The research group intends to include various LMIC regions in the research.

At its initial stage, the research group focuses on the post-communist and East-Asian region. The post-communist region is of particular interest, since the historic past of planned economies facilitates an easier adoption of state activism in the region. At the same time, this legacy also presents a certain challenge as policy makers need to emancipate themselves not only from the ideas of the neoliberal paradigm, but also of the communist command economy so as to develop new and effective ways of promoting economic growth and development by state activism under current conditions.

The empirical work concentrates mainly on two countries, Kazakhstan and Georgia, which serve as anchor points for various comparative studies. Both countries exhibit a common background as former Soviet republics, the economies of which have proved to develop relatively successfully with respect to GDP growth within the last decade. Notwithstanding these similarities, Kazakhstan and Georgia present distinct types of development trajectories towards state activism. While the former is characterized by a consolidated authoritarian regime with a resource-based economy and a longer tradition of state interventions, the latter features a more liberal political regime, is an interventionist latecomer and is highly dependent on external capital inflow.

 

Putting these paradigmatic cases in a common framework with other countries in the region and beyond promises to generate a differentiated picture of the state’s role in post-Soviet economies. It will provide insights into the chances and obstacles of state-led economic policy in the post-Soviet region. As further steps, the research group intends to expand the country sample and to include other world regions in research sample.