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Sociology Research


Dr. Kudaibergenova studies different intersections of power relations through realms of political sociology dealing with concepts of state, nationalising regimes, and ideologies.

Dr. Diana T. Kudaibergenova received her PhD in 2015 from the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Her first book, Rewriting the Nation in Modern Kazakh Literature (Lexington, 2017) deals with the study of nationalism, modernisation, and cultural development in modern Kazakhstan. Her second book Toward Nationalizing Regimes. Conceptualizing Power and Identity in the Post-Soviet Realm focuses on the rise of nationalising regimes in post-Soviet space after 1991 with a prime focus on power struggles among the political and cultural elites in democratic and non-democratic states (Pittsburgh University Press, 2020). Currently, she is completing her third book manuscript on power, state, and resistance in contemporary art of the post-Soviet Eurasia and work on a new project dealing with state/regime theory.

Dr. Kudaibergenova spent more than two years researching and teaching first sociology major students in Turkmenistan in English at the International University of the Humanities and Development in Ashgabat. She has also held a postdoctoral position at the Lund University Sociology of Law Department and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the GCRF-funded COMPASS project at the Centre of Development Studies at POLIS Department at the University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

Nationalism, State and Regime Theory, Ideology, Democratization, Power

Key Publications - Books

Kudaibergenova, D.T. Toward Nationalizing Regimes: Power and Identity Politics in Post-Soviet Realm. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020.

Kudaibergenova, D.T. Re-writing the Nation in Modern Kazakh Literature. Elites and Narratives. Langham, MD: Lexington, 2017.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Kudaibergenova, D. 2020. “The Most Important Thing is to Have That Space! The Power of Art and Local Art Communities in Central Asia” in Cuoni, C., Balta Portoles, J., Khan, N., Moses, S. (eds.) Forces of Art. Perspectives from a Changing World. Amsterdam: Valiz.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2019. “Mankurts, Kazakh “Russians,” and “Shala” Kazakhs: Language, National Identity, and Ethnicity Revisited” in Laruelle, M. (ed.) The Nazarbayev Generation. Youth in Kazakhstan. Langham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2019. “Compartmentalized Ideology: Presidential addresses and Legitimation in Kazakhstan” in Isaacs, R. and Frigerio, A. (eds.) Theorizing Central Asia. Palgrave Macmillan.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2018. “Project “Kelin”: Marriage, Women, and Re-Traditionalization in post-Soviet Kazakhstan,” in Najafizadeh, M. and Lindsey, L. (eds.) Women of Asia: Globalization, Development, and Social Change. London: Routledge.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2017. “The ideology of Development and Legitimation: Beyond “Kazakhstan-2030” in Ozcan, G.B. (ed.) Diverging Paths of Development in Central Asia. London: Routledge. May 2017.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2016. “Kem bila sovetskaya zhenshina?” in Ponyatiya o Sovetskom, Sovetskiy Genderniy Poryadok, Bishkek: School of Theory and Activism. [“Who was the Soviet woman?” in The Concepts of the Sovietization, Soviet Gendered Order edited volume].

Kudaibergenova, D. 2016. “Nationalising Regimes and Power,” IFEAC Working Paper, July 2016.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2016. “Nationalising Elites and Regimes: Nation-Building in Post-Soviet ‘Authoritarianism’ and ‘Democracy’” in Laurelle, M. (ed.) Kazakhstan in the Making. Langham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kudaibergenova, D. (2013) “National identity formation in post-Soviet Central Asia: Soviet legacy and primordialism. Patterns of ideological development post 1991” in Akildiz and Carson (eds.) Social and Cultural Change in Central Asia: the Soviet Legacy, London: Routledge. 

Kudaibergenova, D. (2013) “Postsocialist Culture in Latvia and Kazakhstan: an introduction to reasons, criticism, and perspectives” in National Identity: Time, Place, People, Riga: Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Kudaibergenova, D.T. and Costa Buraneli, F. (2021). “Introduction to the Special Issue on Power in Central Asia,” Problems of Post-Communism.

