Corruption, public procurement and political instability in Kazakhstan

Zhaslan Khamitov, Colin Knox, Gulsara Junusbekova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Kazakhstan, seen as an example of political stability in Central Asia, recently descended into political turmoil. While the causes of the violence and unrest are the subject of ongoing analysis, their origins can be linked to systemic inequalities in a country rich in natural resources. Inter alia, Kazakhstan has failed to tackle insidious problems of corruption, particularly in public procurement contracts. Public procurement constitutes a significant amount of government spending in developing countries which makes it a high-risk area for corruption. Using primary data collected from small and medium-size enterprises organisations in Kazakhstan, this research finds that public officials and suppliers are complicit in corrupt practices. Intervention strategies, such as monitoring and control, have failed to tackle this problem. While the causes of recent political instability in Kazakhstan are multiple, corruption remains an underlying and persistent problem which will add to the fermenting discontent among the citizens of Kazakhstan.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Kazakhstan
  • corruption
  • post-Soviet states
  • public procurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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