Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Central Asia and Eastern Europe share the legacy of socialist rule and the search for new models of political order. While East Central Europe took a Western path, the long term perspectives for the other sub-regions (Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and parts of Southeast Europe) remain uncertain even twenty years after the change. Some of the predominantly autocratic and neo-patrimonially organised regimes were able to use their natural resources for an economic boom. On the other hand, many countries remained economically unstable and/or politically fragile. Yet even the ‘economic boomers’, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and recently also Mongolia, have yet to prove the viability of their development models and manage the challenge of finding a balance between the winners and losers of the transformation.

Research at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) addresses the following questions:

  • What are the trajectories of the political, societal, economic and environmental transformation processes? And which logic do they follow?
  • How do these changes affect each other? And what effect does this reciprocity have on the outcome of reforms?
  • How can sustainable development perspectives be created?
  • How can these processes be supported externally in a constructive and crisis-preventive way?

Research staff



Regional co-ordinator

Jörn Grävingholt

E-mail Joern.Graevingholt@remove-this.die-gdi.de
Phone+49 (0)228 94927-172
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130


The impact of Russia on governance structures in Ukraine

Sushko, Oleksandr
Discussion Paper 24/2008


The political economy of governance reform in Central Asia

Grävingholt, Jörn (2013)

in: Joachim Ahrens & Herman W. Hoen (eds), Institutional Reform in Central Asia: Politico-Economic Challenges, Routledge 2013


The river basin as a new scale for water governance in transition countries? A comparative study of Mongolia and Ukraine

Dombrowsky, Ines / Nina Hagemann / Annabelle Houdret (2014)

in: Environmental Earth Sciences 72 (12), 4705–4726


Cover: Journal of Hydrology

The institutionalization of river basin management as politics of scale: insights from Mongolia

Houdret, Annabelle / Ines Dombrowsky / Lena Horlemann (2014)
in: Journal of Hydrology 519, Part C: 2392-2404