Research Interests

Politics, informality, inter-ethnic relations, nationalism, migrations, gender, Post-Soviet and Post-Yugoslav states.

Background & Qualification

Dr Gian Marco Moisé received his PhD from DCU in 2022. He previously completed two masters: one in international relations with a focus on the Former Soviet Union, and the other on human rights in the Western Balkans. As a journalist of the Italian online newspaper East Journal, he regularly writes political and social analyses of the most recent developments in the Eastern European states and Central Asia with the aim of contributing to the knowledge of the region in the country. After short experiences in journalism, education and NGOs, he seized the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in politics and international relations at DCU.

Doctoral Research

Oil the wheels: Multinational Corporations and Corruption in Kazakhstan.

Research Overview

In 2003, James Giffen, the owner of an American consulting company, was arrested in New York for violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As a close advisor of the Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Giffen had set up a system that transferred money from Texaco, Amoco, Philips Petroleum and Mobil Oil to thirty different bank accounts in Switzerland. Most of these accounts were entitled to Nazarbayev, the former prime minister Kazhegeldin, the oil minister Balgimbayev and their families. This is the beginning of the most famous corruption scandal in Kazakhstan, but many others followed. According to the 2018 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, Kazakhstan, ranked as the 124th out of 180, is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The Business Anti-Corruption Portal reveals that companies operating in Kazakhstan complain of high-corruption risks in licensing, registering, applying for public utilities, and they expect to give gifts to officials to “get things done”. This condition is believed as one of the main constraints to do business in the country, because the outcome of investments becomes unpredictable.

The aim of this research is to understand how the interaction of multinational oil corporations and the Kazakh political elite affect corruption, unreported and informal activities in the oil sector of the country. Even if the US, China and Russia tried to secure their investments in the country, Kazakhstan has proven to be a difficult pitch, and if a game is played, it has to follow Kazakh rules. The research will be structured as a qualitative analysis employing ethnography and semi-structured interviews with managers, politicians and journalists of the country.

Selected publications

Book Review of Theorizing Central Asian Politics: The State, Ideology and Power, edited by Rico Isaacs and Alessandro Frigerio. Central Asian Survey, in course of publication.

Book Review of Informal Nationalism After Communism: The Everyday Construction of Post-Socialist Identities, edited by Abel Polese, Oleksandra Seliverstova, Emilia Pawlusz and Jeremy Morris. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24, no.4 (2018): 504–506. DOI: 10.1080/13537113.2018.1522079

Book Review of Post-Conflict Europeanization and the War of Meanings: The Challenges of EU Conditionality in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, by Miruna Troncotă. Südosteuropa Journal of Politics and Society 66, no. 1 (2018): 133–135.

Analysis of socio-political developments for East Journal: 

Interviews on the radio: