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Unveiling Dynamics in Post Conflict and Newly

Introduction

The literature review starts with the definition of nation-building (sub-chapter 2.2). In presenting the scholarly work on this topic, I distinguish between application of this concept for post-conflict societies and newly independent states as the latter does not usually have direct foreign power interference in their nation-building process which can distinguish them from the experience of the former. External actors play significant role in nation-building in post-conflict societies and scholars pay more attention to institution building and switch in approaches from creating buffer states to democratization agenda (sub-chapter 2.3). On the other hand, in the literature on nation-building in states that were created after the collapse of Soviet Union with no significant internal conflicts and violence, the emphasis is on internal dynamics and domestic politics (sub-chapter 2.4). Continuing this strand of literature, the publications on nation-building in Kazakhstan are reviewed in more detail in sub-chapter 2.5. The conclusion of review chapter presents the gaps in previous studies.

Conceptualising nation-building

Nation building is not a simple concept to define because its conceptualisation contains often discursive elements like ‘nation’, which itself is defined in different ways by different scholars (Bendix 2017). Even as a process, nation building is a complex exercise involving elements like agency, legitimacy, and authority. Weber describes this aptly where he writes “Nation building is generally a slow process, particularly because the new loyalty must in some measure displace some system of old loyalties, tribal or other, and partly because the state is large, vague, impersonal, and often associated in the subject’s mind at least as much with taxes and onerous regulations as with benefits” (Weber 1968, 397-398). As the nation building also involves shifting of loyalties, the legitimacy of the state takes on significance as does the agency of the citizens. In this complex process of nation building, the founders of the new state have to establish their legitimacy before the people (Shils 1963). In the formulation of the nation state it is also important to consider agency, as there are often ethnic divisions within the nation, which belies the existence of the nation; even in the 1980s, Smith (1986) argued that if the ethnic divisions within the nations are to be considered then there are very few nation states in the world today as most states have serious ethnic divisions. The Treaty of Westphalia, which set the benchmark for the emergence of the modern national sovereignty system cannot also be applied anymore to explain the existence of many states that are not truly sovereign (Falk, 2002, p. 345). At the same time, this complicates the process of nation building which is not just driven internally but at times influenced by external actors, thus compromising the aspect of sovereignty.

Unlike the Westphalian nation states that were organised on the basis of their sovereignty, nationality and language, there are no simplistic routes to nation building in the contemporary period. Indeed, it has been argued that in following the nation building approach on the model of the western states, the Eastern European nations as well as much of the Third World are imitating “a rather singular model, whose ethnic homogeneity, like its parliamentary institutions, simply cannot be transplanted. They have been pursuing a Western mirage” (Smith 1986, 230). According to Hippler (2005) “nation-building is on one hand a process of socio-political development, and on the other hand it can be a political objective as well as a strategy for reaching specific political objectives”. There are three important aspects to nation building, which are discussed in this section. The first is ideological legitimation of the nation as the unit around which the nation-State is constructed. The second is social integration, which happens with the peaceful interaction between diverse sub-groups and a shared economy. The third is state-building, which is a process of institutionalisation with the nation-building exercise moving forward with the building of institutions of governance and administration. Thus, it is important to understand the components of nation-building such as ideological legitimation, social integration and state-building.

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Ideological Legitimation

Ideological Legitimation (or an integrative ideology) requires the citizens of one nation to relate themselves to a common collective identity (Garth Peot, 2006). This can be complicated by the fact of the actual heterogeneity of the identities, be these linguistic, religious, or ethnic. This problem of lack of homogeneity however is sought to be resolved by creation of a shared common identity often couched in nationalist terms. As Hopp and Kloke-Lesch (2005) note “This is a sociocultural structuring and integration process leading to shared characteristics of identity, values, and goals. It is not the homogeneity of these characteristics that is relevant, rather the recognition of heterogeneity and facilitating inclusion” (140). Iraq’s nation consists of different ethnic and ethnoreligious groups such as Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Arabs and Kurds. Despite this diversity, in order to become a united nation, they need to primarily regard their identities as ‘Iraqi’, and secondarily hold their origins, religious and cultural identities (Garth Peot, 2006). Garth Peot (2006) cites Hippler “[a]s long as the primary identity and loyalty lies with the tribe, clan or an ethnic or ethnoreligous group and the ‘national’ identity level remains subordinate or missing, a nation-state will continue to be precarious”. According to Vidal (2003) the reason of the US failing to establish viable democracies in Afghanistan, Haiti and Somalia is due to the ethnic, socio-economic and tribal division of these states.

B. Social Integration

Another element of a successful process of nation-building requires the social integration of the “loosely associated groups” (Hippler:2005, 8). As Garth Peot (2006) notes all groups within a country need to be ‘involved in all aspects of the society’, so that all the groups could have a dialogue between each other. Moreover, the demand of getting all groups involved and not excluding any group from the society will help to prevent further problems (Garth Peot, 2006). For instance, in one study, it is argued that the representation of all diverse ethnic groups in a post conflict nation building exercise in institutions like defence services, can lead to the inclusion of different groups of people in the nation building exercise (Simonsen 2007). From a practical perspective, a nation-building process requires a ‘national’ infrastructure, namely transportation and communication structures, leading to the development of a ‘national economy’ from a local scale to nationwide scales, such as national mass media in order to create a ‘national political and cultural discourse’ (Hippler:2005, 9). The created infrastructures need to accessible to every group, so that the population could use these assets for transactions and communication (Hopp and Kloke-Lesch: 2005, 140). Furthermore, it is vital to provide an “active and open participation of civil society in the formulation of the country's government and its policies” (Hamre and Sullivan: 2002, 92). It is clear that a successful democratic nation-building process requires not only an economic development and state-building, but also

the promotion of democratic values of the civil society and culture, and certainly establishing social, political, economic equality of all citizens and groups (Stephenson: 2005). The existence and interference of any ‘disenfranchised groups’ into the nation-building process would create difficulties in achieving a goal of creating a holistic society (Garth Peot, 2006).

State-Building

The final element of nation-building, according to Hippler, is the development of ‘a functional state apparatus’ which is able to control the national territory (Hippler: 2005, 9). As Stephenson (2005) claims, the state embodies a functional state apparatus by the means of which a nation rule itself. In order for the nation to rule itself, the aforementioned components of nation-building such as ideological legitimation and social integration need to be established (Garth Peot, 2006). Indeed, for a coherent nation-building, these three elements must be established and the state-building as the final component encourages citizens to take part in the nation-building process. For instance, from the state apparatus perspective, the citizens can take part in their nation-building by working as politicians, police, and other government employees. As Garth Peot (2006) points “[c]itizens are much more likely to become a part of the state security apparatus if they feel that they are part of the ‘nation’ and civil society”. When it comes to the security of the nation, it is obvious that security is crucial to nation-building, especially, for a post-conflict nation-building process. Security is a key concept of nation-building, as the components of nation-building, namely ideological legitimation, social integration and state-building will certainly fail if this concept fails to be established (Feldman: 2004, 72). As a result, this concept is central to the nation-building process’ components. The concept of nation-building is used in two interrelated, but still different ways. On the one hand, it is used to define the process of building a nation after a conflict through interference of foreign powers as in the cases of the US interference in post-World War Japan or post- Cold War Afghanistan, and recently in Iraq. On the other hand, it refers to processes of nation-building in newly independent or transition states; post the Second World War many countries have attained independence in Asia and Africa and their nation building processes provide an insight into how newly independent states approach nation building. As for the first way of using nation-building, the example of the US will be presented due to the absence of ‘a nation-building doctrine’ in a pure military sense, thus, a pattern of ‘best practice’ is applied (Hippel:2004, 79). According to Hippel, in order to unite the nation, the process of nation-building needs to have three key attributes such as social integration, ideological legitimation and ‘state-building’. These key elements of nation-building can be clearly seen based on the cases of the United States’ engagement into another country’s nation-building process.

