Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 75–89 | Cite as

Do Russia and China promote autocracy in Central Asia?

  • Inna Melnykovska
  • Hedwig Plamper
  • Rainer SchweickertEmail author
Policy Brief


The purpose of our paper is to contribute to the literature on autocracy promotion by analyzing Central Asia as the most-likely case, considering both Russia and China as relevant external actors. We develop a concept for our analysis based on the different strategies of Russia and China towards the region and present the results of a qualitative study of the main dimensions of autocracy promotion (regional organizations, economic cooperation, and interference and threat). Based on this qualitative study, we define variables measuring the potential for autocracy promotion and test our hypotheses using panel data for 24 post-communist countries. The somewhat surprising result of our analysis is that, in contrast to Russia's dominance mode of operation, China's doing-business approach towards its neighbors in Central Asia may have—although unintentionally—even positive effects in terms of improving governance and undermining autocratic structures.


Regional Organization Central Asian Country Autocratic Regime Shanghai Cooperation Organization Central Asian State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inna Melnykovska
    • 1
  • Hedwig Plamper
    • 2
  • Rainer Schweickert
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Social Sciences at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and Institute for East-European Studies at the Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Kiel Institute for the World EconomyKielGermany

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