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Maral Madieva, Ph.D. Student (MA Uppsala Univesity, Sweden)

Subject of Research 

“The Foreign Policy Decision-making Processes in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan: The Cases of American Military Bases”

This research contributes to the analysis of the role that domestic factors play in shaping the foreign policy behaviour of the Central Asian states. The specific focus is the decision-making processes designed by the Uzbek and the Kyrgyz governments concerning the presence of American bases on their territories starting from 2001 to 2009. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the American government negotiated to station its troops in a previously disregarded region, which became strategic because of its proximity to Afghanistan. In its turn, the presence of American troops affected, intentionally or unintentionally, the domestic dynamics in host countries, and the regional status quo maintained by Russia and China. As a consequence of such dynamics the Uzbek government evicted the American base from its territory in July 2005. By contrast, the Kyrgyz government retained the American base despite the change of the ruling regime in March 2005.

The subsequent explanations of decisions taken by the Uzbek and the Kyrgyz governments on American military bases were concentrated at the state and the system levels, with little attention being paid to individual state decision-makers. The most dominant explanations portrayed Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan as observers of unfolding New Great Game in which Russia, the U.S. and China were locked in a competition for the Central Asian region. By contrast, this study examines the domestic factors that affected the decisions of the Uzbek and the Kyrgyz officials. This study is important to understand reasoning, motivations and grievances of domestic decision-makers concerning American military bases. This angle facilitates predicting the foreign-policy behaviour and the likely course of action such a policy-maker will encourage the state to take. Identification and opportunity to predict the motives of an ultimate decision-maker is critical because it permits outside policy-makers to tailor their expectations accordingly and to be better prepared to accommodate potential consequences. Until present, no researcher reconstructed the initial decisional processes of how the Uzbek and the Kyrgyz officials negotiated the stationing and later the eviction of the American military bases.

Areas of Research

Decisional mechanisms within the Kyrgyz and the Uzbek states; The Small States Foreign Policy Behaviour; the Foreign Policy Making in the Central Asian States; American Military Bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; Russian Military Bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; Security Issues in Central Asia (drugs trafficking).


Professor Adrian Guelke and Dr Neo Loizides