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The political elite in Kazakhstan since independence (1991-1998): origins, structure and policies

Cummings, Sally Nikoline (1999) The political elite in Kazakhstan since independence (1991-1998): origins, structure and policies. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This is an analysis of the post-independence Ka.zakhstani elite between 1991 and 1998. Exploratory in nature, the thesis seeks to demonstrate four main points. First, historical antecedents and concurrent socioeconomic and political forces partly explain the composition, recruitment and nature of Kazakhstan's post-independent political elite. Second, while the political elite displays a certain consensus in its cognitive orientations, its social origins have become less homogeneous and its interests increasingly fragmented as a result of socioeconomic change. Third, the structure of the elite has narrowed between 1991 and 1998; this closed elite, through careful recruitment policies, is ensuring its self-replication. Fourth, if some links can be made between elite origins, attitudes and behaviour, these are only of a tentative nature. These lines of enquiry are demonstrated in three sections: the historical antecedents and institutional sources of Kazakhstan's political elite (Section I); the degree of elite integration, in terms primarily of social homogeneity and recruitment (Section II); and the link, if any, between social structure and policies of the political elite (Section III). The study is based on Russian and Kazakh primary and secondary sources and on interviews with the political elite and a "panel of experts". After establishing the work's aims and limits, the first section defines the terms "political elite" and establishes the methodology employed to locate and analyse the political elite. Chapters 1.1 and 1.2 provide the historical and institutional context in which the post-independence political elite has operated. Chapter 11.1 addresses elite composition and structure according to dimensions of social background, in particular those of education, career, ethnicity and sub-ethnicity. Chapter 11.2 assesses the recruitment process since 1991. Section III assesses two major elite policy spheres of these last eight years: nation-building and economic reform. The conclusion aims to establish the degree of linkage between these three sections and briefly discusses the implications of elite structure and integration for the future stability of the regime.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1999 Sally Nikoline Cummings
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D890 Eastern Hemisphere
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Supervisor: Lieven, Dominic

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