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XII. Central Asia Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union: Economic reforms and their impact on state-society relations

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Chapter Summary

In late 1991, with the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union, the five Central Asian republics became independent countries. The completely unexpected challenges of nation-building were superimposed on the transition from a centrally planned economy. Within the common bounds of resource-based economies and autocratic regimes, the five countries gradually became more differentiated as their governments introduced diverse national strategies for transition to a market-based economy. This chapter describes the different economic policies adopted by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and analyzes the outcomes. The Central Asian region was once part of the Greater Middle East (GME). In October 1996, however, despite having made commitments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to adopt current account convertibility, Uzbekistan responded to a balance of payments crisis by introducing forex controls. The forex controls became symptomatic of Uzbekistan glacially slow progress on economic reforms since 1996.

Keywords: Central Asia; economic policies; economic reforms; Greater Middle East (GME); International Monetary Fund (IMF); Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; market-based economy; Turkmenistan



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