Institutional Change and Political Continuity in Post-Soviet Central Asia

Power, Perceptions, and Pacts


Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

The establishment of electoral systems in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan presents both a complex set of empirical puzzles and a theoretical challenge. Why did three states with similar cultural, historical, and structural legacies establish such different electoral systems? How did these distinct outcomes result from strikingly similar institutional design processes? Explaining these puzzles requires understanding not only the outcome of institutional design but also the intricacies of the process that led to this outcome. Moreover, the transitional context in which these three states designed new electoral rules necessitates an approach that explicitly links process and outcome in a dynamic setting. This book provides such an approach. Finally, it both builds on the key insights of the dominant approaches to explaining institutional origin and change and transcends these approaches by moving beyond the structure versus agency debate.

In The Press

Review of the hardback: 'This is one of the best works of social science available on an important but dimly understood region. Luong's intensive field research and keen grasp of politics have paid off in what will become a standard work on postcommunist politics.' Steven Fish, University of California, Berkeley