Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia

Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia

by Alexander A. Cooley Ph.D., John Heathershaw


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A penetrating look into the unrecognized and unregulated links between autocratic regimes in Central Asia and centers of power and wealth throughout the West

Weak, corrupt, and politically unstable, the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are dismissed as isolated and irrelevant to the outside world. But are they? This hard-hitting book argues that Central Asia is in reality a globalization leader with extensive involvement in economics, politics and security dynamics beyond its borders. Yet Central Asia’s international activities are mostly hidden from view, with disturbing implications for world security.
Based on years of research and involvement in the region, Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw reveal how business networks, elite bank accounts, overseas courts, third-party brokers, and Western lawyers connect Central Asia’s supposedly isolated leaders with global power centers. The authors also uncover widespread Western participation in money laundering, bribery, foreign lobbying by autocratic governments, and the exploiting of legal loopholes within Central Asia. Riveting and important, this book exposes the global connections of a troubled region that must no longer be ignored.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300243192
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 645,776
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alexander Cooley is director, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, and the Clare Tow Professor of Political Science, Barnard College. John Heathershaw is associate professor of international relations, University of Exeter.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vi

Preface vii

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction: Central Asia Beyond Borders 1

1 Inside-Outside, Onshore-Offshore: How Central Asia Went Global 28

2 Kazakhstan's Most Wanted: Economic Fugitive or Democratic Champion? The Case of Mukhtar Ablyazov 53

3 Tajikistan: The President of the Warlords and his Offshore State 80

4 Uzbekistan's Closed Polity and Global Scandal 112

5 Kyrgyzstan's Prince Maxim and the Switzerland of the East 133

6 The New Offshore Silk Roads 167

7 Political Exiles and Extraterritorial Repression 187

Conclusion: Confronting the Challenge of Global Authoritarianism 220

Epilogue to the Paperback Edition: Global Kleptocracy in the Age of Trump 232

Appendices 246

Endnotes 257

Index 297

Illustration credits 306

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