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From nomadic communitarianism to civil socialism: Searching for the roots of civil society in rural Kazakhstan

Bankoff, Greg; Oven, Katie

Authors

Katie Oven



Abstract

This article explores the environmental, historical and cultural factors that influence civic engagement among rural communities in contemporary Kazakhstan. It traces how forms of nomadic communitarianism as a response to the vicissitudes of life on the open Steppe merged with the imposed collectivism of Soviet society in such a manner that the two were able to coexist together in both policy and practice. Drawing on fieldwork among a number of villages in South Kazakhstan, we argue that, together, the nomadic and Soviet pasts still constitute the core values at work in rural communities, influencing the structure of local power relations and the nature of group association and cooperative venture. Rather than disappearing, these values, if anything, are re-emerging as part of an attempt to legitimise Kazakh culture as the core identity of the modern nation state.

Citation

Bankoff, G., & Oven, K. (2019). From nomadic communitarianism to civil socialism: Searching for the roots of civil society in rural Kazakhstan. Journal of Civil Society, 15(4), 373-391. https://doi.org/10.1080/17448689.2019.1670386

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 10, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 26, 2019
Publication Date Oct 2, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 27, 2021
Journal Journal of Civil Society
Print ISSN 1744-8689
Electronic ISSN 1744-8697
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 373-391
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17448689.2019.1670386
Keywords Kazakhstan; Civil society; Nomadism; Collectivism; Rural studies; Identity
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/1965868
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17448689.2019.1670386?journalCode=rcis20