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ISEK - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft Ethnologie

Qazak diasporas and statehood

Peter Finke, Indira Alibayeva and Zarina Mukanova


Upon achieving independence in 1991 the new republic of Kazakstan officially invited the estimated four million Kazaks living abroad to join the native homeland. This was done to increase the proportion of the titular ethnic group, by then merely 40 per cent of the total population. Until today roughly one million have followed this call, boosting the number of Kazaks to 65 per cent. This project looks at the process from the perspective of those who migrated as well as those who stayed at their place of origin. As migrating was a free option, especially for those living in Mongolia where there were no restrictions either way, this provides a kind of laboratory for studying decision-making. At the same time, the project looks at the patterns of integration of those who resettled and the transnational ties they developed to their kindred still in Mongolia.