Central Asia Policy Briefs Central Asia Program Series Publications

Moving beyond the Leadership “Parlor Game”: Foreign Investment and the Succession Issue in Kazakhstan

Central Asia Policy Brief No. 8, March 2013

By J. Edward Conway

While it is no doubt true that the system of government in Kazakhstan concentrates power heavily in the executive branch, the mistake is to assume that an overly powerful executive and an overly centralized government are synonymous.

No matter who leads the country after Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan will likely continue to separate itself from the other Central Asian states as the preeminent destination for foreign direct investment in the region.

The status quo might not be desirable for advocates of free speech and hu-man rights, but for foreign investors, more of the same is a net positive.

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