Public administration developments in post-Soviet Central Asia

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In the West, everybody is now talking about the economic and financial crisis. The term ‘’crisis” has become a buzzword within both academic and policy communities. There is an enormous upsurge of scholarly interest in the effects of this crisis on public administration systems, and the role that public administration plays in these processes. The underlying belief is that the public administration through the knowledge, competence, professionalism, commitment, strategic foresight and the action of its human resources can play a crucial role in mitigating the adverse effects of the crisis. The NISPAcee region is no exception to these debates. It is apparent that the current crisis is having, and will continue to have, a huge impact on patterns of governance in the NISPAcee region, thereby bringing fresh attention to the issue of the role of public administration in preventing such crises. This might imply that each country is compelled to reexamine and reform its institutionalized paradigm of public administration and governance.

It should be noted that not all countries in the NISPAcee region are affected by the crisis. The issue of crisis loses its importance when it comes to the five ‘stans‘ of the NISPAcee region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The ‘crisis’ is not the main issue of concern in Central Asian public administration debates, since Central Asian countries have been minimally affected by the global economic crisis. With the exception of Kyrgyzstan, all Central Asian countries are recording GDP growth up to 8-10 per cent annually. Thus, public administration debates in Central Asian countries have little to do with the interplay between the economic crisis and public administration systems; rather, the greatest emphases of public administration debates in post-Soviet Central Asia has been on issues of authoritarianism, kleptocracy and corruption, clans and regional patronage networks, persistence of administrative command methods, ethnic diversity management, and religious fundamentalism and extremism. While public administration reforms in Central and Eastern Europe were motivated by EU accession incentives, there was no real incentive for post-Soviet Central Asian governments to reform their public administration systems. Although significant differences do exist among the Central Asian states, the analysis of public administration developments since 1991 shows that Central Asian countries have made a limited progress toward establishing democratic governance and rule of law. I will elaborate more on these in subsequent sections.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Past, Present and Future of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe
EditorsMirko Vintar, Allan Rosenbaum, Gyorgy Jenei, Wolfgang Drechsler
Number of pages303
Place of PublicationBratislava
PublisherNISPAcee Press
Publication date15 May 2013
ISBN (Print)978-80-89013-66-1
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013
MoE publication typeB2 Book chapter

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