Kazakhstan has made considerable efforts to reduce its dependence on oil and diversify its economy. The country’s leading politicians have also expressed strong commitment to diversification over several years, and linkage creation strategies have been one important tool. In this article, we examine the extent to which political factors are salient when accounting for the peculiar pattern of heavy promotion of diversification with little actual movement in relevant economic sectors in Kazakhstan. We identify political factors that typically come into play and how these factors make diversification difficult in resourcerich countries such as Kazakhstan. A key argument is that not only did political factors act as barriers to diversification, but the actual linkage creation initiatives that were taken served as useful vehicles for rent-seeking behavior, thereby further entrenching skewed political and economic structures that are typical of states with oil-led development. The article also explains why the political leadership in Kazakhstan chose to place so much emphasis in their rhetoric and communication on diversification when the difficulties and possible failures
associated with such policies must have been apparent to them at a fairly early stage.
|31 Ocak 2020
|Yıl 2020 Cilt: 2 Sayı: 1