has revolved around the Global War on Terror (GWOT), during which time domestic issues have been subordinated to security concerns. Due to the impending NATO...
Policy Memo # 300
Sebastien Peyrouse 09-27-2013
Central Asian public policies often tend to assert that an increase of GDP mechanically ensures better food security. This is a problematic assumption, however, as food security mainly affects pauperized populations for which per capita GDP does not increase at the same rate as national GDP. Existing programs for countering food insecurity are often superficial measures that do not get at the root of the problem and almost never take into account the...
Policy Memo # 299
Eric McGlinchey 09-27-2013
The nature of violent protest in Central Asia exhibits variation both in form and state response. In Kazakhstan, violent protest is rare and economically oriented, and it elicits accommodationist state responses. In Uzbekistan, violent protest is also rare, often has Islamic overtones, and elicits repressive state responses. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, violent protest is more frequent and elicits accommodationist state responses. In Kyrgyzstan, violent...
Policy Memo # 298
Marlene Laruelle 09-27-2013
This memo hopes to revisit the old Islamism/democratization paradigm in Central Asia and to provide some new avenues for debate. It sets out from three hypotheses: Generational changes underway in the region are giving rise to new ways of formulating the place of Islam in the public space; these new ways are vastly in favor of giving Islam an increased role, whether Islam is understood as an alternative ideology to the post-Soviet consensus still in...
Policy Memo # 297
Dmitry Gorenburg 09-27-2013
As the drawdown of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan has accelerated in preparation for the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2014, media attention has come to focus on the extent to which equipment being withdrawn from the region will be left behind for Central Asian states to use. At the same time, recent extensions of Russian military base agreements in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have underlined Russia’s own provision of military...
Policy Memo # 296
Adam Stulberg 09-27-2013
The changing natural gas landscape—driven by the rise of liquid natural gas (LNG) projects, unconventional boom in North America, protracted global economic slowdown, post-Fukushima recalibration in the nuclear sector, and shifting geography of demand and supply—has renewed debate over the geopolitics of Russia’s energy security. A common refrain is that the increasing interconnectedness and flexibility of global gas markets will...