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Kazakhstan’s Middle Power Response to Terrorism

Most studies define states as small, middle, or great in relation to the power of other states. However, how the capabilities of a particular category of state allow it to respond to challenges from armed non-state actors, has rarely been studied. This article focuses on the Republic of Kazakhstan to give empirical evidence of what patterned course of action middle states undertake to oppose terrorism. In addition, it explores the most prominent causes of Kazakhstan’s failure in the fight against armed non-state actors.

Kazakhstan s Middle Power Response to Terrorism
Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization state members met on June 11, 2018 in Kazakhstan. ALEXANDER SHCHERBAK / TASS via Getty Images

Introduction

 
 Currently, the increased role of armed non-state actors (ANSAs) in international relations and their influence on the world political processes is obvious, being recognized virtually by all observers and researchers.1 Since the end of the last century the issue of relations between states and ANSAs was the subject of extensive research and had spawned a lively theoretical discussion,2 the importance of which goes far beyond the academic framework.

Since 2000, in his Addresses to the Nation, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been focusing on the challenges wrought by the transnational flows of financial transactions, trade, information, and diverse migration, whose volume and turbulence have surged beyond the ability of governments to manage them. One negative effect of these flows, is transnational terrorism, which pools together not only in underdeveloped countries with unstable political regimes,3 but tends to recruit adherents from anywhere in the world. Thus, a massive invasion of non-state actors in world politics is undoubtedly an important phenomenon, transforming the state system in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

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Call for Paper | Politics of the Balkans and Future Perspectives