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The Emergence of Developmental States from a New Institutionalist Perspective

A Comparative Analysis of East Asia and Central Asia


Manuel Stark

This book addresses the relevance of institutional arrangements in East Asian developmental states for the Central Asian countries. It is argued that the Central Asian transition countries share crucial similarities with the economies of East Asia. By a detailed analysis of historical developments in Northeast and Southeast Asia, a coherent and comprehensive model of the developmental state on the basis of the New Institutional Economics is developed in this book. This model is applied to Central Asia by a comparative study on the basis of semi-structured interviews that were carried out in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Both Central Asian countries show notable similarities but also crucial differences to the East Asian developmental states.


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193 7 Economic transition in Central Asia: A short overview 7.1 The Russian and Soviet legacy in Central Asia 7.1.1 The advent of Russian colonialism As was noted in the case studies on the East Asian developmental states, the dif- fering colonial heritage of each country has been considered to be among the key explanatory factors for diverging paths of institutional development. Espe- cially in South Korea and Taiwan, the legacy of Japan is commonly argued to have contributed crucially to the emergence of developmental states. In contrast to East Asia, Central Asia was ruled for more than a century by a single, foreign power: the Russian Empire and the Russian-dominated Soviet Union that suc- ceeded it. In this section, some basic characteristics of the Russian colonialism will be outlined. On historic and cultural grounds, the area that is today occupied by Kazakh- stan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan can be divided into two broad regions: the Kazakh steppe to the North and Turkestan, also referred to as Central Asia proper, to the South (Clem, 1992; see also Pomfret, 1995, p. 19). While both regions together form Central Asia according to the definition that is most commonly used today (and also used within this study), their colo- nial history and legacy differ in some aspects. The Russian annexation of the Kazakh steppe began during the reign of Pe- ter the Great in 1715, but was not completed until the mid 19th century (Hiro, 2009, p. 20–21). At this time,...

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