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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 4-08
Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities and International Relations: "Triadic Nexuses" in Kazakhstan


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has managed to maintain political stability despite considerable expectations that ethnic conflict would break out. In most accounts, the large number of Russians in Kazakhstan, and particularly their concentration in the republic's northern regions bordering Russia, was viewed as justifying predictions that they would seek autonomy, and possibly secede. Why has Kazakhstan succeeded in averting mass mobilization and/or serious conflict? This study addresses this question by focusing on government control over ethnic movements as well as the international environment which enabled such control.

The study seeks to identify the state's strategy for managing ethnic cleavages, and carries out an in-depth analysis of the dynamic interaction between Kazakhstan, minorities residing within it, and these minorities' ethnic kin states (state in which their ethnic group constitutes the majority) or the states ruling their ethnic homelands. Among Kazakhstan's minorities, we focus on the Russians, who have attracted the greatest attention in the extant literature, as well as the Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Koreans. Through a comparison of the four groups, the study aims to demonstrate the varied nature and common patterns in the relationships between the host state, minorities, and their ethnic homelands.


April 2006 - March 2007


Members of the Research Project


  • The final results will be published in the I.D.E. Development Perspective Series in 2007.