KazakhstanUNSC.com – a multilingual website dedicated to Kazakhstan’s bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the years 2017/18 – is pleased to present the sixth in a series of Occasional Papers exploring the different aspects of Kazakhstan and its UNSC bid, entitled “Democratic and Social Reform in Kazakhstan – A Model for Social and Political Transition?”
Upon Independence, Kazakhstan was confronted with the twin tasks of establishing from scratch a market economy and a functioning democracy, simultaneously. Few challenges could be greater than completing this “double transition” within a decade or two.
Yet this is what Kazakhstan has attempted to do since 1991, and this paper explores the path along which the country has made continuous and steady progress at each parliamentary and presidential election, and gradually aligned its political institutions with best practice in the West.
This fact has been recognised by many foreign observers including the OSCE. As Daniel Witt, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Eurasia Foundation, stated following the 2011 Presidential Election: “Kazakhstan has come a long way in the two decades since it achieved Independence from the Soviet Union. The Central Asian giant has succeeded in moving a great distance toward a free and open democracy.”