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Ontological Security Analysis in Kazakhstan : A study of Kazakhstan’s First Leader and Telecommunications Surveillances

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Title: Ontological Security Analysis in Kazakhstan : A study of Kazakhstan’s First Leader and Telecommunications Surveillances
Author(s): Pamuksuzer, Ayse Eda
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication
Specialisation: Political History
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2019
Abstract:
The resignation of Kazakhstan’s first and only president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has brought attention to Kazakhstan’s political regime and the political structure it maintained since its establishment. Regardless of Nazarbayev’s resignation from the presidency post, he still holds great power. Thus, this thesis focuses on Nazarbayev, still a relevant actor and a critical figure in understanding the political conditions in Kazakhstan. This thesis discusses the political structure that Nazarbayev built and maintained. In this thesis, the structure is stated to be preserved through different forms of monitoring and control, however surveillance on telecommunication channels is made the focus. Surveillance on telecommunication channels does not only allow the political structure to be preserved but also upholds the ontological security of the leader in control of the structure. This thesis introduces the changing telecommunication surveillance regulations and practices and discusses them in detail. Even though the state surveillance that targets telecommunication is justified for its security impact on the society, it can also be seen as a tool for ontological security of the people deploying it. Further exploration of telecommunication surveillance and its impacts suggests that there can occur ontological security dilemmas within the state, concerning the leader and the society. The members of society may not achieve ontological security as a result of the surveillance practices that target them, whereas the leader or the other political figures can reinforce their ontology. Although being present elsewhere, the concepts of ontological security, surveillance and ontological security dilemma are studied specifically in the context of Kazakhstan.
Keyword(s): ontological security regime continuity authoritarianism surveillance security dilemma


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