Dr Alexandr Akimov
The approach to economic reform in transition economies, including scope, speed and sequencing, or more broadly gradualism vs shock therapy, has been generally framed by scholars such Roland (2000) to what is known as political economy of transition. The framework has proved to be valid and useful in the analysis of many transition countries, particularly in Eastern and South Eastern Europe. It implicitly assumes strive for development and economic growth coming from the general population, which has an ability to influence the decisions of their policy-makers through democratic election process. However, it does not seem to be particularly useful in the analysis of reforms (or their lack) in countries, where post-communist regimes turned authoritarian. By the end of 1990s, all Central Asian regimes of former Soviet Union could be classified as authoritarian albeit in the varying degree (Jones Luong 2002). The aim of the paper is to examine financial reforms in two countries of post-communist Central Asia, which share common Soviet past, have close geographical location, cultural, language and religious ties. Yet, their approach to economic reform was rather different. As a consequence, outcomes of those reforms varied. The difference is especially noticeable in the aftermath of the global financial crisis (GFC). In this paper I attempted to link the theoretical literature on political economy of reforms in authoritarian countries with approaches taken by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan leaderships.
Alexandr Akimov is a Senior Lecturer in Banking and Finance at Griffith University and a member of Griffith Asia Institute. He holds a PhD in financial economics from the University of New England as well as CFA and ERP professional designations. In addition to academic appointments, Alexandr has held the risk management appointments at the National Bank of Uzbekistan. He is an active member of several professional and research associations and is currently a President of Australasian Association for Communist and Post-communist Studies (AACaPS) and is Australian representative at International Council for Central and Eastern European Studies (ICCEES) Executive Committee.
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