KYRGYZSTAN: INSTITUTINAL TRANSFORMATIONS AS A WAY TO OVERCOME THE “TRAPS OF DEVELOPMENT”

E. S. Glazova

Ekaterina S. Glazova, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Vernadskogo prosp., 76, Moscow, 119454, Russia.

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Abstract. This article examines the features of political development of Kyrgyzstan — a politically unstable country which experienced a violent regime transition. The research is built around the analysis of informal norms and practices which regulate the sphere of socio-political relations (the so-called «kyrgyzchylyk») in Kyrgyzstan. Clans are singled out as main organizational units (actors) of the informal field in Kyrgyzstan, since they are the effective informal structures operating in collusion with the legitimate power. The author identifies factors which enabled clans to adjust to the changes and to effectively function under different regimes. Due regard for the special features of the post-Soviet period of Kyrgyz society development has enabled the author to identify two types of traps — “the poor governance trap” and the conflict trap” (P. Collier) in Kyrgyz political process. The research evaluates the new formal norm-creation process aimed at the transformation of the system of group interests’ representation after the 2010 conflict. Thus, it was observed that the official institutions had been modified to adapt to the country’s horizontal self-organization of the actors (clans) and the heterogeneity of Kyrgyz society. The consensus of the main political elites has led to the parliamentary structure of the political system and to the redistribution of powers between the formal actors — the President, the Government, the Parliament, the Judiciary, on the one hand, and the emerging civil society institutions, on the other. At the same time, favorable conditions were created to formally represent ethnic group interests, the Uzbek minority group in particular. The resulting institutional changes are perceived as positive with a view to overcoming the institutional imbalance.

Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, “color revolutions”, political instability, formal and informal institutions “traps of development”, institutional balance, effectiveness of political institutions

DOI: 10.31429/26190567-20-4-49-62