Registan’s Kazakhstan News & Analysis Archive

Kazakhstan is the most vibrant economy of Central Asia and increasingly important in international politics. It is perhaps because of Kazakhstan’s success in transitioning toward becoming a country with a vibrant economy and generally responsive — though not democratic — government that it has received comparatively less attention at Registan. However, as public expectations begin to outpace the capability of the government to keep society satisfied and violent extremist groups being to operate in the country, Kazakhstan demands attention to determine whether or not its path continues to diverge from the rest of Central Asia or begins finally to converge.

Registan’s analysts have lived, worked, and studied in Kazakhstan and have between them decades of experience in academia, government, and private industry dealing with topics related to Kazakhstan. We use that experience and expertise to report on, contextualize, and analyze current events in Kazakhstan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Kazakhstan and Central Asia, visit our services page.

A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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The Central Asia Digital Islam Project: How the Internet and Social Media are Reshaping the Islamic Marketplace in Central Asia

by Noah Tucker
Thumbnail image for The Central Asia Digital Islam Project: How the Internet and Social Media are Reshaping the Islamic Marketplace in Central Asia

The Internet and social media are slowly beginning to revolutionize the Islamic marketplace of ideas for Central Asians. Similar to processes identified by scholars like Peter Mandaville in other contexts, Central Asia’s access to digital Islam has been delayed by low Internet penetration, authoritarian controls on media and communication, and, in part, by Central Asia’s [...]

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Are We Witnessing The Demise of Kazakhstan’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy?

by Reid Standish
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Despite the slow progression and many obstacles, it appears that the Eurasian Union (Eurasian Economic Union/ EEC) is on course to come into existence. But even with general agreement among the Customs Union’s big three (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), there are some unresolved issues that could plague the union’s future and alter the region’s political [...]

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Tenge in crisis, Kazakhstan in economic disarray

by Mathieu BOULEGUE
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Recent monetary problems in Kazakhstan cast a shadow over the very viability of the “ruble zone” and the almost-quantum entanglement between post-Soviet economies is now under scrutiny. With a low Russian ruble, Ukraine de facto defaulting and a recent devaluation in Kazakhstan, the economic side of President Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian integration project just took a [...]

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Understanding the Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

by Nathan Barrick

I’m disturbed by the short-sightedness of media analysis of the events in Ukraine, even as they begin to explore deeper – they are trapped by their own previous reporting and I hope they feel guilty enough about it to start getting it right…not likely. I am also annoyed at the U.S. government’s public analysis and [...]

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Nazarbaev and Kazakh Yeli

by Michael Hancock-Parmer

-Біздің еліміздің атауында Орталық Азияның басқа да елдеріндегі сияқты “стан” деген жалғау бар. Сонымен бір мезгілде, шетелдіктер халқының саны небәрі екі миллионды құрайтын Моңғолияға қызығушылық танытады, бірақ оның атауында “стан” жалғауы жоқ. Сірә, еліміздің атауын уақыт өте келе “Қазақ елі” деп өзгерту мәселесін қарастыру керек шығар, бірақ алдымен міндетті түрде халықтың талқысына салған жөн, – [...]

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Repost: Fish Are Finally Returning To The Shrunken Aral Sea

by Reid Standish
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This article was originally published by VICE on January 14, 2014. Click here to view the original.  We’d been driving for nearly an hour before we finally stopped. The off-road journey was rough, but it helped to put the surroundings in perspective. Magzhan Tursinbayev, an ecologist and my ride for the day, stepped out of [...]

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Kazakhstan’s New Digs: A look at development and fashion on the Steppe

by Reid Standish
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When you first enter Fashion Week from the outside, its clear that you’ve entered a different part of Kazakhstan. The sights and smells of Almaty’s congested streets are gone and replaced by perfume, cigarettes and gleaming diamond necklaces. A quick scan across the lobby reveals a major disconnect with the rest of the city. Next [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that [...]

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