Nation-Building in Post Conflict States

Hippel notes that there are three attributes of nation building: social integration, ideological legitimation and state-building. The question is whether these attributes are also seen in some of the examples of nation building. In this section, the examples of post-conflict states is taken to explore this issue. The role of United States in nation building exercises has been some matter of scholarly interest beginning with its role in post war Germany and Japan to the current period where America is involved in Iraq and Afghanistan nation building (Dobbins 2003). Just like the post war period, the post Cold War period also saw a number of failed states that were earlier considered to be important to both the Russians and Americans, like Yugoslavia and Afghanistan (Dobbins 2003). The post-Cold War period saw the disintegration of many such states. Needless to say, the United States has started practising its engagement into other states’ nation-building from the period of post-World War 2 in West Germany and Japan. With the help of the international community, the US has “rebuilt two homogenous nations that were both weary of conflict and openly receptive to democratic change”. However, in the case of Iraq, the US has faced

significant difficulties, as Iraq in contrast to the cases of Japan and West Germany “has always been characterized by internal conflict in the form of ethnic, religious, and cultural tensions” (Garth Peot, 2006). Considering Iraq’s internal tensions, obstacles in the process of nation-building, and especially considering “no small part to the wide range of actors and interests in the conflict” (Garth Peot, 2006), Iraq appears to show a distinct trajectory of its nation-building process. As Alesino and Reich (2015) point out, “[n]ations stay together when citizens share enough values and preferences and can communicate with each other.” The dynamics of Iraq’s process of building a nation can be seen as an example of nation’s rebuilding. Therefore, the case of the United States’ engagement with Iraq’s nation-building is a case of a foreign power interference into another state’s nation-building after a conflict. But this strand of literature is not very relevant to explore nation-building in states that gained independence peacefully and started the process of nation-building without major external intervention. However, before switching to nation-building in newly independent states it is worthwhile to review some studies of nation-building in post-conflict societies as well. Looking at the trajectory of nation-building since World War 2 to present, it is clear that the process has changed over time. For example, the United States’ nation-building during the post-World War 2 period and throughout the Cold War period, was mainly focusing on the creation of ‘buffer states’ in order to be

istant from communism, being called ‘democratization’ (Garth Peot, 2006). The United States’ role in nation-building in both post-war Germany and Japan can be described as “it stood for demilitarization (and denazification in Germany), establishment of democratic institutions, and re-education of the entire country's population”, which may also be seen as an interference (Hippel: 2000, 95). However, in terms of the triad of social integration, ideological legitimation and ‘state-building’, it can be seen that these are present in how nation-building processes in Germany were carried out with the establishment of institutions as well as through the education of the masses. When it comes to the reasons why America’s efforts were successful, according to Dempsey (2001) it was partially because “the United States mobilized extraordinary resources to transform America's war-time enemies, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, into liberal democracies” (Dempsey: 2001, 59). This is a clear attempt at ideological legitimation by the legitimisation of the institutions through democratic processes. On the other hand, Fieldman (2004) notes that, in fact, for the US “it was far less important that Germany and Japan be democratic than that they be capitalist and rich” (Feldman: 2004, 7). This seems to add another element to the nation building process in terms of economy building albeit in a way that provides advantages to the external party also. This is also supported by the claims of Garth Peot (2006) that the cases of Japan and Germany were successful owing to the existence of the facets of the

state such as economy, governmental structure, national identity, civil society and security, even though these were noticeably damaged. It is obvious that these two cases of US’ intervention to the nation-building process of another state was the extremely successful and quite impressive. At the same time, it can be seen that apart from Hipple’s triad of social integration, ideological legitimation and ‘state-building’, there are other attributes of nation building process that are at play. There were less successful or even controversial results in other post-conflict nation-building initiatives in Vietnam, Lebanon, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq (Garth Peot, 2006). The topic of American failure in these states is a hotly discussed one with many perspectives and points of view. One of the remarkable notions on America’s failure is offered by Feldman (2004) claiming that the lack of success in the aforementioned states was due to the worldwide community’s trend “to settle for the dampening of violence, not to devote to nation-building the resources or time that would be needed for it to succeed” (19). Indeed, in order to succeed in one state’s nation-building the external actor is obliged to make every effort and devote vast resources to the nation-building process, otherwise it risks the non-completion of the transformation successfully (Garth Peot, 2006). In addition, when it comes to the United States’ failure in the aforementioned states was because “most of the needed elements (as mentioned above in regard

to Germany and Japan) were never in place or only in a very rudimentary amount” (Etzioni: 2004). Therefore, it is clear that a successful nation-building process requires huge efforts to the state structure in post-conflict states in particular. As for nation-building during the Cold War period this was aimed at stabilizing the state so that it could “act as a counterweight against communism”, but not at rebuilding its infrastructure (Garth Peot, 2006). Such approach was implemented by both the United States and USSR, as each was putting significant efforts to increase the number of allies among weak states in terms of their political systems. As Vidal notes (2003) America and the Soviet Union chose weak states for geopolitical reasons; however, denied their interference to other states, resulting in disintegration of the states. The disintegration was because external actors were more concerned and “focused on the creation of state allegiance rather than on the creation of states themselves” (Dempsey: 2001, 60). A distinctive feature of the nation-building of the Cold War period is described by Feldman (2004) that “the objective was to create nations that would, by a complex combination of external pressure and the financial self-interest of elites, take our (America’s) side in a global war and be useful to us in it”. However, the Cold War period nation-building approach had become obsolete as the USSR ceased to exist. Moreover, it can be seen that

social integration, ideological legitimation and ‘state-building’ attributes are missing in these cases. The United States’ nation-building approaches needed to be updated as the old demand of the creation of ‘buffer zones’ making it distant from communism was no longer required with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As a result, the nature and aims of America’s nation-building have changed. The updated nature of the United States’ approach focuses on establishing legitimate and liberal democracies in order to enhance international peace and security (Garth Peot, 2006). In this regard, America engaged with nation building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia. However, the United States was not always successful, as can be seen in in Somalia’s nation-building, wherein the United States had significant military casualties resulting in the rapid termination of its efforts (Garth Peot, 2006). That case has put under question America’s “somewhat idealistic nature of nation building and the US’ responsibility to democratize the world” (Garth Peot, 2006). Another example of the White House’s interference that had negative outcomes, as Hippel (2000) notes is in Rwanda” (Hippel: 2000, 96). This could also mean that ideological legitimation through introduction of democratic institutions in these countries either failed or was not accepted. An interesting specific of the updated US nation-building is that “[t]he need to establish democratic states favourable to U.S. interests became

especially urgent given the rapid ascent of terrorism during the last decade”, meaning that the process of nation-building can now be seen as a form of conflict prevention (Garth Peot, 2006). It is clear that ‘failed states’ can be easily saturated by terrorism, thus, contributing to a solid state can also be seen as contributing to tackling terrorism. As Hippler points, “the breakdown of the state can cause economic, social, and political development to fail, give rise to major humanitarian disasters, destabilize entire regions and even turn them into sources of transnational terrorism” (Hippler: 2005, 4). As a result, external actors engaging into another states’ nation-building, especially in post-conflict states, need to make sure the process is completed considering security perspective. According to Feldman “our objective must be to build stable, legitimate states whose own citizens will not seek to destroy us” (Feldman: 2004, 8). In between this discourse on nation building by external actors, it is also important to consider the impact of external intervention for the achieving social integration or ideological legitimation. This is especially relevant to traditional societies where external intervention can also mean significant upheaval of established ways of the people. The modernisation theory was used by Lerner (1958) to explain the ways in which post colonial era has seen countries in the West, particularly the United States has seen the project of helping nations build themselves also as an exercise in modernisation of the traditional societies now

being reorganised as nation states. While on one hand, Lerner (1958) shows how Western states used their intervention in traditional societies to encourage the nation building on the lines of modernisation; on the other hand, he also depicted the role played by the elites in the society in interpreting the meaning of the messages coming from the Western world and using this interpretation in some way towards influencing the nation building exercise. What this could also mean is that social integration as an attribute of nation-building is best left to the societies concerned and an external actor cannot undertake this part. Moreover, legitimisation is challenged by the different worldviews of the populations. The agenda of an external actor like the United States may not be appropriate to the state that is going through nation-building process; for instance, United States may struggle to convince the local populations of the utility of certain kinds of governance systems and institutions that are suitable to a western democracy, but may not find resonance in the state concerned.

Nation-Building in Newly Independent States

History has shown many periods and examples of nation-building in different states, not only after conflicts, but also as a result of gaining independence peacefully. Such examples can be seen after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire or the decolonization processes around the world. The process of nation-building is changing over time as it is influenced by global political trends. Reinhard Bendix (2017) notes that during two decades of post-World War 2 period there were 50 states, which achieved their independence and by 1994 there were 50 more states, which gained their independence. When it comes to the process of gaining independence peacefully, it is important to highlight the states, which were formed after the collapse of the USSR as that period can serve as a source of empirical data for nation-building in ‘non-post-conflict’ environment. When comparing the nation-building of post-conflict states with the newly independent states, it is clear that the latter does not have a direct foreign power interference to their nation-building process. However, external actors might have indirect influence though different channels. Security aspects are not highly prioritised as in post-conflict societies but there is a risk of discrimination of non-titular ethnicities. Nation-building in newly independent states appear to prioritise the creation of a united nation. After the collapse of the USSR, fifteen new states were formed, including the Russian Federation. The process of declaration of independence of post-Soviet states during 1988-1991 is called “the parade of sovereignties”. The dissolution of the Soviet Union has left many of its former states struggling to forge new political nations out of the legacy of communist rule (Taras Kuzio, 2002). Each former Soviet country needed to construct their national identities. At the same time, Smith et al. (1998) notes the paradox of the situation, when “the post-colonial desire to recreate national identities can facilitate solidarity,

play a positive role in state-making and form a basis for popular participation in politics”. On the other hand, bearing in mind that nation-building politics of the newly independent states can include the “ethnicization” or even “racialization”, which is an important element of borderland politics and cultural life (Smith et al.:1998, 1), it is clear that the nation-building challenge of the post-Soviet States is an interesting and complicated case to study. When it comes to the multi-ethnic borderland politics, ‘predispositions’ among the dominant and minority national groups remain in terms of recognising and overemphasising the need for collective rather than individual actors as part of essential ingredients of political community (Ibid: 2). Moreover, that perception and a model of behaviour is being implemented by the state and its dominant institutions, as Smith et al. (1998) cites Roger Brubaker when identifying this tendency of both political and cultural elites “to see the state as an “unrealised” nation-state, as a state destined to be a nation-state…and the concomitant disposition to remedy this perceived defect, to make the state what it is properly and legitimately destined to be, by promoting the language, culture, demographic position, economic flourishing or political hegemony of the nominally state-bearing nation”. Therefore, “the articulation of interests” and behaviour of public institutions and policies appear to demonstrate the interests of dominant national groups (Smith et al.:1998, 2). This idea intersects with Benedict Anderson’s claim that “[i]f nation-states are

widely conceded to be ‘new’ and ‘historical,’ the nations to which they give political expression always loom out of an immemorial past, and, still more important, glide into a limitless future. It is the magic of nationalism to turn chance into destiny” (Anderson: 2016: 12). Indeed, the issue of nationalism might be a common problem for states in the process of nation-building, especially for post-Soviet states, which have a history of existence long before the Soviet Union with its policy of putting forward the idea of soviet citizenship with all due consequences. This research will focus on the concept of nation-building in newly independent states, in Kazakhstan in particular, considering concepts such as nationalism and state efforts in terms of creating an ‘imagined community’. This research into nation building and imagined community is relevant because there are relevant aspects of minority identities to be considered.

