THE RUSSIAN ACADEMIC JOURNAL » Issues » #3 Vol 29, 2014 » Publication

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Pages26 - 31 Published 2014-09-30 Published on SciPeople2014-12-04 17:48:30 JournalTHE RUSSIAN ACADEMIC JOURNAL


Geopolitics of Kazakhstan: Theory and Practice
Igor Ivanov, Vadim Volovoj / Alexey Fedorov
Abstract Article analyzes geopolitics of Kazakhstan, examines how it should look like in accordance with classic geopolitical theory and how it does look in practice, in particular in case of Kazakhstan membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which reflects Kazakh geostrategy in relations with Russia and China as the main factors of stability in Central Asia. Additional value of the article is that it is purely geopolitical while geopolitical method (theory) is usually misunderstood in the discipline of international relations, used rather freely often being confused with realistic paradigm. Also Central Asia as an object of analysis is not in the centre of global academic discourse and any additional study in the field of CA geopolitics broadens understanding of the external and internal political process in the region. The study showed that Kazakh geopolitics is predetermined to be continental, Heartland oriented, because Kazakhstan is located in the closest neighborhood of Russia and is a steppe land with the conservative identity totally different to the one of see powers. Therefore its geopolitical gravitation towards strategic alliance with Moscow is very strong and even more strengthened by its president Nursultan Nazarbayev as a consistent partisan of the Russian geopolitical theory called Eurasism. Kazakhstan membership in EEU, initially initiated by Nazarbayev, supports the idea that geopolitical union with Russia is the essence of Kazakh geostrategy. At the same time Kazakhstan has good relations with China, but they are of secondary importance for Astana in comparison to cooperation with Russia. SCO is a comfortable platform for Kazakhstan to find its place in geopolitical dialogue of Moscow and Beijing. The problem is that nobody knows how Kazakh foreign policy will look like after Nazarbayev leaves the office, but classic geopolitical theory says that geopolitical orientation of Kazakhstan will hardly change in the long run because its c onservative land identity is too strong.

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