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The Party of Power of Kazakhstan: the origins, resources and regime-supporting functions of Nur Otan

Del Sordi, Adele (2012) The Party of Power of Kazakhstan: the origins, resources and regime-supporting functions of Nur Otan. Advisor: Mezzetti, Prof. Luca. pp. 241. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

Firmly guided by the strong leadership of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the contemporary political system of Kazakhstan is characterized by the presence of a prominent political party. Commonly labelled as a "party of power", Nur Otan dominates the national parliament, boasts an ever-increasing membership and a capillary organizational structure. Nur Otan maintains a close relationship with the ruling elites who played a crucial role in its creation. These members continue to sustain it with a constant flow of resources, including the design of ad hoc institutional constraints, privileged access to the media, the adoption of a flexible ideology, and the association with the popular figure of the leader, the President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Secondly, the consolidation of Nur Otan’s dominant position coincided with the establishment of a ‚soft authoritarian‛ regime. I look at Nur Otan’s contribution to this process. It is argued that the ruling elites used the party, and enacted their party-supporting strategies, in order to face a series of regime-threatening challenges, such as legislative rebellions and elite splits. Finally, drawing hypotheses from the literature on "new authoritarianism", I look at the specific ways Nur Otan contributes to regime stability: these authoritarian functions include managing elite competition, organizing youth activism and giving the regime an "invincible" image. A collateral question stems from the close relation of Kazakhstan with neighbouring Russia and from striking commonalities between their ruling parties. I investigate the possibility that the model of the "party of power" has been exported from Russia to the Central Asian state, together with "authoritarian values".

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
PhD Course: Political Science and Institutional Change
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/92
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 10:17
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/92

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