Literature on Nation-building in Kazakhstan

In order to clearly structure the observed literature, the research needs to be divided into main directions such as nation-building processes in general, post-Soviet nation-building, Kazakhstan’s nation-building including diaspora’s role in nation-building and Russia’s identity policy. Firstly, the works of Hippler (2005), K. V. Hippel (2000, 2004), Alesino and Reich (2015), Peot (2006) have greatly expanded my knowledge on nation-building processes in general. When it comes to nation-building in post-USSR states my knowledge and understanding were significantly influenced by Smith et al. (1998), Kalsto (2000), Melvin (1995). Specifically, in terms of understanding the processes in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to highlight the works of Akiner (1995), Cummings (2003, 2005, 2006), Olcott (2002), Bohr (1998, 2004, 2010), Dave (2007), Burkhanov (2014, 2017), Sharipova (2014), Schatz (2004) who have provided massive sources of information on Kazakhstan’s national and state identity, being helpful for the generation of ideas on the researched topic. Their works are discussed in this section. For instance, the work written by Olcott (2002) was extremely useful in terms of understanding Kazakhstan’s identity project and how ethnic Russians and Kazakhs contribute to the process of construction of independent ‘Kazakhstani’ nation. While Sally Cummings gave important information on Kazakhstan’s internal issues, including a crucial perspective on the government official’s transformation from ‘bi-ethnic’ to ‘monoethnic’ and ‘indigenous’ community. Her works appear to be useful in understanding the transformation of standpoints of the political elites towards the Russians in Kazakhstan, and Russia in general. Another valuable source, Dave (2007) provides important arguments that Kazakhstan’s ‘Russified’ and ‘Sovietized’ national identity was not developed as a top-down process, but there were other reasons including opportunities, resulting in bottom-up initiatives supporting the process of imposing the Soviet nationality policy. This includes constructivist viewpoint

which seeks to bring forth the meeting point between the top down and the bottom up aspects of nation building. Dave (2007) takes a critical approach to this top-down approach adopted by the elites as it has created a “patrimonial system” in which Kazakhs are the owners of their property but they do not have much role to play in the “public debate on indigenousness, redistributive justice, culture or identity” (pp.159-160). YOU NEED TO BE CLEAR ABOUT WHICH APPROACH YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, TOP DOWN OR BOTTOM UP? I CANNOT DECIDE THAT FOR YOU. The understanding of broader post-Soviet nationality developments in the former-USSR space were greatly contributed by Szporluk (1994), Bremmer (1994), Taras (1994), Smith et al. (1998) and Kalsto (1995). Bremmer (1994) writes about the conflicts between Russians and the other ethnicities after the new states were formed due to the disintegration of USSR and the perceived discrimination by the Russians in the newly formed states led them to form an international front to preserve their ties with Russia. The writers noted above provided deep analysis on various post-USSR states’ nation-building processes. The aforementioned studies were written before the 2000s at the very early stages of nation-building in post-Soviet states, therefore, their conclusions were somewhat tentative. Nonetheless, their analyses of current processes in various states were extremely deep and

well-balanced with many factors considered, contributing in understanding the initial issues of the states as a starting point and how they developed over time. When it comes to the Russians, who found themselves in different countries, not in their home-land - the USSR, the works by Melvin (1995), Kalsto (1995, 2000), King and Melvin (1998), Hosking (2004, 2006) were very helpful in terms of shifting the perspective from newly formed ‘ethnic minorities’ in various former-USSR states. King and Melvin (1998) write about the difficulties and challenges faced by the new countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union, wherein countries like Estonia, Latvia, and others has not only to defend statehood, but also balance the claims to ethnic proprietorship over lands as there were heterogeneous populations living here. Hosking (2004) provides an insight into the workings of different structures and institutions in the Russian state and society and how some of these structures and institutions are still relevant to understanding the ways in which Russians approach the modernisation project in Russia itself. Hosking (2006) writes about the inherent conflicts between the imagining of Russia as a nation because of the different ethnicities, and cultures represented here. Narrowing down the focus, Laitin (1998) helped in terms of language policy. The insights provided by Laitin (1998) were very useful in interpreting the change of the Soviet and post-Soviet interactions between nationalities. Laitin (1998) found that Russian speaking diaspora in the newly created states after the disintegration of the Soviet Union faced a crisis of identity. Using large surveys of titular and Russian respondents, and discourse analysis of the articles

published in the Russian press, Laitin (1998) found that pluralism could be achieved in the post Soviet countries if the titular governments downloads national agenda and Russian speaking population does not organise itself as Russians or Russian speakers. Moreover, the Brubaker model will also be discussed in terms of linking a nationalizing state, ethnic minorities and homeland state, which can be extremely helpful in analysing the position of ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan. Other scholarly works which contributed to deepening the understanding of the nature of ethnicity and nationality, and the interaction of various ethnic groups are those of Gellner (1997), Anderson (1991), Hobsbawm (1990), Smith (1991), Greenfeld (1992) and Connor (1994). These also helped in terms of contributing into the methodology and analytical framework of the thesis. As for the Russian identity policy influencing Kazakhstan’s nation-building efforts, the works by Dawisha and Parrot (1997), Trenin (2002), Nalbandov (2016), Monaghan (2016, 2017), Tsygankov (2003, 2004, 2008) and Sergunin (2016) heavily contributed in formulating the knowledge of Russia’s foreign and identity policies and helped in interpreting different perspectives. Trenin (2002) writes about what it means to be Russia and how there is a difference between Russia as a geographical notion and Russia as a nation. Nalbandov (2016) writes about the foreign policy of Russia under Vladimir Putin where the notion of external threats to Russia has played an important role in how Russia

structures its foreign policy as well as fosters a collectivist attitude amongst its people. Monaghan (2016) writes about the recent foreign policy decisions of Russia where the relationship between the West and Russia comes more into focus, such as the Ukraine crisis; even the political protests surrounding the 2011–12 election in Russia is shown in the context of the contrast between Russian ideals and the western democratic ideals. Tsygankov (2003) writes about the post Soviet Russia and the challenges that it faces in reimagining its cultural and ethnic boundaries and he bases his arguments on the premise of ‘critical’ geopolitics that considers geographical space as a product of political and cultural imagination. The similar theme of a search for its identity in the post Soviet Russia is also undertaken by Sergunin (2016) who writes about Russian foreign policy and decision making from the perspective of the identity and discourse around Russian identity. Additionally, other interesting works by Lieven (1995, 2002, 2003), Beissinger (1995), Hosking (1997, 2004, 2006) and Smith (1998) offer ideas on Kazakhstan’s post-colonial national identity processes. Beissinger (1995) writes about the post Soviet perceptions of the neo-imperial ambitions of the Russian state wherein even after the disintegration of USSR, the ‘empire’ is thought to be continued through the communism doctrine. In a sense there is a continuation of the Russian influence in the post Soviet states as Smith (1998) points out in

the form of ‘legal continuity’; indeed, Smith (1998) writes that Estonia would require a ‘formal programme of decolonization’ (p. 3). These works precisely link Kazakhstan’s post-colonial theory to its nation-building and national identity developments. These works helped to understand the nature and supplied the main hypothesis of the interplay between Russia’s identity policy and newly independent Kazakhstan’s nation-building project. An important source of information apart from academic literature is from the surveys on Kazakhstan’s national identity topic. To differentiate the existing surveys from this thesis, the aims, methods and results of such surveys need to be observed and analysed. The most relevant and distinctive surveys were conducted by Masanov (1996), Malkova, Kalsto, Melberg (1998), Hagendoorn, Linssen, Tumanov (2001), Kurganskaya, Dunaev (2002), Kurganskaya, Dunaev, Aitkozhin (2003). Masanov’s survey was conducted in 1996 for the purpose of gaining insight into the attitudes of Kazakhstan’s civic population in terms of interethnic relations and identification of the factors which might trigger interethnic conflicts. The results of the survey have shown a massive difference between the titular and non-titular nations’ perceptions of their identities in Kazakhstan. To be more precise, ethnic Kazakhs were extremely open in supporting nationalising policies, while the issues not related to the national project have

