Turkmenistan: Grasping for Legitimacy

July 2017

Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov attempted to use sham democratic elections in February 2017 to bolster his legitimacy both at home and abroad. 


Central Asia’s Globalized Despots

July 2017

A review of Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia by Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw.


25 Years After the USSR: What’s Gone Wrong?

July 2016

A quarter-century after the Soviet breakup, democracy has hardly fared well across the vast Eurasian landmass. Why has this seemingly promising gain for freedom produced such disappointing results?

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The Quest for Good Governance: Georgia’s Break with the Past

January 2016

Much can be done to uproot graft when a major event such as the Rose Revolution sweeps in a determined new team on a wave of massive public support.


Europe and Azerbaijan: The End of Shame

July 2015

A few years ago, Europe’s most important intergovernmental human-rights institution, the Council of Europe, crossed over to the dark side. Like Dorian Gray, the dandy in Oscar Wilde’s story of moral decay, it sold its soul. And as with Dorian Gray, who retained his good looks, the inner decay of the Council of Europe remains hidden from view.

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