Skip to main content

Beyond ‘Personality Cults’: Sacralization of Power in Kazakhstan and the Concept of Monarchy

  • 340 Accesses

Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)

Abstract

This chapter revisits the concept of monarchical rule by investigating presidential power in Kazakhstan. To that aim, it starts with a critical genealogy of ‘personality cults’, which are proven to be very poor conceptual approaches to personalized politics. In order to better the analysis of power in general, this chapter proposes a comprehensive framework embracing literature on the sacralization of power. Based on qualitative empirical data and a sociological enquiry, sacralization of power is then defined as the process through which legitimacy is constructed. In Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan, power articulates re-invented traditional authority and elements of charisma. Finally, transcending binary divides such as democracy versus authoritarianism, the concept of monarchy might serve as a heuristic concept to analyse power in a variety of national contexts.

Keywords

  • Personality Cult
  • Nursultan
  • Royal Self
  • monumentsMonuments
  • dominationDomination

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-97355-5_8
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-97355-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 8.1
Fig. 8.2
Fig. 8.3
Fig. 8.4

Notes

  1. 1.

    Many scholars in the social sciences alas ignore that daguerreotype, the ancestor of photography, was presented to scientists in 1839, on the very same year when Auguste Comte invented the notion of ‘sociology’.

  2. 2.

    Dinara (July 2010, Almaty-Astana train).

  3. 3.

    A reference to the 2010 riots in Southern Kyrgyzstan (the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad).

  4. 4.

    Saule (July 2010, Almaty).

  5. 5.

    Saule (July 2010, Almaty).

  6. 6.

    Bolat (July 2010, Almaty).

  7. 7.

    Adilbek (June 2011, Astana).

  8. 8.

    He united Kazakh tribes against Dzhungars and became a warlord hero for defeating them (in the eighteenth century).

  9. 9.

    For instance, Pope John Paul II, Bill Clinton, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin etc.

  10. 10.

    Akmaral (June 2011, Astana).

  11. 11.

    A famous professor of constitutional law at Nanterre University, named Guy Carcassonne (1951–2013), even wrote significant parts of the 1993 Kazakhstani fundamental law (Calvès and Perron 2004).

References

  • Becker, H. (1974). Photography and Sociology. Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication, 1, 3–26.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Benveniste, E. (1973). Indo-European Language and Society. Miami: University of Miami Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beyer, J. (2015). Customizations of Law: Courts of Elders (Aksakal Courts) in Rural and Urban Kyrgyzstan. Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 38(1), 53–71.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bloch, M. (1973). The Royal Touch: Sacred Monarchy and Scrofula in England and France. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Calvès, G., & Perron, C. (2004). Militant de la démocratie. Entretien avec Guy Carcassone. Critique internationale, 24(3), 177–192.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cavalli, L. (1998). Considerations on Charisma and the Cult of Charismatic Leadership. Modern Italy, 2(3), 153–158.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dahl, R. (1961). Who governs? Democracy and Power in an American city. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dobry, M. (2006). Hitler, Charisma and Structure: Reflections on Historical Methodology. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 7(2), 157–171.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dzhaksybekov, A. (2008). Tak nachinalas’ Astana. Zapiski pervogo akima stolicy (This Is How Astana Started. Notes from the First Mayor of the Capital City). Astana: Valeri-Art.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fortescue, J. (1719). The Difference Between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy; as It More Particularly Regards the English Constitution. London: W. Bowyer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Foucault, M. (1984). How Is Power Exercised? In H. Dreyfus & P. Rabinow (Eds.), Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (pp. 216–226). Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geertz, C. (1968). Islam Observed. Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geertz, C. (1983). Centers, Kings, and Charisma. Reflections on the Symbolics of Power. In Local Knowledge. Further Essays in Interpretative Anthropology (pp. 121–146). New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hobbes, T. [1651] (1991). Man and Citizen (De Homine & De Cive). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hume, D. [1772] (1994). Political Writings. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Isaacs, R. (2015). Charismatic Routinization and Problems of Post-charisma Succession in Kazakhstan. Studies of Transition States and Societies, 7(1), 58–76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jailani, Y. (2016). The Loosening of a Stronghold: Economic Pressure on Kazakhstan’s Dictatorship. Harvard International Review, 38(1), 46–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kantorowicz, E. (1957). The King’s Two Bodies. A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kershaw, I., & Lewin, M. (1997). Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Koch, N. (2016). The Personality ‘Cult Problematic’: Personalism and Mosques Memorializing the Father of the Nation in Turkmenistan and the UAE. Central Asian Affairs, 3(4), 330–359.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kudaibergenova, D. (2016). The Archaeology of Nationalizing Regimes in the Post-Soviet Space. Narratives, Elites, and Minorities. Problems of Post-Communism, 64(6), 342–355.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Linz, J. (2000). Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Boulder: L. Rienner.

    Google Scholar 

  • Locke, J. (1690). Two Treaties of Government. London: Awnsham Churchill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marin, L. (1988). Portrait of the King. London: Macmillan.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marramao, G. (2016). Against Power. For an Overhaul of Critical Theory. Newark: University of Delaware Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marsili, M. (1998). De Gasperi and Togliatti: Political Leadership and Personality Cults in Post-War Italy. Modern Italy, 2(3), 249–261.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1968). Selected Works in One Volume. New York: International Publishers. Also as ‘Letter to Wilhelm Blos’, November 10 1877. Available at: http://www.marxistsfr.org/archive/marx/works/1877/letters/77_11_10.htm. Accessed 21 Aug 2017.

  • Mills, C. W. (1956). The Power Elite. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, T. (1991). Colonizing Egypt. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Olcott, M. B. (2002). Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    Google Scholar 

  • Olwig, K., & Mitchell, D. (Eds.). (2009). Justice, Power and the Political Landscape. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Payne, R. (1964). The Life and Death of Lenin. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pisch, A. (2016). The Personality Cult of Stalin in Soviet Posters (1929–1953): Archetypes, Inventions and Fabrications. Acton: Australian National University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Polese, A., & Horak, S. (2015). A Tale of Two Presidents: Personality Cult and Symbolic Nation-Building in Turkmenistan. Nationalities Papers, 43(3), 457–478.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schatz, E., & Maktseva, E. (2012). Kazakhstan’s Authoritarian ‘Persuasion’. Post-Soviet Affairs, 28(1), 45–65.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Veyne, P. (2010). When Our World Became Christian. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weber, M. (1978). Economy and Society. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wedeen, L. (1999). Ambiguities of Domination. Politics, Rhetoric and Symbols in Contemporary Syria. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Fauve, A. (2019). Beyond ‘Personality Cults’: Sacralization of Power in Kazakhstan and the Concept of Monarchy. In: Isaacs, R., Frigerio, A. (eds) Theorizing Central Asian Politics. International Political Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97355-5_8

Download citation