not had the same level of positive support and were quite flexible (Masanov, 1996). As for the Russians in Kazakhstan, their ‘updated’ efforts were aimed not at preserving their former dominance in the country, but at having at least formal equality in political and socio-economic spheres to the titular nation. Moreover, the Russians appeared to sort of ‘live’ in the past and crave the Soviet period or starting to look at Russia as their homeland, resulting in difficulties in engaging in Kazakhstan’s political life. According to Masanov (1996) these factors were extremely dangerous in terms of Kazakhstan’s nation building process, creating major difficulties in establishing a united nation and might become a threat into interethnic communication. Although the survey was conducted thoroughly, it has certain limitations such as its outdated results, which may not be relevant at this time. Moreover, the questions in the survey were quite repetitive and rigid, lacking certain flexibility, thus, too narrow to understand broader perspectives of the interviewed people. Furthermore, the survey was saturated by academic phrases for ordinary respondents without providing a proper definition to the terms such as indigenous or national minority. This brought in a level of vagueness to the survey questions. Nevertheless, Masanov’s survey offers interesting opinions, and provides useful, yet, controversial and unexpected results, despite having aforementioned limitations.

Another noticeable survey was conducted by Kolsto, Melberg and Malkova in 1999. Their comparative survey aimed at understanding the attitudes of both titular and non-titular groups in terms of social integration in Latvia and Kazakhstan. The results have shown that ethnic Kazakhs were willing to accept the Russians to Kazakhstani society to a greater extent, while the Russians have demonstrated ambiguity in terms of integrating into Kazakhstani society. Based on the survey, the Russians did not challenge the political superiority of the titular nation, at the same time, they also did not sincerely want to be culturally and politically loyal to Kazakhstan. The authors of the survey claim that the Russians will integrate into Kazakhstan’s society over quite a long time due to major cultural divisions and merging one culture to another did not seem possible (Kolsto, Melberg & Malkova, 1999). The survey’s primary limitation is its date, as it was conducted in 1996. Despite its limitation, the survey provides a brilliant view on the obstacles of the Kazakh-Russian interethnic integration in Kazakhstan and the results correlate with the survey conducted by Masanov (1996). Hagendoorn, Tumanov and Linssen (2001) provide findings based on a vast comparative survey. The survey was aimed at understanding the interaction and reasons for possible conflicts between five titular nations in the post-Soviet Union states (Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine) with their Russian diasporas within their countries. According to the survey,

nation-building process in Kazakhstan was poorly established and the Russians of Kazakhstan were forced to adapt to the new political order as well as the socio-cultural environment in order to preserve their economic positions. On the other hand, those who did not wish to adapt and integrate into the Kazakhstani society, had the option of leaving the country and moving to Russia. The authors of the survey found negative conditions for the Russians in terms of integrating into the society as there was a lack of opportunity to keep having a distinctive Russian identity due to Kazakhstan’s shift from Russian world and promoting its own culture. Moreover, according to the survey, the Kazakhs perceived the Russians as ‘potential fifth columnists’, thus, Russian diaspora was seen as a reason for Russia’s potential intervention creating fear among the titular nation. All in all, the authors highlight the importance of the Russians’ loyalty, voice and titular nation’s response to these strategies in terms of nation-building and interethnic communication in the future (Hagendoorn, Tumanov & Linssen, 2001). This survey reveals an interesting perception among the titular nation that the Russian diaspora can become a reason for Russia’s intervention in Kazakhstan. The survey conducted by Kurganskaya and Dunaev (2002) shows the difficulties in the nation-building project due to unwillingness of most ethnic groups to integrate into Kazakhstani culture on the basis of Kazakh traditions and language. Precisely, the survey clearly reveals this opposition to integrate

into the new Kazakhstani society among ethnic Russians and Germans, while the titular nation is ready to make their language and culture as shared values for all citizens of Kazakhstan. Interestingly, despite a high level of tolerance between all ethnic groups, there were tensions in the state governance sector between the titular and non-titular groups. According to Kurganskaya and Dunaev (2002) the tension was influenced by the titular nation’s perception of non-titular ones as ‘potentially disloyal’ to the country. As a result of this opposition to integrate, in Kurganskaya and Dunaev (2002) argued that various ethnic groups in Kazakhstan have strengthened their own identities, creating obstacles in terms of developing a common, shared identity. Moreover, it was argued that this tension also contributed to the migration of the Russians, who have shown a high level of opposition to engage into the new Kazakhstan’s identity project, putting forward their own. This survey also has certain limitations, the central one is that it lacks a methodology. Additionally, Kurganskaya and Dunaev (2002) appear to have bias in terms of interpretation of the findings towards the Russians in Kazakhstan. Although they seem to have bias, that served as an advantage in terms of exploring sensitive topics for ethnic Russians such as their fears and perceptions in Kazakhstan. Last but not least, the survey by Aitkozhin, Kurganskaya and Dunaev (2003) was conducted from the legal protection perspective of the minority rights in Kazakhstan. The survey reveals that ethnic minorities were found in the

periphery of state’s political life, even though they were not discriminated. According to the results, the minority groups were alienated from ideological, political, economic, social and cultural means of power; since the independence of Kazakhstan, this estrangement has been only enhanced and fostered by ethnic factors in the national-state building (Aitkozhin, Kurganskaya & Dunaev, 2003). As for limitations of the survey, its findings do not appear to adequately show the demographic population’s territorial and social structure in Kazakhstan. Furthermore, Aitkozhin seem to influence the perspective of Kurganskaya and Dunaev whose previous survey had bias towards ethnic Russians, by adding his bias as an ethnic Kazakh scholar with the feature of being open for integration of all ethnic groups in Kazakhstan and recommending to proclaim all the ethnic groups as ‘state-bearing’, not focusing on the division of titular and non-titular

Conclusion

To conclude, the existing literature shows that the issue of nation-building in Kazakhstan attracted attention of scholars initially and substantial knowledge base is accumulated through the surveys conducted; however, all of these surveys are now dated and may not reflect correctly upon the situation at this time. Surveys are required to build our understanding of how peoples and groups construct their nationality and approach nation building considering the ethnic differences in Kazakhstan. Russia can be seen as an external actor in this situation. However, Russia is not an external actor in the same way as the United States was in Germany in post war period of nation building. This is because of the significant population of Russian speaking diaspora in Kazakhstan and their possible affinity to Russia even at this time. To explore this, surveys could play an important role in understanding how Russian speaking citizens of Kazakhstan understand their ethnicity and situate that in their nationality. The literature highlights the importance of ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan’s nation-building and their opposition to integrate into the new Kazakhstan’s society. Literature and surveys focus on the opposition of minorities to integrate into Kazakhstan’s society, but none of them attempt to find the ‘influencers’ or actors and reasons why non-titular groups oppose the nation-building project. Having said that, there is a gap in literature in addressing the issue of how identity politics in one country (i.e. Russia) influences the nation-building in another (i.e. Kazakhstan), directly and through the diaspora. Survey results suggested that there were fears in the titular group of a potential Russian intervention due to the non-titular group; however, more insight is needed to understand the basis for such fears. Additionally, all of the existing surveys were published in the 1990s and early 2000s, which means the findings can be outdated and current situation in Kazakhstan’s community might significantly differ from previous results. To be precise with the general categories of the

existing literature on the topic, it needs to be mentioned that there is now significant literature on newly independent Kazakhstan, alongside the literature on Russia’s identity and identity related foreign policy aimed at ethnic Russians living outside Russia. However, none of the existing literature uses the theoretical framework which could address the question of Russia’s identity policy influencing nation-building in Kazakhstan. One of the attempts was made by Brubaker (2011), who applies his triadic nexus (nationalizing state, national minority, homeland) on the case of Kazakhstan. But his research mainly draws on existing literature and secondary data. This study extends the application of his triadic nexus and integrates primary data through discourse analysis. The theoretical underpinning of the current study is presented in the next section.

