This article presents an analysis of two post-Soviet states, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. It emphasizes on the fact both countries are characterised economically by enormous national resources of gas and oil as well as politically by strong autocratic presidentialism with neo-patrimonial structures. According to the author, these two factors, combined with further post-Soviet legacies, lead to specific post-Soviet variety of what they call ‘rentierism’. Even though Soviet legacy still has some impact on Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan economic structure, it seems rather difficult to distinguish economic and political features of oil-rich countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for instance. Indeed, in Congo, Chad or Sudan, economically, oil resources prevent diversification and politically, these countries face strong presidentialism and neo-patrimonial structures. Because of this unconvincing thesis, the article appears to be another one on the oil curse. However, the paper is well documented and is then of some interest for readers interested in this topic.

Gaël Raballand, Observatory of Post-Soviet States, Paris
CER: II-7.1-561