Kazakhstan: Modernising Government in the Context of Political Inertia

Colin Knox

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    Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and joinedthe Commonwealth of Independent States. Since then it has witnessed a remarkableeconomic transformation under the leadership of President NursultanNazarbayev. Pursuing a policy of ‘economy first and then politics’, Kazakhstan isunder growing pressure to engage in political reforms which include a modernizationagenda to improve public service provision. Recent constitutional reformshave received a lukewarm reaction from the international community thatKazakhstan is keen to become part of. At the same time a progressive agenda ofpublic services reform is well under way rooted in new public management and adesire to become much more customer focussed in their orientation. This articleexamines the parallel themes of political reforms and public services modernizationin Kazakhstan.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)477-496
    JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • developing countries
    • governance
    • Kazakhstan
    • modernizing
    • performance measurement
    • public management reform


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