University of Central Asia’s Research Fellow Toktomushev Releases Book on Kyrgyzstan Regime Security and Foreign Policy
On 30 November 2016, Dr Kemel Toktomushev, Research Fellow from the University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA), presented his new book Kyrgyzstan – Regime Security and Foreign Policy at the Aga Khan University-Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in London, United Kingdom. The book was published by leading international academic publisher Routledge, a member of the Taylor & Francis Group, as part of its Central Asian Studies series.
Dr David Taylor, AKU-ISMC Director introduced the author and led an open discussion and Q&A session. Toktomushev’s book presents a comprehensive study of Kyrgyz foreign policy from the early 1990s to 2011. It seeks to answer the following question: how and to what extent does regime security affect Kyrgyz foreign policymaking? In doing so, it aims to contribute to the understanding of Central Asian politics and the foreign policy sources of weak states across the post-Soviet space.
“Toktomushev’s book is an in-depth study of Kyrgyz foreign policy which argues that regime security and rent-seeking have triumphed over national security and economic investment in Kyrgyzstan’s international affairs. The book is a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on foreign policy in Central Asia and would be a useful primer for diplomats, business persons and development professionals working in the region,” said Associate Professor John Heathershaw, University of Exeter.
The Kyrgyz Republic is an interesting example of a newly independent state: in its brief period of independence it has already ousted two presidents, experienced two revolutions, survived two inter-ethnic conflicts and yet remains intact. Toktomushev’s book explores this apparent paradox and argues that the schism between domestic and international dimensions of state and regime security is key to understanding the nature of Kyrgyz politics.
It also highlights how foreign policy links to the Manas Air Base, used by the US military and the economic arrangements necessary for sustaining the base, combined to overshadow points of friction to ensure stable continuance of the status quo.
“This book is the result of a four-year research journey. I am grateful to numerous individuals who contributed to its fruition by sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and energy with me,” underlined Toktomushev.
“With UCA’s institutional and material support I was able to conduct rigorous research of complex political phenomena in one of the most volatile and turbulent regions in the world. UCA is continuing a fascinating journey of its own by opening its doors to the most talented students from Central Asia and I am pleased my book will become a useful guide to those who believe changing the world is possible.”