Call for papers
Kazakhstan : The Political Challenges Ahead
Conference at Nazarbayev University (February 22, 2019)
Since its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has been able to overcome various political challenges, the most significant being the establishment of a stable political order as well as the consolidation of a prosperous economy. Kazakhstan’s political challenges are now different, but as pressing as those the country had to face 25 years ago. As an example, we can think in this regard to the government’s desire to revive the cultural traditions of Kazakhs which may have consequences on the country’s nation-building process and national psyche officially built around a conception of civic nationalism. The same can be said with the recent rise of terrorist incidents in the country and the government’s willingness to fight radicalization, which begs the questions of why this form of extreme violence is arising and if the means of action will successfully contribute to fight it. Thirdly, although Kazakhstan’s foreign policy developed in the aftermath of its independence can be coined as a successful one, many analysts have questioned its capacity to survive the current mutations of the international order. If this is the case, then what are Kazakhstan’s options in this regard? The ever increasing flow of immigrants over the last 10 years is also challenging the country’s policies and may have an impact of its labor market in the near future. Moreover, one cannot ignore the uncertainty surrounding the question of political transition and what might be expected based upon similar examples from other Central Asian countries. Finally, the protests that emerged in 2016 following a land reform proposal might have lead some people to believe that there is a gap between the government’s intention to open up its borders to foreign investments and the people’s will. This is of course an incomplete overview of the political challenges that Kazakhstan has to face as there are many others.
This one-day conference in English will gather experts on Kazakhstani politics who will propose original multi angle analysis of the current political challenges that the country is facing. Hosted by the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Nazarbayev University will be held on February 22, 2019 in Astana. Scholars interested to participate are invited to send a 250 word abstract in English by December 15, 2018 at : firstname.lastname@example.org. Notifications of acceptance will be sent at the beginning of January 2019. Participation to this conference is free, but participants not residing in Astana are expected to take care of their own accommodation and transport fees. There is a possibility for the proceedings of the conference to be published in the series « The Steppe and Beyond: Studies on Central Asia» with Palgrave MacMillan.