In 2019, Kazakhstan’s new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pledged large-scale political and economic reforms. The new government in Nur-Sultan promised to open up political space, enhance dialogue between state and society, and initiate a series of social and economic reforms to enhance services and improve the country’s business climate. Eighteen months into the Tokayev presidency, what has happened to that reform agenda? What push and pull factors can we discern? What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic both on the perception of the necessity of reforms and the government’s will and capacity to carry them out? What can be expected from the upcoming parliamentary and local elections planned for January 2021, and can they serve as an opening for more systemic reform? Our event will address these questions, aiming to account for the complexity of political, social and economic processes unfolding in today’s Kazakhstan.
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