Construction of New Identities in Modern Kazakhstan: Trends and Reference oints

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-7-85-102
Institute for Research on the Problems of the South of Russia and the Caspian Sea of Astrakhan State University, 20, Tatishcheva Str., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation.
E. Morozova,
Kuban State University, 149, Stavropol Str., Krasnodar, 350040, Russian Federation.

Received 17.11.2022. Revised 09.03.2023. Accepted 24.04.2023.

Acknowledgements. The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation, project no. 22-18-00301 “The process of constructing new identities in the Caspian macroregion in the context of societal security”.

Abstract. The authors consider identity as the most important source of legitimization of the Kazakhstani statehood. The repertoire of new identities, the construction process of which continues in the Republic of Kazakhstan, includes national identity (that balances between civil and ethno-cultural elements), Turkic pan-identity, Central Asian geopolitical identity, Eurasian civilizational identity and macro-regional Caspian identity. The authors attempt to substantiate the contradiction between the goals and reference points outlined in state documents on identity policy and real trends and landmarks in the continuing process of identity construction in the modern Kazakhstan. The multivector foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan underpins the shaping of competing identities, with the Turkic identity developing most intensively. The growth of socio-political divisions (ethnic, confessional, settlement, etc.) produces a cumulative effect that makes Kazakhstan a “divided society”. The article examines the priorities of memory and language policies and reveals personalistic identifiers reflected in mass consciousness. The authors also focus on the contradictory nature of the ongoing identity policy as a challenge to societal security, considering that “split” social spaces may produce explosive conflict situations.

Keywords: Kazakhstan, identity, identity policy, construction of identities, societal security, multi-vector foreign policy, socio-political divisions, policy of memory, language policy


1. Greenfel’d L. Nationalism. Five Paths to Modernity. Moscow, PER SE, 2012. 528 . (In Russ.)

2. Semenenko I.S., ed. Identity: Personality, Society, Politics. Encyclopedic edition. Moscow, Ves’ Mir, 2017. 992 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

3. Smith A. Nationalism and modernism. A critical survey of recent theories of nations and nationalism. Smirnov A.V., transl. from engl. Moscow, Praxis, 2004. 466 p. (In Russ.)

4. Fukuyama F. Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment. Solovyov A., transl. from engl. Moscow, Alpina Publisher, 2019. 256 p. (In Russ.)

5. Gadzhiev K.S. National Identity: Conceptual Aspect. Russian Studies in Philosophy, 2011, no. 10, pp. 3-16. (In Russ.)

6. Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Bardin A.L., Pantin V.I. Between the State and The Nation: Dilemmas of Identity Policy in Post-Soviet Societies. Polis. Political Studies, 2017, no. 5, pp. 54-78. (In Russ.) Available at: 

7. Shaikemelev M.S. Kazakh identity. Monograph. Shaukenova Z.K., ed. Almaty, Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Religious Studies, MES RK, 2013. 272 p. (In Russ.)

8. Ospanov T.T. National identity of Kazakhs: Socio-Philosophical Analysis. Dr. Diss. (PhD). Almaty, 2016. 124 p. (In Russ.)

9. Zabirova A.T. Post-Soviet Kazakhstan Identity: Making, Legitimization and Reproduction. Sociological Studies, 2003, no. 12, pp. 118-125. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

10. Nurgalieva Zh. Kazakhstan: To the Question of the Conflict of Identities. St. Petersburg Sociological Yearbook 2009. St. Petersburg, Center for Scientific and Information Technologies “Asterion”, 2009, pp. 270-278. (In Russ.)

11. Kolbachayeva Zh. E. The Features of Formation of National Identity of Kazakhstan in Modern Conditions. Post- Soviet Issues, 2018, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 101-107. (In Russ.) Available at:

12. Baranov N.A., Kok Sevgi. The Difficult Path to A Civil Nation: The Experience of Nation-Building in Modern Kazakhstan. Post-Soviet Issues, 2021, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 136-151. (In Russ.) Available at: 

13. Ryzhichkin N.N. Post-Soviet Kazakhstan. The Paths of Building National Identity. Free thought, 2020, no. 3 (1681), pp. 175-186. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

14. Laruelle M. A Short Transcript of the Lecture by Dr. Marlene Laruelle. Kazakhstan’s Nationhood: Politics and Society on the Move at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University (February 08, 2018). Voices on Central Asia, 16.02.2018. Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

15. Bassin M., Kelly C., eds. Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities. ambridge, ambridge University Press, 2012. 386 p.

16. Laruelle M., Kurmanova A., eds. Central Asia – 25: Thoughts About the Past, Projection of The Future. Collection of Essays from Central Asia. Washington, The George Washington University, 2017. 128 p. (In Russ.)

