Other than slowing down the rate of economic and democratic growth, graft creates a sense of mistrust, injustice and poverty, to mention but a few2 3. Overall, corruption brings immense human suffering to the majority who are the victims while the few beneficiaries of corruption continue to profit4. In light of the widespread effects of corruption, anti corruption initiatives have gained a lot of intensity in the recent past. Many governments have acknowledged the need to combat corruption either under external pressures or through intrinsic motivation to improve the lives of its citizens. Various anti graft bodies, programs and strategies have been developed the world over.

On the backdrop of the notion that corruption is an international issue of concern5, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the success of anti corruption strategies in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country which lies within Eastern Europe and Central Asia6. Even though Kazakhstan has a presidential system of governance, there are notable tendencies for authoritarian leadership under President Nursultan Nazarbayev7. Such tendencies can be attributed to the fact that the Kazakhstani society is highly patriarchal; males have absolute authority over the females8. Kazakhstan is the country to declare independence from the former Soviet Union, yet it is amongst the first of these former soviet states to ratify and accent to international anti graft standards. While its patrilineal culture cannot be blamed for the rising levels of corruption, many scholars have mentioned this as one of the catalysts. However, anti corruption activities in Kazakhstan have gradually intensified over time. Anti corruption strategies in Kazakhstan are systematic, progressively gradual and piecemeal. Currently, there are numerous strategies, programs and anti graft agencies actively involved in combating graft in Kazakhstan. As mentioned earlier, this paper aims at evaluating the anti graft strategies within Kazakhstan. As such to help meet the main aim of this paper, a number of key questions seem relevant:

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  • What are the key strategies for anti corruption strategies in Kazakhstan?
  • How successful are anti corruption strategies in Kazakhstan?

To answer these two key questions, further sub questions have been developed. These include:

  • What anti corruption agencies exists within Kazakhstan anti graft war?
  • What id the roles of the Kazakhstani government in combating corruption?
  • What is the prevailing legal framework?
  • What is the role on international community in anti graft initiatives?

This is a research paper and as such the findings are analyzed from a scholarly perspective. As such Kazakhstan anti graft initiatives are analyzed Vis a Vis Bo Rothstein’s Big Bang Anti Corruption Theory. Rothstein stipulates that anti corruption agents fail because their approach gives enough room for corruption to mutate. Rothstein proposed a strategy that creates the big bang effect. Within Rothstein’s proposal, anti graft measures have to be simultaneous widespread and have an immediate impact as opposed to slow piecemeal and systematic strategies. Anti Corruption initiatives in Kazakhstan has failed, and when analyzed against this theory one gets the idea why this is the case.