Political science explains various motives for political violence. This research focuses on a particular kind of motivation: ethnicity. The 20th century has seen many instances of ethnic violence, and this research seeks to understand why it occurs in one place and time and not the other. Traditionally the literature on ethnic violence reflects on economic conditions, regime type, geopolitics and historical context as significant variables. This research posits that Kazakhstan managed to avoid ethnic violence because it is more politically developed. The existence of an accommodative legislative assembly, which assures the rights of ethnic minorities, is an example of Kazakhstan's model of ethnic inclusiveness and harmony. Such mechanisms are wholly absent in Azerbaijan, despite immense oil wealth; it exhibits cases of extreme ethnic violence, terrorist mobilization and threats to regime survival. Relatively politically developed states like Kazakhstan are more inclined towards ethnic tolerance, inclusion & harmony, while underdeveloped states lack the apparatus' therein, resulting in exclusion and conflict. The main implication of the research is that neither territorial disputes, nor resource curse nor post-Soviet disintegration help to explain why ethnic conflict happens in one place, Azerbaijan, and not in the other, Kazakhstan. There is however a positive relationship between ethnic inclusion & ethnic harmony.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Krikorian, Danny, "Ethnic Exclusion & Conflict in the Caspian: Comparing Kazakhstan & Azerbaijan" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6015.