17. Caron J.-F., ed. Kazakhstan and the Soviet Legacy: Between Continuity and Rupture. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 209 p. Available at: 

18. Sharipova D., Beymenbetov S. Youth in Kazakhstan: Assessment of Values, Expectations and Aspirations. Almaty, Deluxe Printery, 2021. 98 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

19. Adilbekova K. The Dilemma of Ethnocentrism and Civic Identity: Education of The Future Generation of Kazakhstan through the Balapan TV Channel. Almaty, Soros Foundation, 2018. 33 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

20. Tsai A. Questions of The Formation of Civic Nationalism with The Help of Cultural Policy Instruments. Almaty, Soros Foundation, 2015. 27 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

21. Pritchin S. The Idea of Multi-Vector Is a Model of Kazakhstan as A State. Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 11.22.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.11.2022).

22. Mendikulova G.M. Kazakh Diaspora and Irredent: History and Modernity. IA-CENTR.RU, 26.12.2008. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

23. Dankov A. Russia and Kazakhstan. Is It Difficult to Be Allies in The Modern World? The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), 05.05.2021. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

24. Kim G.N. Diaspora vs Irredente in Post-Soviet Central Asia. Diaspora of Kazakhstan: unity in diversity. Kim G.N., ed. Almaty, Kazakh University, 2018, pp. 143-164. (In Russ.)

25. Goya Bezhan. China’s Influence on Kazakhstan’s Economic Cooperation with Central Asian Countries. Innovation & Investment, 2021, no. 11, pp. 11-21. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

26. Syroezhkin K.L. Problems of Modern Kazakh-Chinese Relations. Russia and New States of Eurasia, 2019, no. 1 (XLII), pp. 21-36. (In Russ.) Available at:

27. Hafizova K. The Beginning of Learning Chinese in Kazakhstan. Thought, no. 11, 11.15.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

28. Kaukenov A. Myths and Reality of China’s Presence in Kazakhstan., 29.10.2021. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

29. Nadein-Raevskiy V.. History of Pan-Turkism and Its Contemporary Supporters. Part 1. Key Milestones in The History of Pan-Turkism. Perspectives. Electronic journal, 2022, no. 1 (28), pp. 62-73. (In Russ.) Available at: 

30. Akhatov G.H. Dialect of the West Siberian Tatars. Ufa, Bashkir State University, 1963. 195 p. (In Russ.)

31. Rakhmanaliev R. The Empire of the Turks. The History of a Great Civilization. Moscow, Ripol Classic, 2019. 704 p. (In Russ.)

32. Kudryashova I.V. Political Panidentity. Identity: Personality, Society, Politics. Encyclopedic Edition. Semenenko I.S., ed. Moscow, Ves’ Mir, 2017, pp. 362-365. (In Russ.)

33. Semenenko I.S. Metamorphoses of European Identity. Polis. Political Studies, 2008, no. 3, pp. 80-96. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

34. Abdugulova B.K., Kapaeva A.T., Kenzhebayev G.K. Stories on History of Kazakhstan: Textbook. 2nd ed. Almaty, Almatykitap Publishing House, 2012. 224 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

35. Tasibekov K. Situational Kazakh: The World of Kazakhs. Almaty, Kaspi Bank, 2015. 270 p. (In Russ.)

36. Molodov O.B. The Problem of Identification of the Population of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Society and Power, 2014, no. 6 (50), pp. 95-102. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

37. Askarov T. The European Vector of Kazakhstan. Historical Records, 09.01.2021. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

38. Bogatyreva O.N., Shukusheva E.V. Implementation of European Educational Programs in Context of Kazakhstan’s Policy in Field of Higher Education (1995–2018). Scientific dialogue, 2020, no. 5, pp. 376-392. (In Russ.) Available at: 

39. Shapkin M.I. Factors of Formation of Post-Soviet Civilizational Identity of a New Generation on the Example of Kazakhstan. Information wars, 2021, no. 3 (59), pp. 8-12. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

40. Stativkina A. Kazakhstan has no plans to join BRICS, the Foreign Ministry says., 23.09.2015. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

41. Konyrova K. Why does Kazakhstan need the BRICS+ Platform?, 23.06.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

42. Kudryashova I.V., Kharitonova O.G., eds. Metamorphoses of Divided Societies: Monograph. Moscow, MGIMO-University, 2020. 284 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

43. Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I. Social Cleavages and Political Divides in A Theoretical Perspective: Criteria for Assessment and Classification. Polis. Political Studies, 2021, no. 5, pp. 56-77. (In Russ.) Available at: 

44. Appelgants E.P. Markers of Identity of Slavs of Kazakhstan: Ethnicity, Religion and Language. Eurasia and The Global Socio-Economic Change: VII International Congress of Turkish World Sociologists: ollection of Scientific Papers. Minzaripov R.G., Eflova M.Yu., eds. Kazan, Kazan Federal University, 2020, pp. 39-47. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

45. Dunaev V., Bizhanov A., Shaykemelev M. The Space of Ethnonational Identities of Kazakhstan Society: Principles and Models of Stratification. Central Asia and the Caucasus, 2019, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 120-136. (In Russ.)

