Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy Change: Kyrgyzstan’s U-Turns on the U.S. Air Base at Manas Airport

In: Central Asian Affairs
Shairbek Dzhuraev President at Crossroads Central Asia and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, OSCE Academy Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

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Mainstream theories of international relations explain the foreign policies of small states based on the function of external incentives and pressures. This article challenges such explanations and analyzes Kyrgyzstan’s decisions concerning the U.S. air base at Manas between 2005 and 2010, which was a curious case of risk-taking in foreign policy by a small state. Applying a framework of “ideas, interests and institutions,” the article shows how changes in Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy reflected a shift in the domestic context of policymaking.

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