Theoretical Framework

Introduction

When it comes to the nation-building theory, Kalsto (2000) suggests: “[n]ation-building theory was used primarily to describe the processes of national integration and consolidation that led up to the establishment of the modern nation-state – as distinct from various forms of traditional states, such as feudal and dynastic states, church states, and empires. Nation-building is an architectural metaphor that, strictly speaking, implies the existence of consciously acting agents – architects, engineers, carpenters, and the like. As used by political scientists, however, the term covers not only conscious strategies initiated by state leaders but also unplanned societal change” (Kalsto:2000, 16). DID NOT UNDERSTAND THIS COMMENT. Stein Rokkan (1999) presented a structured perspective of nation-building providing four analytically distinct dimensions. The first stage relates to economic and cultural unification among elites. The second phase concerns larger mass sectors involving into the state system by the means of army, enrolling into education system, etc. The next stage is to actively engage the subject masses into the work of the territorial political system. The final phase involves the public into the state administrative apparatus and the establishment of the national welfare system with implementing state policies aimed at equalization of economic conditions of all citizens. This structure is a clear top

down approach to understanding the process of nation building as the process commences from the elite and then proceeds downwards to the general public. While this may explain how nation building happens in some contexts, it cannot explain the ways in which nation building itself can be impeded because of the resistance in parts of the general public as may happen in diverse societies with groups of minority interests. Apart from abovementioned nation-building theories, the idea of nation-building was presented by various scholars such as Karl Deutsch, Reinhard Bendix and Charles Tilly. Their works suggested a historically oriented political explanation of nation-building. However, these works appear to be preoccupied with social discrepancy between elites and masses. Moreover, they seem to partially or totally in neglect of ethnic diversity within state citizens. Therefore, in 1994 Walker Conner attacked the existing schools of thought, which ignored ethnic diversity as an important variable in the state’s nation-building process. He claimed that previous theories of nation-building neglecting ethnic diversity can be applied to only 9 percent of the world’s states, which regarded to be ethnically homogeneous. Furthermore, he claimed that when states neglect ethnic diversity, this process is not defined as nation-building, but “nation-destroying” (Conner, 1994). The concept of nation cannot be separated from the concept of nation-building and herein lies a problem because nation is not perceived to mean the same thing to different

people. For some, nation is related to identity or shared identity and the concept of identity itself falls into one of two ascriptions: the primordialist for whom identity is related to shared experiences, familial bonds, language, and ethnic and cultural histories (Musek 1997: 181); and the constructivists/modernists for whom identity is imagined or “invented by political actors as a political programme” (Neumann 1999: 32). In the case of Slovenia for example, it has been argued that identity became a “symbolic-mythical nationalism” which was imagined (Gavrilović & Perica, 2011: 15). Given this, it is clear that ethnic diversity is an extremely important factor that needs to be considered in nation-building. Especially, this factor is vital with regard to states with diverse ethnic communities. The ethnic diversity factor and the role of diasporas is central in this research because Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic state. Based on the notion of importance of the ethnic diversity within the state to the nation-building process, the thesis as a case study considers Kazakhstan’s large Russian diaspora/minority as a fundamental variable contributing into the state’s nation-building project. However, it considers Russian diaspora not as an isolated community within the state, but also as a community which might be highly influenced by identity policy of their historical homeland – Russia, as well as Kazakhstan’s national identity policy initiatives (Laitin, 1993, 1994, 1995). Therefore, the identity politics of Russia and its influence in the near-abroad, in Kazakhstan in particular, and

Kazakhstan’s nation-building efforts is the focus of the study. The conceptual framework suggested by Brubaker (1995) is applied to study the influence of Russian identity politics and Russian minority positions on nation-building process in Kazakhstan. Brubaker (1995) suggests a triangular configuration to explore the construction of nation-states in Europe and Central Eurasia after the collapse of Soviet Union. His triadic relational nexus links national minorities, nationalising states, and external national homelands that allows better understanding of nation-building in newly independent states. Later studies have also included the role of international community by suggesting additional factor to the original triadic nexus. The quadratic nexus including nationalising state, national minority, national homeland, and international community was proposed by Kelley (2004) and applied to study external influences on nation-building in Baltic, Central and East European states. The OSCE and EU have played key roles in shaping identity debate and domestic politics in Baltic, Central and East European countries that aspired EU membership and had to comply with EU norms. However, in the case of Kazakhstan, the EU norms play very limited role in the identity debate. Therefore, I use Brubaker’s (1995) original triadic nexus to explore nation-building in Kazakhstan with certain specifications that are described below.

Nation-building in Kazakhstan is the main focus of the thesis and it is similar to the concept of nationalising state used in Brubaker’s triadic nexus. While nationalising state refers to set of stances and tendencies to promote political hegemony of the titular nation, the term nation-building here is more neutral and leaves room for exploring discourse related to more inclusive and civic nationalism in Kazakhstan. The framework is relations as nation-building in Kazakhstan is influence by two other factors.

Identity debate in Russia refers to general discourse related to the role of Russia in the world and more particularly, debate concerning the role of Russia in near abroad. The identity debate in Russia is partly shaped by how actors perceive the treatment of Russian minorities in post-Soviet states and the responsibilities of Russia in protecting them. Such debate can be translated into state policies such as preferences for returning compatriots, promotion of Russian media, and educational grants for citizens of states in near abroad. Russian minority/diaspora in Kazakhstan does not refer to particular quantifiable entity of ethnic Russians. As defined by Brubaker (1995: 112) ‘it is a dynamic political stance, or, more precisely, a family of related yet mutually competing stances, not a static ethno-demographic condition. Russians or Russian speakers in Kazakhstan may differ in their perceptions of inclusiveness/exclusiveness of nation-building in Kazakhstan and in their identification of Russia as homeland. However, the very existence of Russian minority and different stances among them influences both the debate about them in Russia and nation-building in Kazakhstan. In the next section I elaborate on each of the factors in the conceptual framework presented in Figure 1.

The Role of Diasporas and ‘Russian-speakers’ in Nation Building of the post-Soviet States.

The purpose of this section is to examine the ‘diasporization’ practices as a prism in engaging into nation-building, through which the sense of national belonging is formed. In this section, the interplay between historical homeland policy and diaspora groups’ ‘new host societies’ is explored. This approach can provide a valuable perspective on the importance of diasporas’ or national minorities in nation-building in general and the perception of their identification of belonging to a new community. Furthermore, as it was mentioned previously, in addition to Conner Walker’s (1994) work, the scholars of diaspora politics highlight the importance of considering the heterogeneity of communities (Brubaker 2005, Mitchell 1997, Soysal 2002, Weingrod and Levi 2006). Moreover, the analyses of diaspora groups handling a potential conflict of interests within a nation-building state can provide a deeper understanding of obligations and rights of these in their national positioning and understanding the issues of dual-loyalty (Lainer-Vos, 2010). As Lainer-Vos notes (2010) this examination can help in appreciation of diasporas’ in terms of the realism of national identity politics and their role in it. The first part of this section discusses the strategic significance of diasporas’ in general and in nation-building. The second part discusses the emergence of a new identity group in the post-Soviet space called “Russian-speaking population”, coined

The purpose of this section is to examine the ‘diasporization’ practices as a prism in engaging into nation-building, through which the sense of national belonging is formed. In this section, the interplay between historical homeland policy and diaspora groups’ ‘new host societies’ is explored. This approach can provide a valuable perspective on the importance of diasporas’ or national minorities in nation-building in general and the perception of their identification of belonging to a new community. Furthermore, as it was mentioned previously, in addition to Conner Walker’s (1994) work, the scholars of diaspora politics highlight the importance of considering the heterogeneity of communities (Brubaker 2005, Mitchell 1997, Soysal 2002, Weingrod and Levi 2006). Moreover, the analyses of diaspora groups handling a potential conflict of interests within a nation-building state can provide a deeper understanding of obligations and rights of these in their national positioning and understanding the issues of dual-loyalty (Lainer-Vos, 2010). As Lainer-Vos notes (2010) this examination can help in appreciation of diasporas’ in terms of the realism of national identity politics and their role in it. The first part of this section discusses the strategic significance of diasporas’ in general and in nation-building. The second part discusses the emergence of a new identity group in the post-Soviet space called “Russian-speaking population”, coined

scholars see diaspora is an imagined community, to be constructed and not resultant of a mere crossing over (Adamson, 2012). An important aspect of the diaspora is related to the collective memory of homeland and the shaping of identity by the idea of the homeland (Safran, 1991). In a more political context, diaspora identity can be a means of “asserting a political identity, which can be taken up by groups as a source of empowerment” (Adamson, 2012, p. 32). There are also possible transnational political impacts of the political activities of the diaspora as “legal and national affiliations in one part of the world can affect opportunities and actions in another” (Naujoks 2017, 200). Diaspora’s place between the three dimensions lead to ambiguity in terms of its sovereignty, dual loyalty and the citizenship (Lainer-Vos, 2010). Lainer-Vos (2010) highlights the difficulty of the diaspora situation due to the controversy of their position when it comes to the determination of their belonging to their new countries, alongside its room for future analytical capacity. This controversy offers an empirical point, rather than metaphorical one, as diasporas are declared to be a part of a national-community (Lainer-Vos, 2010). Indeed, a study of diasporas within a nation-building state has various controversies and the nation itself according to Chatterjee (1993) is a fragmented social entity and nation-building is not only limited by diasporas. However, a diaspora study offers a strategic value for the research Lainer-Vos,

2010. Therefore, this ambiguity of the diaspora needs an in-depth consideration for both scholars and policy makers. The approach of taking into account the diaspora dimension was suggested by many scholars such as Gellner (1983), who described the diaspora nationalism. As Lainer-Vos (2010) suggests “[t]he point is not to ignore or confuse important differences between diaspora attachments and national attachments within the nation-state but to treat the encounter between homeland and diaspora communities as a heuristic model for understanding how national movements regulate their relations to the various groups that make up the nation”. Given this, it is clear that diaspora question has a strategic importance to the understanding of nation-building within a state and considering diaspora’s location between their historic homelands and states of their settlement gives a vital analytical dimension for future studies. Secondly, in addition to diaspora, Laitin’s ‘Russian-speaking population’ needs to be taken into account to add weight to understanding of nation-building efforts of a state in the post-Soviet context. Since the mid-1990s, Laitin has started formulating his claim about the emergence of a new identity, which was labelled as ‘Russian-speaking nationality’ (Laitin, 1993, 1994, 1995). This term evolved into the ‘Russian-speaking population’ for the more accurate description of the group, considering self-awareness of the group members and the specifics of Russian language. In his publication, Identity in Formation