46. Kolbachayeva Zh. Regional, National and Confessional Factors of Formation of National Identity of Kazakhstan. Problems of the Post-Soviet space, 2019, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 398-408. (In Russ.) Available at: 

47. Xie Zhou, Van Fan. Language Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in The Context of Sociocultural Processes. Verhnevolzhski Philological Bulletin, 2020, no. 3 (22), pp. 220-231. (In Russ.) Available at: 

48. Baranchik Yu.V. et al. Post-Soviet States’ Policy Towards the Russian-Speaking Population. Post-Soviet Mainland, 2020, no. 2 (26), pp. 5-57. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

49. Aigazin Zh. The Rich Regions of Kazakhstan Are Getting Richer, And the Poor Are Getting Poorer. Forbes Kazakhstan Magazine, 29.03.2018. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

50. Khramkov A. The Difference in The Socio-Economic Development of Kazakhstan’s Regions Continues to Increase., 16.04.2012. (In Russ.) Available at:;-52#pos=4;-52 (accessed 28.11.2022).

51. Abylkhozhin Zh.B. The Ruralization of Cities and The Escalation of the Conflict Between “Modernizing” And “Traditionalis” Identities. Central Asia and the Caucasus, 2003, no. 6, pp. 188-197. (In Russ.)

52. Cohen R. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. New York, Palgrave, 2008. 240 p.

53. Sarsambekova A.S. Kazakhs of Western Siberia and Adjacent Territories of Kazakhstan: Ethno-Cultural Relations and Processes (Late XX – Early XXI Century). Abst. Cand. Dis. (Hist.) Tomsk, 2009. 20 p. (In Russ.)

54. Prokhorenko I.L. Diasporas and the Diasporal Worlds. Identity: Personality, Society, Politics. Encyclopedic Edition. Semenenko I.S., ed. Moscow, Ves’ Mir, 2017, pp. 432-439. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

55. Medeuova K. Protracted “Sovietness” and the Transformation of Collective Memory: Soviet and Post-Soviet Memorial Complexes in Kazakhstan. New Literary Review, 2020, no. 161. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

56. Tuleshov V. On the Issue of the Formation and Development of Identity in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Central Asia – 25: Thoughts About the Past, Projection of The Future. Collection of Essays from Central Asia. Laruelle M., Kurmanova A., eds. Washington, The George Washington University, 2017, pp. 36-39. (In Russ.)

57. Bederson V.D. Searching for The Heroes: Variety of Personalistic Identifiers and Identity Politics in The Regions of Modern Russia. Symbolic Politics, 2015, iss. 3, pp. 192-209. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

58. Sartayeva R.S. On the Issue of the Formation of National-State Unity in The Republic of Kazakhstan: Political, Legal and Cultural Foundations. Journal of Actual Problems of Jurisprudence, 2021, vol. 98, no. 2, pp. 4-15. (In Russ.) Available at: 

59. Kurganskaya V.D., Dunaev V.Yu. Features of Perception and Evaluation of Identity Policy by Mass Consciousness (On the Example of the Republic of Kazakhstan). Greater Eurasia: Development, Security, Cooperation. Yearbook. Gerasimov V.I., ed. Moscow, Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2021, iss. 4, part 1, pp. 381-388. (In Russ.)

60. Riakhanov Sh. Language Policy and The Problem of National Identity in The Modern Republic of Kazakhstan. East European Scientific Journal, 2021, no. 9-3 (73), pp. 24-30. (In Russ.) Available at:

61. Abdykaimova N.T. Problems and Prospects of Introducing Trilingual Policy in Education Sphere (In Case of Kazakhstan). Priority Directions of Development of Science and Education: Proceedings of the II International Scientific and Practical Conference. Gulyaev G.Yu., ed. Penza, ICNS “Science and Education”, 2018, pp. 371-375. (In Russ.)


1. China-Kazakhstan Relations in A New Era. The China Studies Centre, 02.12.2019. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

2. Sanctions and the Trans-Caspian Route: What Tokayev and The Head of the European Council Discussed., 27.11.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

3. A New Look at The Economy of Central Asia. Eurasian Development Bank, 2022. 1 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

4. Article by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov on the topic of cooperation in the Caspian region. International Life, 09.20.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

5. BRICS: Kazakhstan can Contribute to Global Food Security. Kazinform International News Agency, 28.06.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

6. Lack of Food, Inflation, Regional Development – What Tokayev Said at The BRICS Summit. KazTAG, 24.06.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

7. Results of the National Population Census of 2021 in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Bureau of National Statistics of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2022. 64 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

8. More than 400 thousand Russians have entered Kazakhstan since September 21. Interfax, 29.11.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

9. The Religious Situation in Kazakhstan Is Stable. STRATEGY2050: Review and Analytical Portal, 06.08.2013. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

10. Official website of the Bureau of National Statistics of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

11. Official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.11.2022).

12. New Kazakhstan in a New World. Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the people of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan Pravda, no. 33 (25278), 28.02.2007. (In Russ.)

For citation:
Romanova A., Morozova E. Construction of New Identities in Modern Kazakhstan: Trends and Reference oints. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 7, pp. 85-102. EDN: LFGKVC

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.