Publications of H. Plumper

Do Russia and China Promote Autocracy in Central Asia?

The purpose of our paper is to contribute to the literature on autocracy promotion by analyzing Central Asia as the most-likely case, considering both Russia and China as relevant external actors. We develop a concept for our analysis based on the different strategies of Russia and China towards the region and present the results of a qualitative study of the main dimensions of autocracy promotion (regional organizations, economic cooperation, and interference and threat). Based on this qualitative study, we define variables measuring the potential for autocracy promotion and test our hypotheses using panel data for 24 post-communist countries. The somewhat surprising result of our analysis is that, in contrast to Russia's dominance mode of operation, China's doing-business approach towards its neighbors in Central Asia may have—although unintentionally—even positive effects in terms of improving governance and undermining autocratic structures.