Marking a break with a majority of political scientists’ vision of kinship, as something in fundamental opposition to the state, and to be overcome for modern institutions, the author calls into question this assumption. Defining generically clan as a kinship-based social division and using evidence from the Kazakhstan case, he proposes a distinction between clan-based practices that undermine the functioning of states (clan clientelism) and practices that, to the contrary, play no such negative role (clan balancing), and suggests that clan clientelism, clan balancing and the discursive political battle surrounding the two are the features that distinguish clan politics from other form of identity politics. Reconceptualising clan politics, the study questions the premise that clans and states are driven by irreconcilable logics ― going as far as the postulate that since kinship a web-like relation, harbouring an identity at one level necessarily means harbouring identities at other levels as well.

The Redaction
CER: II-6.4.C-518