The author (at the time of publication of this article, a sociologist in Astana) has brought together a very broad range of Western works on the study of Kazakhstan, from Soviet-era monographs by Olcott, Bacon and Bennigsen, to early independence-era analyses by Fierman, Simon, Akiner and Khazanov, to very recent dissertations (some by now published) by Eitzen, Fink and Schatz.  For each work, she describes the main thesis, alas uncritically.  At the beginning and end of the article, some conclusions are drawn about the relationship between “pioneers” and a new post-Soviet-era generation of scholars, and the more popular research topics and methodologies.  Perhaps most interesting is her assessment that “all works by Western scholars” use paradigms either of colonialism or modernisation theories.

Virginia Martin, University of Wisconsin, Madison
CER: I-1.2.C-97