Status Seeking in the Steppe
Taking Stock of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy, 1992-2019
In its 25 years of existence as an independent state, Kazakhstan has had to invent an entire foreign policy. The process was driven by multiple objectives, for a large part aimed at ensuring the success of the broader state-building project: the preservation of national sovereignty, political stability, economic growth, and taking on international responsibilities. This strategy, shaped at once by the nature of the political regime and the constraints of the regional system, was inspired by the convergence of economic, political, and geopolitical considerations. Taking stock of Kazakhstan’s external action, this article finds unexpected correspondence with the key tenets of middle power doctrine, pointing to a widely unacknowledged reading of the country’s external action.