Meet me in the middle : an analysis of the EU’s human rights promotion in Kazakhstan in the context of China’s belt and road initiative

Thumbnail Image
Hoffmann, Jelena Sofie
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This thesis explores the impact of the EU's human rights promotion in Kazakhstan in light of China's increasing economic and normative influence in Central Asia including its innovative Belt and Road Initiative. It highlights the normative challenges the EU faces vis-a vis China and explores the EU's struggle to combine and balance its core values and economic interests in its interaction with Kazakhstan. It argues that the EU is in need of finding a new way of promoting its core values outside its immediate sphere of influence and should improve upon consistency and transparency in its international conduct in order to maintain credibility as a normative actor and promoter of the liberal order. Kazakhstan presents a vivid example of the contradicting normative approaches of China and the EU to international affairs in general and to human rights specifically. It thereby serves as an example of the future challenges the EU faces as a ‘normative power’.
Second semester University: Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski
European Union, Kazakhstan, China, human rights, Central Asia, foreign economic relations