by Joshua Foust on 4/11/2011 · 1 comment

David J. Kramer and and Sam Patten write for the Washington Post:

Unfortunately, Nazarbayev’s record as president since his country gained independence in 1991 shows that Kazakhstan is moving away from, not closer to, a democratic system of government. Indeed, the profound disconnect between reality in Kazakhstan and Nazarbayev’s assertions resembles other authoritarian regimes where leaders seek to wrap themselves in some form of democratic legitimacy.

And so on. Amazing how the tune changes when you’re not directly sponsored by the Kazakh government, eh?

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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Caomengde April 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Interestingly, in private and on internet forums, many young Kazakhs in China speak rather approvingly of Nazarbayev. Is this a case of the West and the East, the twin shall never meet?

Should Kazakhstan be hold against the standard of Minnesota or compare with its neighbors? I feel Kazakhstan is doing rather well compare to other stans, even with Russia.

Yet, some people seemed to think that you can have a social democracy by decree, by merely waving of a wand, we will have thriving, nice, socially conscientious and environmentally friendly civil societies, likes of which we’ve seen in Minnesota, blossoming in the heart of Central Asia.

Well, Central Asia is no Minnesota, it’s not even Texas.

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