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An interior view of Hazrat Sultan Mosque in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The country employs a multidisciplinary approach.

Countering Terrorist Narratives in Kazakhstan

October 2016, Number 07.04

“The set of narratives and structure of the discourse in Kazakhstan are shaped by two factors:

  • Kazakhstan’s place in the current system of international relations: Kazakhstan is on the periphery of international relations and is a small state pursuing a multivector policy.
  • Kazakhstan is a weak state: It lacks a unified discourse space. Rather than follow the center-periphery model, power structures in Central Asian countries are built around a multiplicity of centers that compete with each other to maintain and protect their dominance. Each social group that acts as one of the many power centers, be it an ethnic, religious or pressure group, strives to increase its own security.

Kazakhstan’s peripheral position and relatively recent statehood ensure that narratives produced by world and regional powers are superimposed over the local narratives. As a result, many ideas of key importance in Kazakhstan are actually generated abroad and are simply reproduced in the discourses that take place in the country...”

Excerpt from Irina Chernykh, “Countering Terrorist Narratives in Kazakhstan,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 4, 2016: 26-31.

Dr. Irina Chernykh is a chief research fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She has published over 80 scholarly writings, including monographs, textbooks and articles. Her research interests include theory and methodology of security studies and international relations, societal security, and radicalization and prevention of violent extremism in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.