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Photo: “Baiterek Tower“, by Francisco Anzola, licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Makarychev, Andrey. “Illiberalism, Post-liberalism, Geopolitics: The EU in Central Asia.” Acta Via Serica 5, no. 1 (2020): 1-22.


The paper discusses how the new EU Strategy towards Central Asia issued in May 2019 might be analyzed through the lens of the intensely debated transformations from the liberal to a post-liberal international order. The author claims that the EU’s normative power is transforming from the post-Cold War predominantly liberal/ value-based approach, with democracy and human rights at its core, to a set of more technical tools and principles of good governance and effective management of public administration. The paper problematizes a nexus between the dynamics of the EU’s nascent post-liberalism and the geopolitical challenges of the EU’s growing engagement with illiberal regimes, focuses on direct encounters between the post-liberal EU and the illiberal elites in Central Asia, and seeks to find out the impact of these connections upon the EU’s international subjectivity. In this context geopolitical dimensions of EU foreign and security policies, along with the specificity of the EU’s geopolitical actorship in Central Asia, are discussed.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.