Legal Cultures, Governance and Business Environment in Central Asia
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When: Jun 3, 2022 02:00 PM London
The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 led to the emergence of fifteen independent states, including five Central Asian republics. The political leadership of the five newly independent states of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – made all sorts of bold claims about their strong commitment to democracy, market economy, human rights and the rule of law as well as their intention to break the stranglehold of totalitarian forms of governance. The analysis of the three decades of political and economic developments in five post-Soviet Central Asian republics illustrates two parallel and contradictory patterns. On the one hand, due to the efforts of the international actors and development agencies, Central Asian countries gradually opened up to the outside world and declared their ambition to attract foreign direct investment. On the other hand, Central Asian countries are plagued by ubiquitous corruption and informal business practices which hinder and limit the flow of foreign investment to the region. As a result, the Central Asian region continues to be a challenging environment when it comes to navigating and understanding its legal culture and business and economic context. Little is known about how the Central Asian legal environment can be navigated. With these considerations in mind, in my talk I will discuss the way national and international laws, norms, and (written and unwritten) rules come to shape the business environment and governance in five Central Asian countries.
About the Speaker
Rustamjon Urinboyev is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology of Law at Lund University and Senior Researcher in Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Rustamjon works at the intersection of sociology of law and ethnography, studying migration, corruption, governance, and penal institutions in the context of Russia and Central Asia. His current research focuses on (a) migration, shadow economy, and informal legal orders in hybrid political regimes, (b) corruption, informality, and legal pluralism in Uzbekistan, and (c) informal hierarchies, religious orders, and ethnic identities in Russian penal institutions. He is the author of Migration and Hybrid Political Regimes: Navigating the Legal Landscape in Russia (2020), published by the University of California Press.