Book Launch: Analysing Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy: Regime Neo-Eurasianism in the Nazarbaev Era

Virtual event hosted by Central Asia Program at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University on August 27, 2020.

This book investigates the roles that ideas and constructs associated with Eurasia have played in the making of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy during the Nazarbaev era. It delves into the specific Eurasia-centric narratives through which the regime, headed by Nursultan Nazarbaev, imagined the role of post-Soviet Kazakhstan in the wider Eurasian geopolitical space. Based on substantive fieldwork and sustained engagement with primary sources, the book unveils the power implications of Kazakhstani neo-Eurasianism, arguing that the strengthening of the regime’s domestic power ranked highly in the list of objectives pursued by Kazakhstani foreign policy between the collapse of the Soviet Union and Nazarbaev’s apparent withdrawal from the Kazakhstani political scene (19 March 2019). This book, ultimately, is a study of inter-state integration, which makes use of a rigorous methodological approach to assess different incarnations of post-Soviet multilateralism, from the Commonwealth of Independent States to the more recent, and highly controversial, Eurasian Economic Union.


Luca Anceschi, Author

Luca Anceschi teaches Central Asian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he also edits Europe-Asia Studies. He is the author of Turkmenistan’s Foreign Policy–Positive Neutrality and the Consolidation of the Turkmen Regime (2009) and Analysing Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy: Regime New-Eurasianism in the Nazarbaev Era (2020), both published by Routledge.

Nargis Kassenova, Discussant

Nargis Kassenova is a Senior Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Harvard University, and Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University. Her areas of research include Central Asian politics and security, Eurasian geopolitics, Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, religion and politics in Central Asia, and history of state-building in Central Asia. ​

Marlene Laruelle, Moderator and Discussant

Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., is Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), GW. Dr. Laruelle is also a Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia) and Director of GW’s Central Asia Program. Her research explores the transformations of nationalist and conservative ideologies in Russia and nationhood construction in Central Asia, as well as the development of Russia’s Arctic regions. Two of her books will be out in late 2020: Is Russia Fascist? Unraveling Propaganda East and West (Cornell University Press) and Memory Politics and the Russian Civil War. Red versus Whites (Bloomsbury).