Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Political Science

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Michele Commercio


Kyrgyzstan, Corruption, Central Asia, Soviet Union, Post-Soviet, Legacies


This thesis argues that corruption has become more pervasive in Kyrgyzstan following the collapse of the USSR. The Soviet Union maintained an extensive bureaucracy and powerful communist party, both of which closely regulated private and public life, penetrating citizens’ daily lives unlike any government in the West. Despite this, informal exchanges (blat) were tolerated to a degree, and were common throughout the Soviet states. The collapse of communism removed bureaucratic safeguards and introduced new economic, political, and social instability. The resulting political vacuum and economic transition has caused corruption to become more common and indeed necessary. Informal exchanges, or what we in the West might perceive as corruption, provide what a flawed system cannot, are inspired by similar Soviet practices, and are still common in Kyrgyzstan.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.