In a world still dominated by a geopolitical system of territorial states, one tool in the state- and nation-building repertoire is the strategy of moving a capital from one city to another, and to an ostensibly more central location of a geometrically conceived territory. From Ankara to Brasília, the technique has been used in a variety of places around the world, and Kazakhstan's new capital since 1997, Astana, is one more recent iteration. Taking a Foucauldian approach to analysing political technologies of government, the author examines the strategy of the centrally located city and considers how it has been instrumental to simultaneously producing a state effect and a territory effect in newly independent Kazakhstan. Part of a larger mixed-methods study, this article draws on a diverse range of methods, including data from interviews, participant observation, textual analysis, focus groups and a country-wide survey.
- capital city
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes