Kazakhstan, an authoritarian regime, is having a go at the autocracy question. It has an interesting take. This article by Robert A. Manning is published by The Hill. Here is an excerpt:
The upheaval in Kazakhstan has jarred Central Asia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But it also offers larger lessons about autocracies writ large and the notion of democracy vs. autocracy that President Biden has made something of an organizing principle for U.S. foreign policy.
The uprising in the former Soviet republic occurred after 30 years of corrupt, dictatorial rule of the petrostate by 81-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev, its founding leader. Only in 2019 did Kassym-Jomart Tokayev become president, after Nazerbayev formally stepped down, anointing himself “President of the Nation,” in part to defuse periodic unrest.
But that created two rival power centers. The current turmoil appears to be a struggle between competing elites overlaying – and trying to manipulate – genuine accumulated popular grievances, triggered initially by a doubling of fuel prices. The arrest of its security chief on charges of treason suggests the intra-elite struggle.
Read the full article here.