Why Don't Opposition Elites Cooperate with Each Other in the Post-Communist World? Interview Evidence from Kyrgyzstan Print

Eugene Huskey, Stetson University

Gulnara Iskakova, University of Central Asia


This paper seeks to understand why opposition elites in the postcommunist world have such a poor record of cooperating with each other. The explanations are based largely on interviews conducted with 33 members of the Kyrgyzstani opposition during the last year. Using open-ended responses and data from a questionnaire administered to the interviewees, the analysis assesses the importance of six factors in explaining the low level of opposition cooperation: the splitting tactics of the government; the ambition of opposition politicians; the level of trust between members of the opposition; the economic and everyday life conditions in the country; political values; and loyalties to kinship, ethnic, and regional groups.