Privileged Exclusion in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan: Ethnic Return Migration, Citizenship, and the Politics of (Not) Belonging Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2017 University of Glasgow. This article explores issues of citizenship and belonging associated with post-Soviet Kazakhstan’s repatriation programme. Beginning in 1991, Kazakhstan financed the resettlement of over 944,000 diasporic Kazakhs from nearly a dozen countries, including Mongolia, and encouraged repatriates to become naturalised citizens. Using the concept of ‘privileged exclusion’, this article argues that repatriated Kazakhs from Mongolia belong due to their knowledge of Kazakh language and traditions yet, at the same time, do not belong due to their lack of linguistic fluency in Russian, the absence of a shared Soviet experience, and limited comfort with the ‘cosmopolitan’ lifestyle that characterises the new elite in this post-Soviet context.

altmetric score

  • 5.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Werner, C. A., Emmelhainz, C., & Barcus, H.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • November 2017