Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Political Science

Major Professor

Mark Amen, Ph.D.

Keywords

Kyrgyzstan, Democracy, Remittances, Migration, Regional cooperation

Abstract

The main objective of this thesis is to understand the economic, social and political impacts of globalization on the Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries in general. The empirical studies based on panel data analyses and the case study on Kyrgyzstan demonstrate that the socio-economic effect of globalization on development of these countries is twofold. On the one hand benefits produced by globalization such as migration and remittances can be useful for economic development in the short run. They take a role of a "shock absorber" of the challenges that are associated with transition to a free market economy. On the other hand, their long term economic impacts can be negative especially in the areas of industry and export. Moreover, it can have a negative effect in the future creating a loss of human capital and distorting traditional forms of social structures within societies. The political impact of globalization is also dual.

The empirical analysis that is based on simple regression analysis demonstrates that adoption of liberal democracy model by Central Asian governments is not a necessary condition for successful economic growth. Countries can be democratic and have low or medium socio-economic development such as India or Ukraine. They also can be undemocratic and developed as China or Kazakhstan. To find a certain connection between democracy and development it is needed to look at other important economic, geo-political and social factors that can contribute to the development. On the other hand regional and global challenges produced by globalization forced Central Asian countries to find a political position that would satisfy interests of inside and outside actors as well as provide proper environment for stable political and economic development.

The descriptive analysis demonstrates that Central Asian countries chose the path of political integration and cooperation by being involved in regional institutions such as SCO and EEC. This strategy can help them to withstand challenges produced by globalization and promote political stability and economic growth in the region.

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