Looking East? An Analysis of Kazakhstan’s Geopolitical Code after Participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Kazakhstan’s geopolitical landscape plays a decisive role in framing its multi-vector foreign policy. Not only is the country landlocked by five states, but it is also enclosed between two regional powers, China and Russia. When joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Kazakhstan made firm commitments to China, potentially putting its multi‑vectorism at risk. The paper adopts geopolitical codes as a theoretical framework to account for changes in the country’s geopolitical considerations. It presents a qualitative discourse analysis on the presidential ‘State of the Nation Addresses’. The research contributes to the literature on Kazakhstan’s multi-vectorism by conducting a data-driven analysis that maintains geography at the core.
Keywords: Geopolitical Codes • Foreign Policy • Kazakhstan‑China Relations • Multi-vectorism • Discourse Analysis