Kazakhstan is the largest state in Central Asia. Rich in oil, gas and other natural resources and sandwiched between China and Russia it occupies a key geopolitical position, the importance of which was further heightened following the attacks of 9/11 and subsequent wars in the wider Middle East. But Kazakhstan was born by default, gaining independence only reluctantly as the Soviet Union collapsed. Its political elite, facingcomplex tasks of state-building, also lacked a monoethnic base on whichto build its legitimacy. Based on original material and extensiveinterviews in the capital and three of the country's regions, the book places the elite in the country's broader institutional and historical context, analysing their identity, behaviour and how they gained and secured power in the early independence years. Kazakhstan: Power and the Elite is essential reading for all those interested in the history, politics andinternational relations of this fascinating country.
Power and the Elite