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Kazakhstan's Soviet Legacy: Challenges, Opportunities, and Resilience (I) 
Altynay Mambetova (Kenzhegali Sagadiyev University of International Business)
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Nygmet Ibadildin (KIMEP University)
Islam Ishmukhametov (Kimep University)
Didar Kassymova (Ch. Valikhanov institute of history and ethnology)
Gulnara Dadabayeva (KIMEP University)
Political Science, International Relations, and Law
702 (Floor 7)
Saturday 8 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


The panel will explore various aspects of Kazakhstan’s membership in the USSR and its implications for independent Kazakhstan.

First, the role of Kazakhstan in Soviet foreign policy and its Soviet legacy will be discussed. Kazakhstan as one of the union Soviet republics was employed by the USSR regime to fulfill different objectives. For Kazakhstan participation in the Soviet foreign policy agenda had a number of positive moments that became a valuable asset and experience after gaining independence in 1991. The discussions would explore the cases of Kazakhstan’s representation in the Soviet Union cultural organized events in France, Austria and Denmark through the soft power theory implications.

Secondly, the role of language in the USSR and its implications for independent Kazakhstan today, especially in the light of the war in Ukraine. In many cases language policies were essential for the stability of empires. These language policies shaped the world and it can be observed even today. The statistics speak for themselves: English, Russian, Spanish and French are among ten most spoken languages in the world and fall within UN official languages, which reflects the colonization legacy and power relations.

Another important aspect is self-identification. In the 1980s Kazakh self-identification considerably rose, following the popularization of the Kazakh language and increasing ethnic nationalism within the Soviet republic. It is considered that the soviet leader of the republic from 1964 to 1986 Dinmukhamed Kunaev had played an important role in strengthening the nation's self-identification of Kazakhs, despite of cautions of Moscow. The panel will discover the rise of Kazakh self-identification within the given period and estimate the contribution of Kunaev and explore how such a rise of nationalism was possible in such a centric and totalitarian regime as the Soviet Union.

Lastly, the history of deportations in 1930-40s in the Soviet Union will be covered. In the presentation, based on the author’s archival research, these tragic events are to be shown with a special focus on the adaptation practices of the people who were suddenly deprived of their rights, property, houses and very often of professional activities. Some sensitive issues will also be touched upon dealing with how regime forced citizens to be ranked as second-class citizens and how the receiving communities interacted with them.

Considering the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the role of Russia today and the USSR needs to be revisited and reconsidered, which makes these topics timely and relevant.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 8 June, 2024, -