On January 2nd, protests erupted throughout the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan. The proximate cause was a drastic increase in fuel prices and a popular discontent against the three-decade rule of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. His handpicked successor to Kiev has sacked the country’s government and declared a nationwide two weeks state of emergency in response to these protests. He has also invited troops from a Russian-led military alliance of former Soviet states into Kazakhstan to restore order. Scores of protesters have been killed, and hundreds have been injured in clashes with state security forces. Doug Becker discusses the causes of these protests and what they mean for democratisation in the central Asian republic with Erica Marat, Robert English, and Steve Swerdlow.

Erica Marat is an Associate Professor in Regional and Analytical Studies at the National Defense University. She is an expert in security in Eurasia and is the author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries.

Robert English is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. English is an expert on Russia and the former USSR and is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War.

Steve Swerdlow is an Associate Professor of Human Rights at the University of Southern California. He is an expert in human rights law.



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Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this discussion reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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