Whose Nation is it Anyway? Identities and Nation-Building in Kazakhstan

Public Lecture (in English) | 13 February 2020 | 6:00 pm

With: Rico Isaacs (University of Lincoln)
Chair: Dr. Beate Eschment (ZOiS)

Nation-building and nationalism moved in to fill the ideological void left behind by communism in post-Soviet Central Asia. Political elites moved seamlessly from being communist to nationalist ideologues. Thus, it is no surprise that nation-building, identity and ethnicity has been at the centre of the practice and discourse of post-Soviet politics in Kazakhstan.

In his lecture Rico Isaacs will trace the development of nation-building practice and discourse in post-Soviet Kazakhstan by examining its construction and how it is has been studied and understood by scholars. In both the practice and discourse of Kazakhstani nation-building the focus has been on artefacts of national identity, such as history, myths and language. The attention on their representation and symbolism results in four interrelated themes which Isaacs presents in his lecture. 


Rico Isaacs is an Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Lincoln in September 2019 having previously worked at Oxford Brookes University. His research interests lay at the intersection of authoritarianism, culture and political theory in post-Soviet states with a particular focus on the Central Asian Republics.

Beate Eschment is a researcher at ZOiS and, since 2008, editor of Zentralasien-Analysen. Her current research project focuses on identity formation and interest representation among national minorities in Kazakhstan.

If you wish to participate, please register here.