This volume provides a political study of Kazakhstan, a major Central Asian state rich in natural resources, occupying a key geopolitical position, sandwiched between China and Russia. It is an "accidental country", one that emerged from a Soviet Republic and was not expected to be an independent state, ruled by an insecure elite and with no monoethnic base as a source for legitimacy. This study places new developments within an historical framework. It is based not only on original official and academic material but also on over 150 interviews with leaders of the national and regional elite.
Sally N. Cummings is at the Department of Politics, School of Social and Political Studies, at the University of Edinburgh. As the First UK Commercial Attache to Kazakhstan she was able to develop contacts with many policy makers and the business community.