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Author Critic Forum: New Media and Political Participation in Russia and Kazakhstan Exploring the Lived Experiences of Young People in Eurasia by Dr. Yerkebulan Sairambay 
Berikbol Dukeyev (Nazarbayev University)
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Assel Kamza (AlmaU)
Yerkebulan Sairambay (SDU University)
Asel Doolotkeldıeva (Nonresidential Fellow, George Washington University)
Assel Kamza (AlmaU)
Scholarship-in-Progress forum
Media Studies
Hall of Turan civilization (Floor 1)
Sunday 9 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


In the rapidly evolving landscape of new media and political participation, this study delves into the dynamics shaping the involvement of citizens, particularly young individuals aged 18–29, in Russia and Kazakhstan over the past two decades. Despite recognizing positive correlations between new media and political engagement, a notable research gap persists concerning the intricate mechanisms and motivations steering citizens' use of new media in political participation. The study addresses a critical conceptual weakness in existing research by refining the definition of political participation, clearly distinguishing between civic engagement and political participation. This nuanced approach provides a solid conceptual framework for understanding how citizens interact with the political sphere through new media. Unlike prior studies that predominantly focused on urban centers, our research adopts an inclusive sampling strategy. By collecting data from both urban and rural areas, the study sheds light on the often-overlooked rural population, enriching our understanding of new media-led political participation. Russia and Kazakhstan are strategically divided into equal locality-based sampling units to ensure robust and generalizable conclusions. This innovative approach allows for a comprehensive exploration of the impact of new media on political participation across diverse geographical areas.

The study introduces an in-depth theoretical model elucidating eight ways new media contribute to political participation. This model serves as a comprehensive guide, highlighting the multifaceted nature of new media's influence on citizens' political engagement. The New Media-Led Political Participation (NMLPP) model is a novel addition to the research, offering a visual representation of how young citizens' new media use translates into political participation. The model encompasses prerequisites, flashpoints, civic engagement, and decision-making. The study emphasizes its crucial role in bridging the gap between new media use and political participation. Civic engagement acts as a catalyst, fostering a gradual emergence of political engagement among young citizens.

The research delves into young individuals' perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of new media. This comprehensive analysis provides valuable insights into motivations for new media-led political participation. Findings from the study reveal diverse and interconnected ways young citizens in Russia and Kazakhstan engage with new media in political mobilization, organizing, coordination, and advocacy. This research offers valuable insights into the lived experiences of young citizens in post-communist states. The forum will provide a platform to discuss and delve deeper into these critical contributions, fostering dialogue on the implications and potential avenues for further research.