(1998), Laitin claims that Russian-speaking population identity is a dominant option of the identity, which is being formulated and transforming within a nationality. He also claims that this form of identity is an alternative to assimilation into a nation of a host-state, being a uniting factor for various Russian-speaking nationalities in the post-Soviet space, and this identity option can trigger conflicts in the future (Laitin, 1998). He states that "[t]he question at hand is whether those who now represent themselves as Russian-speakers will sharpen the boundaries that separate them from others and make claims for political/territorial autonomy based on the cultural distinctiveness of the group within those boundaries" (Laitin:1998, 296). From his claims, it is clear that the position of Russian-speakers and their perception of their own identity and willingness to integrate into the nation-building process is a question of much debates and needs to be researched. As for the significance of considering this group, it is due to the term Russian-speaker being a label not only for ethnic Russians, but also for being an umbrella for other Slavic nations and other ethnicities. For instance, in his survey one participant stated that in Kazakhstan, when ethnic Russian, Ukrainian or Belorussian meet each other, they understand each other (Laitin, 1998). The mass survey conducted by Laitin shows that just over 77 per cent of the respondents in Kazakhstan stated that a Russian-speaker label fits them exactly. While another label in his survey “citizen of Kazakhstan” fitted exactly

around 73 per cent of the respondents. The significance of this is that while there is a majority of people who relate to both identities, there is a slightly higher percentage of those who relate more to the Russian speaker label. When it comes to the two identity questions, it is obvious that a label of being a Russian speaker fits to a higher proportion of people. As a result of this ambiguity in perception of their identity, Russian speakers certainly need to be considered when exploring their belonging to the country and opposition to integrate. The construction of their sense of belonging with variables influencing that and willingness to integrate into the nation-building process will be researched in this thesis. Another facet which needs thorough consideration is ethnic Kazakhs’ perception about the Russian diaspora living next to them. Nation-building process also involves a bottom-up perspective, thus, the perception of ethnic Kazakhs about the other members of Kazakhstani community is an important dimension in understanding the nation-building process as the willingness of Kazakhs to accept Russian-speakers into the state’s community can contribute to the understanding of construction of a united community. When mapping a complex interaction between titular nation and the Russian diaspora in the nation-building process, it might be helpful to use the schemas developed by Schermerhorn (1970) and Horowitz (1985). The interaction between the two

groups is not a constant variable, but changing; thus, the schema of dynamic interaction can aid in mapping these two.

Identity Politics of Russia and its Influence on Russian minorities and nation-building in Kazakhstan

It is clear that diasporas play an important role in nation-building and therefore, an historical homeland’s identity politics needs to be considered as a potential major influencing variable in whether the diaspora accept the process of integration. Additionally, there are scholars claiming about the existence of ‘homo-soveticus’ and ‘Russian-speaking population’ that can also be influenced by the Russia’s identity politics beyond Russia. Therefore, this thesis observes Russia’s role in world politics and its discourse in its near-abroad politics as a central element in terms of its influence on the nation-building of Moscow’s near-abroad, and specifically in Kazakhstan as a case study. As a starting point in examining its influence on nation-building processes of post-Soviet States and Kazakhstan, Russia’s outcomes of identity politics such as “Russian World”, compatriots’ politics, education and media will be considered. Russian World was adopted by the Putin administration in 2007 although the actual etymology of the term can be traced back to the 11th century. The term relates to the construction of the Russian identity and nation as relating to the Russian empire and Russian language. Firstly, the Russian World concept was created to

promote Russian language and culture abroad, and to support compatriots living abroad. However, this concept was also used by Russia to justify its interference into Ukraine. As a result, according to Laruelle (2015), the concept of the Russian World serves for several goals, on the one hand, to justify its actions overseas when Russia “oversee the evolution of its neighbours, and sometimes for an interventionist policy”. On the other, “to reconnect with its pre-Soviet and Soviet past through reconciliation with Russian diasporas abroad” (Laruelle, 2015). The second dimension of this concept is the focus of the thesis, when Moscow uses the Russian World as a bridge in order to stay connected with its diasporas abroad. It can be said however that the two functions are not that different in their goals and that they are related to each other with the latter function supporting the former. In addition to diaspora, President Putin declared in 2001 that “[t]he notion of the Russian World extends far from Russia’s geographical borders and even far from the borders of the Russian ethnicity.” Having said that, the Russian World concept concerns a broader definition rather than only ethnic Russian diaspora and can be applied to other ethnicities abroad. As Laruelle notes (2015) Russia attempts to “regain its international status involved in recovering its role as a centre of influence over the post-Soviet space” also by the means of the Russian World. As a result, the concept of the Russian World can be influential on

diasporas and needs to be examined when understanding the influence of the Russia’s identity politics on diasporas and Russian speakers abroad. Another result of the Russia’s identity politics outside Russia is related to the term compatriots. There are various dimensions of this term, firstly, it is presented in the law of the Russian Federation. According to the compatriots’ law (the code №99 of the Federal Law) an important dimension of the Russian Federation’s politics towards its compatriots abroad is to protect them despite their foreign citizenship. In the same code the term “compatriot” refers to people who have a common language (Russian), traditions, descendance from Russian parentage, or those who support Russian culture and legislation, and/or formal Soviet Union citizens. This broad definition of the term enables Russia to protect and support their compatriots abroad and makes them important recipients of their foreign policy, potentially making compatriots influenced by Russia’s policies. An interesting part of that law is that it states that compatriots living abroad have the right to rely on support of the Russian Federation in the exercise of their civic, political, social, economic and cultural rights, and to preserve their own identity. This law, undoubtedly, enables Russia to support compatriots’ identity in host states, which can be a hindering factor for their integration into the nation-building process of a host-state.

Thirdly, education can also be a tool that is being used to preserve links between homeland and diasporas abroad, as Russia provides scholarships for overseas students including in their near-abroad. Notably, Kazakhstani students can receive scholarships as foreign students, and at the same time apply for scholarships on the same rights as Russian students. According to Simmons (2014) this approach appears to be more pragmatic and many scholars neglect ideological elements behind the education initiative implemented by Moscow (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0363811114000605). Therefore, education can contribute into the influence on diasporas and Russian speakers, who studied at Russian universities by accepting Russia’s ideology. Supporting the Russian ideology itself can contradict with Kazakhstan’s ideology efforts and become an obstacle in terms of willingness to integrate into Kazakhstan’s nation-building. Vartanova (2012) notes that the Russian media reflects political, economic and sociocultural dimensions (Vartanova et al.: 2012, 119). It is no secret that Russia uses the media to impose its own narrative to interpret various issues (Burlinova, 2015). Russia generates a discourse also by the means of the media to promote the idea of being different from the West or opposing the West. Additionally, as Kuczyńska-Zonik (2017) claims, in the context of Baltic states and post-Soviet space, “Russia has exerted its influence in each state through Russian-language media imported from Russia.” Through the prism of realism

Russian media presents Russia’s ‘own way’ by focusing on the conflict between Russia’s model of development and the Western. In the context of Kazakhstan’s identity policy, the anti-Western perspective appears to be invalid, as Astana has chosen to implement multi-vector policy and promoting its own identity does not mean opposing the West (Cummings, 2012). Thus, some Kazakhstani citizens might be influenced by the Russian media, which impose an anti-Western perspective contradicting with the official state policy. PLEASE PUT THIS IN A DIFFERENT SECTION WHICH REPORTS EMPIRICAL DATA. When dealing with this dimension, the research has one aim: to understand the influence of Russia on Kazakhstan (in particular on its diaspora) with the help of Rogers Brubakers triadic nexus. Brubakers (1995) framework appears to be relevant to the research as he identifies three components of ethnic minorities political attitude, when he provides options of ethnic minorities such as claiming the belonging to an ethno-culture different from the dominant group’s, secondly, expect the recognition of a different ethnocultural nationality from the government, lastly, based on the differentiation of their ethnocultural nationality expect certain political and cultural rights. The last component refers to the demand of being provided education in their language, as well as administration aspects. As Howard (2011) claims “[t]he minorities may also opt for full participation in the institutions of the host state, including participation in

coalition governments, or alternatively favour a separatist and non-cooperative stance”. Additionally, minority members can demonstrate loyalty to the host-state, avoiding any contacts with external actors and influencers, at the same time, some of them might seek help and support from the historical homeland (Brubaker 1996:60-61). All in all, Brubaker’s (1995) triadic nexus can be helpful in linking three variables, namely nationalising state, ethnic minorities and influence from historical homeland on diasporas.

