PUBL.- Central Asia: Governance, Geopolitics, and Development Challenges
Posted by: Verena Fritz <email@example.com>
This ODI Briefing Paper focuses on the development challenges facing
Central Asia, and argues that these are neglected - by the development
community which cares more about other regions (in particular
Sub-Saharan Africa), as well as by the international policy community
which views the region from a political and geopolitical perspective.
However, poverty, insecurity, sharply increased inequality, and poor
governance present fundamental development challenges in the region.
The 'dual neglect' has two negative consequences: firstly, the region
receives few inputs in terms of development research and policy
attention. Secondly, external engagement that is motivated
predominantly by geopolitical concerns can actively contribute to a
lack of broad-based social, political and economic development.
This Briefing Paper argues that the EU and European countries should
be more engaged from a developmental perspective.
The author makes five proposals to guide a more intensive engagement
of the EU and of European donors with the region:
- Greater foreign policy engagement by the EU and its members in
Central Asia needs to be matched by greater engagement on development
issues facing the region.
- As the EU and European countries intensify their development
engagement, they need to coordinate to a greater extent, at the
strategic as well as at the operational level.
- Coming to grips with a challenging governance environment will
require a balance between driving reforms and promoting stability.
- An important component in promoting better governance is the
encouragement of linkages between Central Asian countries and the
- The EU needs to engage with others, most importantly with China
and Russia; as well as with other OECD/DAC donors.
The Briefing Paper can be accessed at:
Dr Verena Fritz
Research Fellow, Poverty and Public Policy
Overseas Development Institute
phone: +44 20 7922 0396
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