Constituting the Kazakhstani Nation: Rhetorical Transformation of National Belonging

Kristoffer Rees, Aziz Burkhanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Since Kazakhstan became an independent state in 1991 the state apparatus has pursued various processes of nation-building intended to establish a cohesive civic identity among the multiethnic population of the state. We assess the interplay between the civic nation building policies of the Kazakhstani state since the early 2000s and ordinary Kazakhstanis through media analysis and ethnographic interviews. We find that, while Kazakhstan’s official civic nation-building policies shape how Kazakhstanis perceive their attachment to the state, there remains no widespread evidence of the decoupling of ethnicity from nationality as suggested by official rhetoric. Ethnonational identity remains salient in Kazakhstan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-455
Number of pages23
JournalNationalism and Ethnic Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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