This article seeks to tentatively account for why Turkmenistan experienced a systemic political transition in 2006–7 after the sudden death of President Saparmurat Niyazov. Accordingly, this article posits that a unique set of governing institutions seemingly facilitated an orderly transition in 2006–7. These institutions namely include the Turkmen government’s heavy reliance on the use of coercion, the President’s regular purging of ranking officials and ministers serving within the government, and Turkmenistan’s “positive neutrality” foreign policy coupled with the nature of Ashgabat’s foreign relations with the Russian Federation and the United States. As a result, the ruling regime in Turkmenistan appears to have fashioned a formula which permits it to endure. The Turkmen government will thus likely keep adhering to this framework in an effort to maintain political stability in addition to regime continuity. However, a series of challenges loom ahead which could possibly endanger the survivability of the ruling regime.


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pp. 35-51
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