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Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  16 reviews
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
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Yale University Press
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Robin Case
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scary account of graft, greed, corruption and the pursuit of power in the middle Asian countries in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This book is for those without fear of tongue twisting names. This is a well written treatise on politics and finance in the world today. The principles apply globally.

This book explains about why institutions in the USA including what should be beneficial organizations like Universities and Nonprofits (Clinton Global Initiative comes to my mind)
Faye Glidden
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intense & Relevant ...more
Caroline Petruzzi McHale
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Covers many of the Central Asian kleptocracies in breathtaking detail. Will file this in the "speak truth to power" category right next to Tom Burgis' Looting Machine.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a former corporate investigator and with expertise in Central Asia and the wider CIS, this book was fascinating in addressing corruption and kleptocracy in the Central Asian states. Having faced numerous “black Pr campaigns” in my work, unlike other reviewers, I think that the book is aided by its close attention to evidence and heavy referencing.

The financial schemes detailed are laid out with extraordinary precision, and can be returned to as a reference point. The chapters on Kazakhstan a
Ailith Twinning
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Compare it to say, "Why Nations Fail" by Daron Acemoğlu and it's fucking phenominal.
Compare it to, off the top of my head, "American Exceptionalism and American Innocence" by Sirvent and Haiphong, and it fairs less well.

Tho, I do respect the urge not to go beyond one's facts -- this does not mean restricting the scope of those facts. The book needed to be at least twice as long, because the one side of the story it tells just doesn't work without the other half. You could frankly translate my
Diana Ghigufa
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very dense, but incredibly interesting. To see the extent to which the world is globalised even in those landlocked regions of the world that we consider far and isolated - they are far more interlinked and implicated in global financial trends that we'd like to imagine, and more. The complicity of western countries and institutions in these endeavour is clear and condemnable, starting from the Italian DIGOS allowing, unsurprisingly, to let Berlusconi do a friend a favour.
Keith Turek
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Listened to this as an audiobook. Good and worthwhile material but found it more academic than I would have liked; would have preferred something more journalistic. Not recommended in audiobook format because authors would be Olympic champions of a run-on sentence competition. Semi-pointless policy prescriptions at the end betray academic orientation and seem to me to somewhat miss the bullseye of the truly deep structure of global corruption.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-give-up
I was looking forward to this. The first chapters lay out the author's explanation of how Central Asian leaders operate - it is quite interesting, but I had had enough of the topic, which is hardly uplifting (since western governments and banks etc are part of how it continues) and returned it to the public library rather than read the more detailed chapters describing examples in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and so on.
Kevin Y
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting topic about a region that gets very little attention. For folks who know more about the region this book may seem lite on new material; however, as someone with little knowledge about Central Asian politics and economic linkages with the world, this is a good book as introduction.

To give the professor and author credit, the topic of choice: hidden globalization through autocratic ranks is eye opening.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Only read half the book. The book at what it is: the study of the corruption of the dictators of central Asia and the networks to channel these funds to "the West". It's not what I came for (geopolitics) but that's my fault.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dreadfully boring an depressing topic. Authors achieve a miracle by keeping me reading. Incredibly restrained - if I cared about any of this my blood would boil every other sentence and I wouldn't be able to finish a paragraph.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting book on autocrats in Central Asia and examples of those who have committed financial crimes to benefit only themselves. The last two chapters felt a little long.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phd-kleptocracy
Incredibly informative and important book about how global authoritarianism works today and the threat it poses.
Nirmal Ghimire
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting read!!! Dictators are ofter evils!!
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well researched, written in a clear and comprehensible way.
It is unbelievable that such things - as described in the book- happen today and are given consent or even support from Western countries.
Alastair Heffernan
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An entrancing delve into the world of international corruption and how it is facilitated by supposedly robust and accountable bodies in the West. Each chapter presents a different instance of corruption from several Central Asian states, and explains how each scheme operates, who it benefits and how it damages the ordinary people of the region while enriching a narrow elite.

Unlike Cooley's previous book (Great Games, Local Rules), this one does not delve so much into geopolitical theory and abst
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