Nation-building in Kazakhstan considering the influence of Russia and Russian minority

As some scholars note, the world order with distinct state borders appears to be obsolete (Wilson and Donnan:1998, 1), meaning that international borders have many holes in terms of being a barrier for flows of goods, people, ideas and ‘as markers of the extent and power of the state’ (Wilson and Donnan:1998, 1). According to Wilson and Donnan (1998) this change has resulted in the prediction of the downfall of the nation-state to be a ‘pre-eminent political structure of modernity’ and the call of a new identity politics has emerged, where the understanding of citizenship and identity need to be redefined (Wilson and Donnan:1998, 1). Therefore, Wilson and Donnan (1998) highlight the importance of the role of individuals as members of a state community, especially in regard to their loyalties and identities. Following this dynamic, a

sense of belonging and loyalty is not only a top-down process, but also involves a bottom-up perspective in the construction of a nation. In the post-Soviet Union context, Tolz (2007) claims that former-Soviet states have achieved various degrees of success in terms of their nation-building, which involves citizens’ identities and a sense of belonging to the state, depending on both demographic and ethnic composition of the states. However, it still appears to be a complicated question as Moscow has traditionally been at the heart of the former empire, resulting in a confusion over ‘just borders’ of a new state among citizens (Tolz, 2007). Therefore, the question of identity politics of Russia influencing identities in other post-Soviet states is a question of much debates. Considering Kazakhstan’s large Russian community, the perception about Russian diaspora by the government and ordinary citizens is the important element, when understanding state’s nation-building project. In the case of Baltic states, Kuczyńska-Zonik (2017) claims that after the occupation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine the question of national minorities has become a top Baltic security agenda. Even though there is not much in common between the Baltic states and Ukraine as many scholars claim, yet the Baltic states’ security concepts included the potential threat of minorities in regard to stability and national identity (Kuczyńska-Zonik, 2017). She notes that “Russian-speakers in Latvia and Estonia are large, relatively hermetic,

concentrated populations that reside on Russia’s border. They differ from the other nationalities by their language, religion, values and socio-political status” (Ibid, 2017). The discrepancy of cultural identities between the titular nation and minorities can negatively result in a state’s national identity efforts and destruct state’s integrity (Appadurai, 2006). The argument is that the world has become more interactive and the construction of identity depends on transnational construction of landscapes that are imaginary (Appadurai, 2006, p. 587). Although people may be living in different places, they may have imaginary landscapes of their home countries fueled by mediascape (Levo-Henriksson, 2007, p. 101). Mediascape is defined it as “image- centered, narrative-based accounts of strips of reality” that is fueled in part due to the ethnoscape, or the “landscape of persons who constitute the shifting world in which we live” (Appadurai 2006, 590-591). Kuczyńska-Zonik (2017) claims the national minorities’ degree of securitisation depends on their “level of political, linguistic and socio-economic integration of minorities, their loyalty to the state and acceptance of national values. If state loyalty and respect for state values of minorities concern the government, then minorities start to be securitized”. In the case of Kazakhstan, scholars also claim that the situation in Kazakhstan is not similar as in Ukraine. However, bearing in mind the previous surveys conducted on Russian diaspora in Kazakhstan show that many of them did not feel Kazakhstan as their homes.

Therefore, it’s important to consider the identity debate in Kazakhstan related to how Russia and Russian minority is represented in it to understand nation-building process in the country. Although these representations do not determine actions, they put limits on what action are plausible and what actions are impossible (Neumann 2004; Dunn 2004). Constructivist framework

Data Collection and Analysis

As the theoretical framework of the study is premised on the set of stances or positions of various actors in Kazakhstan and Russia related to nation building, minority rights, and national identity, the research design primarily relies on discourse analysis. Discourse analysis has been supported by Sutherland (2005) for analysing nation building as it is useful for studying the ‘antagonistic dynamic between nation‐state and minority nationalisms’. Sutherland (2005) further notes that the discourse analysis method provides a conceptual toolkit that can be used for empirically analysing nationalist ideology. In his toolkit for analysing discourse Neumann (2004) suggests delimiting texts, then mapping representations, and finally layering discourses. Delimiting texts and mapping representations requires cultural competence and knowledge of actors in Russia and Kazakhstan. In identifying monuments (main texts) as suggested by Neumann (2004), I will rely on interviews with experts and scholars who are involved in research related to nation-building in Kazakhstan and Russia. The main sources of data (texts) will include speeches, personal

interviews, books and other texts generated by actors in two states. State strategies and policies will be linked to these discourses. Alongside secondary data in form of texts, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with experts and representatives of Russian minority in Kazakhstan to get input related to nation-building and minority positions. Considering the sensitivity of issue especially when it comes to Russian minority positions in Kazakhstan due to tight control and possible fears, data collection may take form of screening Facebook and VK.COM (Russian social network) groups that discuss national building in Kazakhstan and its implication for Russians. The data will be analysed through the prism of theoretical framework presented above.

Research Questions and Methodology
Research Statement and Questions

he nation-building processes in the post-Soviet Union space are seen as a rich source for empirical data for researchers and a difficult puzzle owing to many processes taking place discreetly, in many cases lacking official statements and sufficient data for minority stances. As a result, the first thing which was supposed to be understood are policies and terms being articulated in the discourse of a certain country, as discourse analysis “entails the representational practices through which meanings are generated” (Dunn and Neumann, 2019: 2). That is crucial to understand, because minority ideas and stances appear to be heavily influenced by various policies. The discourse analysis approach can be extremely helpful to understand the perceptions of minorities which result in the nation-building process, especially in the light of the lack of official grounds for implemented policies and meanings of preconditions for the actions or policies. This research focuses on the case of Kazakhstan, as a former Soviet Union state, which seems to be influenced by Russian foreign policy, on the one hand, thanks to its large Russian diaspora among its citizens. On the other hand, Kazakhstan’s nation-building is also influenced by an ongoing nation-building process officially being called “Ruhani Zhangiry” (Modernisation of national identity). All in all, both official policies of the two states do not give sufficient understanding of how the minority’s stances are generated. Therefore, the research as mentioned in the previous chapter and briefly described above in this section, consists of three dimensions, namely Russia’s foreign policy including media, the discourse analysis of Russia’s representation in Kazakhstan, which can generate meanings for preconditions of Kazakhstan’s nation-building efforts, and a deep analysis of Kazakhstani Russian diaspora’s perceptions and willingness to integrate into its host-state’s nation-building

initiatives. The existing gap in Kazakhstan’s nation-building considering Russia’s influence and its importance to be filled were found in the literature review. As a result, the research questions of this thesis are dictated by the focus of the research, and its meta-theory along with the concepts and approaches within the Constructivist umbrella were chosen on the basis of appropriateness of these. As for research questions, the thesis attempts to answer the following questions:

How is Russia represented in Kazakhstan’s discourse?

The need for answering this question is due to the importance of understanding the representation of Russia and its foreign policy in Kazakhstan’s discourse, which creates preconditions for actions of the latter. From the theoretical perspective, the discourse analysis shall be applied to generate meanings for Kazakhstan’s actions. DA is suitable for analysing social forms, thus, Kevin Dunn’s ‘representations’ in DA is used to understand the representation of Russia and the various terms used in Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s discourse related to nation-building and foreign policy respectively. Indeed, Russia is perceived as an ally and partner in Kazakhstan, and these representations of Russia urge Kazakhstan to act in a certain way. As a result of this, the understanding of the representation of Russia in Kazakhstan can provide a rich source of information explaining the actions of Astana regarding its nation-building efforts.

How does Russian minority in Kazakhstan and Russian identity politics influence nation-building in Kazakhstan?

It is clear that there is an ongoing nation-building process in Kazakhstan, and this thesis as a case study focuses on filling the existing gap in the literature by understanding how Astana implements its nation-building considering two major variables such as Russia’s foreign policy influence and Kazakhstan’s Russian diaspora. This particular question will be researched also based on discourse analysis within the Constructivist framework. The discourse analysis according to Neumann requires certain regularities of specific practices and actions, which appears to be the case in regard to Kazakhstan’s nation-building and its perspective towards Russia. Discourse analysis can be used to understand political actions as a precondition for the actions, but it is not for understanding the outcomes. Therefore, this thesis is trying to understand the ongoing process of nation-building in Kazakhstan using discourse analysis; its aim is to find regularities in the current process of creating an ‘imaginary community’ of Russian diaspora.

Although, Kazakhstan does not make official statements that it attempts to decrease Russia’s influence through responsive mechanisms, Astana appears to be decreasing Moscow’s influence by promoting its own national identity. This promoted national identity, especially, its construction is central to this research. As for the responsive mechanisms, in other words the direct limiting and decreasing of Russia’s influence appear to be highly avoided, in order to refrain any possible confrontations with Russia and to not discriminate against the rights of Russian diaspora in Kazakhstan and to respect Russia’s ally status. For example, there are many Russian channels and other sources of media in Kazakhstan, which seems to be a tool to promote Russian influence; if Kazakh decision makers would prohibit Russian media and prohibit any Russian speaking channels, then Russian diaspora might take it as discrimination of their rights. In this respect, Kazakhstan’s government officials have chosen to integrate their Russian diaspora in a softer way, but not by restricting external influencers. Therefore, Astana attempts to integrate its Russian diaspora into its nation-building process and promote its own national identity, so that Russian influence can be reduced itself, without government’s direct intervention. Considering Kazakhstan’s attempts to build its nation, the process of nation-building is not only a top-down but also bottom-up process.

