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The Kazakh Spring

Digital Activism and the Challenge to Dictatorship

Author(s): Diana T. Kudaibergen

ISBN: 9781009454261
Publication Date: 23/5/24
Pages: 314
Format: Paperback
Regular price £25.99 GBP
Regular price Sale price £25.99 GBP

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How can a de-institutionalised protest movement disrupt a solidified, repressive and extremely resilient authoritarian regime? Using the context of the Kazakh Spring protests (2019–ongoing), Diana T. Kudaibergen focuses on how the interplay between a repressive regime and democratisation struggles define and shape each other. Combining original interview data, digital ethnography and contentious politics studies, she argues that the new generation of activists, including Instagram political influencers and renowned public intellectuals, have been able to de-legitimise and counter one of the most resilient authoritarian regimes and inspire mass protests that none of the formalised opposition ever imagined possible in Kazakhstan. 'The Kazakh Spring' is the first book to detail the emergence of this political field of opportunities that allowed the possibility to rethink the political limits in Kazakhstan, essentially toppling the long-term dictator in unprecedented mass protests of the Bloody January 2022.

  • Tells the story of Kazakhstan before the Bloody January protests, providing a 'street-level view' of how different protests groups were developed since the spring of 2019 and how these developments influenced the wider protests of 2022
  • Offers an original outlook and first-hand insights into the pro-democracy movements formed under authoritarian rule, identifying the genealogy and development of each protest
  • Engages in a detailed study of digital activism and how it can be analysed with a step-by-step empirical explanation on how this can be applied to further research