Beyond ‘Personality Cults’: Sacralization of Power in Kazakhstan and the Concept of Monarchy

  • Adrien Fauve
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


This chapter revisits the concept of monarchical rule by investigating presidential power in Kazakhstan. To that aim, it starts with a critical genealogy of ‘personality cults’, which are proven to be very poor conceptual approaches to personalized politics. In order to better the analysis of power in general, this chapter proposes a comprehensive framework embracing literature on the sacralization of power. Based on qualitative empirical data and a sociological enquiry, sacralization of power is then defined as the process through which legitimacy is constructed. In Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan, power articulates re-invented traditional authority and elements of charisma. Finally, transcending binary divides such as democracy versus authoritarianism, the concept of monarchy might serve as a heuristic concept to analyse power in a variety of national contexts.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrien Fauve
    • 1
  1. 1.Paris-Sud UniversityOrsayFrance

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