As part of a broader public relations and lobbying push, Kazakhstan's government paid Johns Hopkins University to author three reports about the country. The arrangement was brokered through APCO Worldwide, Kazakhstan's Washington DC lobbying firm. The Kazakh government paid $52,300 for reports titled "Kazakhstan's New Middle Class" and "Parliament and Political Parties in Kazakhstan." A third report, "Kazakhstan in its Neighborhood," was "also underwritten by the government," but lobbying reports that would disclose the amount paid for it are not yet available. The reports, issued by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins, do not disclose the Kazakhstan funding. Institute director S. Frederick Starr said their "relationship was only with the lobbying firm and not directly with the government." He added that "the entire editorial process was 100 percent in our hands." The author of the third report, Hudson Institute fellow Richard Weitz, said, "It's an important topic so I would have written about it anyway." The Kazakhstan funding also required the Johns Hopkins Institute to sponsor "think tank discussions" on each report, "sponsored by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute."
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