Переходное время: Alphabet Reform and Identity Politics in Modern Kazakhstan

Valentina Michelotti


The collapse of the Soviet Union allowed former satellites to reinvent their identities as independent states according to different ideological structures. Due to the significantly larger amount of ethnic minorities and a longer history of language politics, Kazakhstan’s choices regarding identity formation were symbolically more impactive. This article addresses the role of competing forms of national identity formation in the policy decisions of independent Kazakhstan. Specifically highlighted are the popular political and ethnic undertones on the topic of the proposed 2025 alphabet reform of the Kazakh language, and the ways in which these undertones map onto an existing binary opposition between historiographies.

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