Central Asia at 25
Central Asia, despite being referred to as a single region, represent five countries with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and different ways in which political and economic transformation took place in the last twenty five years since independence from the Soviet Union. Within these countries, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have relatively advanced in market reforms, while Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan still have not completed their transition to a market economy and Tajikistan represents a middle case.
In many respects, historical legacy of the 20th century and unique geographical and geopolitical location did not help Central Asian countries in their efforts for economic development and integration.
After experiencing more than a decade of growth based on hydrocarbon boom, Central Asian countries are faced with increasing challenges resulting from declining commodity prices, trade and migrant remittances. The main policy challenge is to move away from commodity-based growth strategies to macro-oriented diversification and adoption of a broad spectrum of economic, institutional and political reforms. However, structural diversification is easier said than done.
Major obstacles to the political reform and economic diversification efforts in the five Central Asian economies are posed by internal and external geopolitical factors and deeply embedded institutional weaknesses within countries, particularly in areas where economic management interacts with authoritarian political systems and legal institutions. Our analysis suggests five key policy lessons that could serve as points of departure as these countries move ahead.
This book considers several aspects of the transformation of the former state socialist countries: social and economic outcomes; forces in the transformation process; problems of consolidation of the new regimes; and alternative scenarios. The book evaluates the course of transformation of state socialist societies. It focuses on economic change and its impact on inequality and health. Comparisons are made between the successful central European countries now members of the European Union with those of the former Soviet Union. There are detailed studies of the transformation of the (former) German Democratic Republic, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, as well as the impact on Poland. A feature of the book is the impact of the collapse of state socialism on countries of Asia and the Third World. Alternative scenarios are considered, with specific chapters on China, Cuba, and North Korea. The book contemplates the alternative types of society that might replace state socialism, particularly state capitalism and market socialism.
The presented article describes evolution of the "awbash" term, which was used to determine specific groups of urban population in Iran and Central Asia. It has been confirmed that on particular stages of develpment of these groups, this term was a synonym for determination of the traditional masculine communities of luti (Iran) or ulufta (Mawara al-Nahr) in muslim cities of the Persianate world. Awbashi were deeply connected with giuld organisations and system of ward self-regulation, playing specific role in the strcuture of urban society.
The article is based on the results of the survey of migrant workers from Central Asia in Moscow and Moscow region. One of the key issues of the study was the degree of adaptation of migrants to life in the capital. The article discusses the issue both from the point of view of experts on labor migration and of the migrants themselves.
The article is devoted to the Asia-Pacifi c Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum to be held and presided by the Russian Federation in early September 2012 in Vladivostok. The article gives the background for establishing the APEC, describes its goals and decisions adopted. It defi nes the APEC's place in the global economy as the largest association of States, which accounts for more than half of global GDP and which has set ambitious targets for establishing a free trade zone, liberalizing the investment climate and promoting regional integration. The article examines the major events in the global energy sector that triggered off the structural energy crisis in the early XXI century, causing the need for ensuring a global international energy security. The author suggests that the issue of energy security as a factor in implementing the strategic objectives of the APEC's economic and social development should be put on the agenda of the Forum. In this connection, the article analyzes the Draft Convention on Ensuring International Energy Security proposed by the Russian Federation for discussion and possible adoption. The article also puts forward several proposals for deepening regional integration to promote the development of the Far East and Siberia, and the creation of a new export base and promoting the Eastern vector of the Russian foreign economic cooperation policy.
Interstate relationships in Central Asia are on the edge of crisis for decades. Therefore, here we see one of the examples of “Eurasia on the edge” concept. In this region of the Post-Soviet world the need for managing complexity is, probably, most acute. Below, I will first analyze from theoretical viewpoint combination of state weakness, interstate conflicts and failed intraregional cooperation in Central Asia. After that water and energy conflict between the states will be studied as a key determinant of interstate relations in Central Asia. I will first describe water and energy regime in Central Asia in the late Soviet period, then I will proceed with analysis of the energy and water issues after the dissolution of the USSR. I will depict the clash of national policies of the New Independent states of the region to overcome water-energy problem. This analysis will help us to understand the reasons of failed attempts to establish regional international water and energy regime.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.