Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Central Asian repression and Western influence
by Goudge, Sara L., M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 2013, 86; 1549556
Abstract (Summary)

Repression, used by dictators as a tool to control the populous of a nation, is a defining feature of authoritarian regimes. Often the most concerning response, the use of coercion is centrally important to a greater understanding of how dictators maintain stability. Emerging theories have proposed that autocracies may be influenced the West toward democratic transition, thus away from repressive autocratic behavior. For both intellectual and ethical reasons, it is important to know when a regime will use repression and how the West may be able to modify these responses. This study explores when the regimes of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have used violent forms of coercion or restricted the rights and freedoms of their people in order to maintain stability, and if ties to Western nations influenced this behavior. Looking at problems that arise vertically (from the people), horizontally (from elite divisions), or socio-economically (from economic decline or rising inflation), this study explores how these authoritarian regimes respond to a variety of challenges, and how Western linkages alter these responses. Using interaction terms to test the conditional relationship between challenges to regime stability and Western linkages, this study explores how ties with the West may be able to influence coercive responses in these authoritarian regimes. The following analysis finds that these regimes view rising inflation as a greater threat to their stability, resulting in an increased use of violence against their people, but interestingly, when challenged during periods of economic decline these dictators expand freedoms and rights. Additionally, when these regimes increase their ties to the West they utilize more difficult to distinguish forms of repression and are more apt to restrict the rights of their people. Finally, the following analysis shows that whether a challenge is socio-economic or domestic alters the influence of Western linkages, and that in some cases the growth of these ties may be viewed by these regimes as liabilities to their rule.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stefes, Christoph H.
Commitee: Berry, Michael, Spehn, Thorsten
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: Central Asia, Coercion, Repression, Western linkages
Publication Number: 1549556
ISBN: 978-1-303-61900-7
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