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Research Methodology

Analysing nation-building using the Discourse Analysis (DA) method is chosen. When dealing with representations in DA, the surveys, interviews and questionaries’ need to be well structured, as representations and perceptions of minority stances may vary amongst a representative sample. Thus, the results of the surveys and interviews will suggests the formation of Russian minority’s stances influenced by the official policies of the two states. Additionally, the research requires interpretations of different terms and concepts from different perspectives; additionally, an in-depth explanation of current nation-building processes is crucial. As a result, in dealing with social and diasporic standpoints and the construction of their needs and motives - quantitative methodology does not appear to suitably fulfil the research objectives due to obstacles in dealing with the interaction between various components including political and social motives which are quite problematic to quantify. For instance, from the realist point of view it is possible to analyse the rationale behind supporting or hindering some initiatives based on calculations; however, in terms of the motives of one country considering many variables such as people, business elites and government officials, it is difficult to combine all of these under quantitative methodology especially, when using constructivist methodology.

PLEASE RECONSIDER WHICH METHODS YOU ARE USING FOR THIS RESEARCH. DA OR SURVEYS? THERE IS SOME CONFUSION HERE. In this research, constructivist methodology aims to understand the nature of Kazakhstan’s nation-building efforts being influenced by external forces due to its large Russian diaspora and Russia’s possible influence on Kazakhstan’s nation-building project. Indeed, for a deeper understanding of motives of Kazakhstani Russian community to integrate into the host-state’s nation-building it is necessary to understand both social and political impacts of decisions. Therefore, qualitative methodology can be helpful in egionali both political and social contexts during the one-to-one interviews. As a result, it seems more suitable to use qualitative methodology to enhance knowledge for this research based on empirical findings. Although some motives are based on economic pragmatism and certain statistical data, qualitative methodology has a potential to strengthen that knowledge (Throne, 1997) and to become a ‘creative bridge’ (Swanson, Durham, & Albright, 1997, p. 256) “between qualitative research findings and practice” (Sandelowski and Barroso, 1997). Sandelowski and Barrosso (1997) claim that qualitative methodology is the most suitable in terms of covering the human beings understanding of the social world. This methodology can bring a detailed explanation of phenomena in order to conduct an in-depth interpretation of different aspects in terms of the nature of motives. In the framework of this thesis, qualitative methodology

seems to help to understand the actors involved in the nation-building process and construction of their motives to support the integration into the society of the host-state. Having said that, qualitative methodology appears to be quite flexible in terms of covering all the needed variables of this research. Therefore, the thesis uses qualitative methodology. The research uses three methods of data collection within qualitative methodology and gathers and compares extracted data from Eurasian Union’s statistical agency, United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development Database, International Trade Centre Trade Map trade statistics, speeches and declarations. These sources aid in justifying economic rationale behind the economic integration of the region, as the political elites of the member countries refer to economic pragmatism of the integration process taking place in the region. The first method consists of semi-structured interviews with high-ranked government decision makers, business elites and scholars. The decision of choosing these three groups is because each group has its own interests in the egionalization process. For example, the business elites as a profit-driven group see opportunities or disadvantages in cooperation with Russia which influence Kazakhstan’s economy. On the other hand, scholars are not simply attracted by Russian soft power and have grounded standpoints based on researches. Moreover, the thesis focuses on independent scholars, but not university

professors, despite the latter having more publications and broader audience. The reason behind that is because the university professors have a large amount of students within their general audience, which are forced to read particular professors’ publications during the process of education. While, independent scholars have their audience because of people’s own choices to read their articles and books, therefore, these scholars appear to have stronger contribution in terms of shaping people’s standpoints on various topics which are not dictated by the university education program. Finally, the government officials’ motives are based on the balanced view taking into account wider perspectives. Indeed, the decision makers cannot shape their viewpoints only based on citizens’ or scholars’ opinions alone, but they need to consider many groups and make their decisions based on a standpoint of the majority. As a result, in order to see the entire picture, each of group needs to be interviewed separately, so that the standpoints of each group could be understood as an independent unit in one single mechanism. The second part of data collection is the focus group discussions between aforementioned actors within the state in order to explore wider prospects which will be revealed during the discussions and can be neglected by the researcher in the face-to-face interviews. PLEASE RECONSIDER USING FOCUS GROUPS. This approach gives opportunities to raise new questions and

possible answers to them. Because, each of the group can have specific and deeper questions to another group members. Finally, the third data collection method uses online surveys among citizens living in five different parts of Kazakhstan, as these five parts appear to have different standpoints and to some extent different levels of support regarding integration with Russia. The reason of dividing Kazakhstan into five different regions is because the Northern part of Kazakhstan appear to be to a higher extent ‘pro-Russian’ with a higher number of Slavic nations living there, while the Central part seems to reflect the official standpoint of Astana, as this part is saturated by civil servants and the Southern part is known as a business region, with Almaty as a business capital of Kazakhstan. For instance, the survey conducted by Arenov (1998) where the findings show that to the question of “what is your home country?” almost 50 per cent of Slavic nations living in Kazakhstan did not consider it as a home country. As a result, the situation appears to cause concerns to Astana in terms of security issues and seem to force Kazakhstan to support Russian regionalisation initiatives so that the Slavic nations could still be connected to Russia and keep on living in Kazakhstan without sabotaging the government as it was in the East of Ukraine recently. It is clear that the survey by Arenov is outdated, however, due to the lack of such researches in the field on this particular topic, the survey needs to be conducted again in different regions of Kazakhstan among both Kazakh and

Slavic ethnics in order to examine their updated attitudes and motives in supporting or opposing cooperation with Russia. While the remaining Eastern and Western parts appear to be less involved into political and economic aspects, as a result, additional questions in understanding their standpoints need to be asked such as Russian media and social media influence on their motives to support the regionalisation. All in all, during the survey the impact of Russian soft power by the means of both media and social media will be examined in all regions among ordinary citizens

Overall feedback.

You have obviously done more work, read more, and developed this piece. So well done on that. I would also say that there is some really good stuff in here to work with.

However (there is ALWAYS a however), you are still very muddled and inconsistent in what you do and say. You have LOTS of good and useful material here, but there is a real problem in not following the necessary structure for the task. Always think in terms of a scientific experiment.

Research Question

Literature review. This is not just who said what, but it positions all the things you read relative to each other, telling us what they contribute to the debate, the ontological and epistemological routes into saying what they do, and how these collectively organise the field of study. For example; you start by sating there are two main ‘routes’ into the study of nation-building, externally driven nation-building post conflict, and then post-independence nation-building. How do these different approaches define nation-building (the same of different), what do they consider the key factors (and how do these differ from one another and with what implications) and where do these discussions take YOU in terms of how you organise your own subsequent review of what has been written about Kazakh nation-building? You just leave this ‘entry point’ after a first few pages and don’t use it in your later reviews, so what was the point of it. How can we ‘use’ it and why did you start with that?

Theoretical or conceptual framework Methodology

Methods and data collection.

From this chapter I am still not clear what your specific theoretical framework is. You include reference to lots of different ones, but then make a very brief claim to be pursuing a constructivist methodology, without every telling us why or how this relates to the preceding literatures. Moreover, a constructivist methodology (which certainly lends itself to discourse analysis) implies specific things about WHAT you would be looking for and at and HOW you would interpret it/assess its significance. This is never clear or explicit in your chapter. You also seem to want to include every possible data collection method –from foreign policy analysis, to elite interviews, to surveys, to focus groups, to discourse analysis. (Bear in mind that discourse analysis of Russian language materials must be done using the original Russian language). There is no methodological justification for all of these. Plus you would spread yourself thin and do all of them superficially and none of them properly. DA is serious stuff and requires real attention to the linguistic issues, the questions of coding etc. Its not just ‘seeing what they say’. Your theoretical or analytical framework needs to be distinct from the empirical material. So you need to be really careful that you do not let your own (subjective) knowledge shape it. It is fine to use existing research which indicates the importance of case specific issues (such as the Russian minority in Kazakhstan justifying the use of a model which acknowledges diasporas and external actors) but you go on to make all sorts of claims about the impact/relationship of Russia which are not yet demonstrated by the thesis. You need to be clear about your primary research question, and distinguish this from sub-questions which allow you to answer the primary question. You need to arrive at these sub-questions through the literature review and consideration of theories of nation-building. I can kind of see all this in here, but right now it is still all very disordered, muddled and unstructured. Try to think in terms of the FUNCTION of every section, and stick to material in that section which serves that FUNCTION only. Keep general theoretical stuff separate from stuff specific to your case study. Try to think about the linkages or implications of things allt the time. So when you read material about national identity in Kazakhstan, which theoretical or methodological ‘school’ or tradition is the writer working within and what does that mean for how they determine what is important to look at and what its significance is. You need to ‘order’ your material much more to demonstrate that you understand these things.


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