Kudaibergenova, D.T., 2021. “Power, Knowledge, and the “Self” in Everyday Normalization of the Political Truth,” Problems of Post-Communism, pp.1-12. Forthcoming in the Special Issue “Power in Central Asia” edited by Kudaibergenova D.T. and Costa Buranelli, F. (2021).

Kudaibergenova, D.T., 2020. “Ghosts, Mankurts and Alike: The Postcolonial Art in Central Asia,” forthcoming in special issue (edited by S. Oushakine) on postcolonialism in Eurasia, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 161, 2020, pp. 175-198.

Kudaibergenova, D.T., 2019. “The body global and the body traditional: a digital ethnography of Instagram and nationalism in Kazakhstan and Russia,” Central Asian Survey, 38(3), pp.363-380.

Kudaibergenova, D.T., 2019. “Compartmentalized ideology and nation-building in non-democratic states,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52(3), pp.247-257.

Kudaibergenova, D. T., 2019. “Digital Islam and Contemporary Art in Central Asia: Visualizing and Performing Islam,” Central Asian Affairs, 6(2-3), pp.224-252.

Kudaibergenova, D. T., and Shin, B. 2018. “Authors and Authoritarianism in Central Asia: Failed Agency and Nationalising Authoritarianism in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan,” Asian Studies Review, 42, 2, pp. 304-322.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2018. “Punk Shamanism, Revolt and Break Up of Traditional Linkage: The waves of cultural production in postsocialist Kazakhstan,” European Journal of Cultural Studies, 21, 4, pp. 435-451.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2018. “Misunderstanding Abai and the Legacy of the Canon: “Neponyanii” and “Neponyatii” Abai in Contemporary Kazakhstan, Journal of Eurasian Studies, 9, 1, pp. 20-29.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2018. “Contemporary Public Art and Nation: Contesting “Tradition” in Postsocialist Cultures and Societies,” Central Asian Affairs, 1(6), pp. 1-27.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2017. “The Archaeology of Nationalising Regimes in Post-Soviet Space: Narratives, Elites and Minorities,” Problems of Post-Communism Journal, 64, 6, pp. 342-355.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2017. “Modernizing the Past in the Present: Sabit Mukanov’s Botagoz and Early Soviet Kazakh literature,” in the Special Issue on Russian Orientalism in Central Asia, Cambridge Central Asia Reviews.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2017. “My Silk Road to You”: Re-Imagining Routes, Roads, and Geography in Contemporary Art of “Central Asia,” Journal of Eurasian Studies, 8, 1, pp. 31-43.

Kudaibergenova, D. (2016) “Unidentified diffusion: the use and abuse of postcolonial discourse in post-independent Kazakhstan,” Europe-Asia Studies (accepted and forthcoming). 

Kudaibergenova, D. 2016. “Between the State and the Artist: Representations of Femininity and Masculinity in the Formation of Ideas of the Nation in Central Asia,” Nationalities Papers, 44(2), pp.225-246.

Kudaibergenova, D. 2016. “Eurasian Economic Union, Interests and Integration in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan” European Politics and Society, 17, pp. 97-112, Special Issue “Eurasia in a Global Context”.

Kudaibergenova, D. (2015) “The ideology of Development and Legitimation: Beyond “Kazakhstan-2030” in The Special Issue on “Social and Economic Development in Central Asia” in Central Asian Survey, December 2015. 

Grants and Projects

Prince Claus Foundation, Hivos and the European Cultural Foundation ‘Force of Art’ research award for the “Contemporary Art in Eurasia: Civil Society, Art Activism and State in a Comparative Perspective” for the completion of manuscript research, 2018.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfoun, The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences Communication Projects grant to organize a workshop and facilitate special issue production on “Power in Central Asia” conceptual theme, 2018.

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
Unestablished Assistant Professor in Political Sociology
Dr Diana Kudaibergenova
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