Elite preferences and transparency promotion in Kazakhstan

Kerem Öge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper evaluates the factors that shape the establishment of transparent institutions in resource-rich countries with a specific focus on Kazakhstan. Specifically, it draws upon in-depth interviews and analysis of key institutions to understand the pace and intensity of transparency reforms in the Central Asian state. It argues that external transparency promotion can lead to institutional reform only when it is matched with strong elite incentives in favor of reforms. Kazakhstan has had few incentives to comply with Western-initiated norms before 2014, an era of relative economic security. As a consequence, the political elite often stalled the successful implementation of reforms. However, the economic turbulence following the fall of oil prices and Russia's annexation of Crimea have motivated the Kazakh government to embrace the norm of transparency in order to attract foreign investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalCommunist and Post-Communist Studies
Issue number2
Early online date23 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Democratization
  • Governance
  • International institutions
  • Kazakhstan
  • Oil revenues
  • Transparency


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