My Property, Your Courts: International Litigation of Contested Central Asian Assets

Thursday, February 20, 2014
4 pm
1512 IAB, 420 West 118th Street
Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by Eric McGlinchey, George Mason University.
How do investors protect property rights when formal institutions fail? This is a pressing question confronted by economic actors in Central Asia, where, according to McGlinchey, courts are corrupt, police are predatory, and bureaucrats are brazen. The Central Asian state is as likely to exacerbate, as it is to mitigate economic disputes. Wary of the state, Central Asians turn to alternative institutions to settle scores. McGlinchey's talk considers one of these institutions: international courts. 
Central Asia’s leading enterprises—telcoms, mining ventures, banks—are incorporated not in Central Asia, but abroad, in the Isle of Man, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Incorporating abroad has offered some but not all Central Asian investors a degree of insulation from otherwise capricious property rights regimes. McGlinchey will discuss this variation and ask why some assets have proven to be more defendable in international courts than others.  
Eric McGlinchey is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Graduate Studies for George Mason University’s Department of Public and International Affairs. He is the author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). McGlinchey’s areas of research include comparative politics, Central Asian regime change, political Islam, and social mobilization. His current book project explores social protest in Central Asia. McGlinchey received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003. A list of Dr. McGlinchey's academic writings on regime change and political Islam as well as his Congressional briefings and policy papers can be found here.