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Kazakhstan’s Emerging Economy

Between State and Market


Roman Vakulchuk

Kazakhstan has become a successful market reformer under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. But what type of a market economy has emerged in the country since 1991? This book focuses on Kazakhstan’s transition path, examines the role of the state in steering economic processes, and analyses the state – business interaction. The Varieties of Capitalism approach and a core – periphery analytical framework are applied to classify the evolving model of capitalist economy in the country in detail. The research design is based on a qualitative cross-sectional interview study, where 159 semi-structured interviews were conducted. This study makes an innovative contribution to the scholarly literature on the economic and institutional transition of Kazakhstan.
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Chapter 6. Conclusions


Under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has achieved remarkable economic progress since 1991. The country’s market-oriented reform path has been distinct in many respects. This book has studied the emerging market economy in Kazakhstan and its institutional structure after 20 years of independence, in order to contribute to a better understanding of the economic development path of the country. It has provided a detailed description of market institutions and the interaction between various economic actors. The main research question sought to investigate what type of market economy has been emerging in Kazakhstan. Through qualitative data collection, an in-depth description of Kazakhstan’s economy was provided. In particular, this research project has studied the role of the state in steering economic processes, and has analysed interaction between the state and private business, labour unions and employer associations.

The findings build on a literature review conducted according to the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) approach. Moreover, 159 semi-structured interviews were conducted in Kazakhstan in 2009 and 2010. Thus, the findings also draw on the perceptions and views expressed by a large number of political actors directly involved in the decision-making and reform process, as well as economic players in selected industries who are the drivers of economic processes in Kazakhstan. Methodologically, the use of content analysis proved effective in analysing semi-structured interviews. It helped to identify respondents’ perceptions and views on state–business interaction, inter-firm relations and the role and influence of other market players (labour unions and employer associations)...

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