The heart of Eurasia? Kazakhstan's centrally located capital city

Research output: Contribution to Magazine/Trade PublicationArticle

32 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages14
Specialist publicationCentral Asian Survey
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Astana
  • Kazakhstan
  • capital city
  • governmentality
  • state-making
  • territory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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