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January's Events in Kazakhstan: Looking Ahead

Societies of Central Asia Lecture Series

Lecture by Martha Brill Olcott, James Madison College, Michigan State University

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM (Pacific Time)

Peaceful demonstrations in protest to a rise in gas prices served as a catalyst for violent crowds attacking government buildings and authorities in many of that country’s major cities. With its security forces overwhelmed President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev assumed unprecedented power and called for help to restore order from the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in addition to Kazakhstan. This is the first time the organization has been used in this way.

The presentation will explore what are the likely short and long-term implications of these actions, for Kazakhstan and for the other CSTO states. What changes will the promised new government in Kazakhstan make? How is this likely to impact regional and national policies in the other Central Asian states? How will this impact Kazakhstan’s international role? Will it change the dynamics of the US relations, including business ties? What are the likely benefits to Russia? To China?

Martha Brill Olcott is Visiting Professor at James Madison College, Michigan State University and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Colgate University. From 1995-2014, she was a senior associate with the Russia Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and the co-director of the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Olcott is a prolific author and She served as a consultant for governments, international organizations, and businesses with interests in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Her current research priorities include creating a digital archive on the collapse of the USSR working with a team of MSU students and faculty, and is a principal investigator on a six-nation project on “Science, Art and Faith: Architectural Heritage and Islam.”

This lecture is presented in conjunction with Anthropology 163Q, Societies of Central Asia.

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Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia