New Urbanization of the Steppe. Astana: A Capital Called the Capital

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Marek Gawęcki


Relocating the capital of Kazakhstan from Almaty to Akmola (then renamed Astana) in 1997 has been the subject of an intense debate, particularly within media. The process of creating the new capital of Kazakhstan should consider the broader perspective of historical, political and ideological, social, climatic and geographical factors, and finally to put the matter in terms of architecture and urban planning. The author considers this very broad perspective, finally expressing the hope that the project of “the city of the future” analyzed in the article, will become a permanent part of the Kazakh reality.


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How to Cite
Gawęcki, M. (2013). New Urbanization of the Steppe. Astana: A Capital Called the Capital. Studia Historiae Oeconomicae, 31, 35-56.
Author Biography

Marek Gawęcki, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poznań

Marek Gawęcki – received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in ethnology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. He worked at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of Adam Mickiewicz University and then, between 1994 and 2000, was the first ambassador of Poland in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. He currently works as a professor at the Institute of Eastern Studies of Adam Mickiewicz University and is a director of the Centre for Central Asian Studies at AMU. His interests focus on political anthropologyand ethnic relations in post-Soviet countries of Central Asia. He conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan in 1976 and in Kazakhstan between 1900 and 2000. Member of the Committee of Ethnological Sciences Polish Academy of Sciences (elected 2012). He published several books and articles on the topics of his research, e.g.: Wieś środkowego i północnego Afganistanu: Tradycja i próby modernizacji [The Village of Central and Northern Afghanistan: Tradition and the Attempts at Modernisation, 1983] and Kazachstańscy Polacy [ThePoles of Kazakhstan, 1996].