Diana Kudaibergenova offers us a powerful analysis in nation-building processes after the collapse of the Soviet Union, comparing the trajectories of Latvia and Kazakhstan. By looking at the interrelation between power and nationhood, she highlights the complex articulations between the nature of political regimes and ideological choices related to constructing the nation. A must-read for all those following the post-Soviet nationalizing regimes and their evolution over time and space.
The collapse of the Soviet Union famously opened new venues for the theories of nationalism and the study of processes and actors involved in these new nation-building processes. In this comparative study, Kudaibergenova takes the new states and nations of Eurasia that emerged in 1991, Latvia and Kazakhstan, and seeks to better understand the phenomenon of post-Soviet states tapping into nationalism to build legitimacy. What explains this difference in approaching nation-building after the collapse of the Soviet Union? What can a study of two very different trajectories of development tell us about the nature of power, state and nationalizing regimes of the ‘new’ states of Eurasia? Toward Nationalizing Regimes finds surprising similarities in two such apparently different countries—one “western” and democratic, the other “eastern” and dictatorial.
Diana T. Kudaibergenova is the postdoctoral research associate on the COMPASS project at the Centre of Development Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge where she is leading the “Community Engagement” pillar of the project.