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Department of Sociology


Congratulations to Diana Kudaibergen whose third book, The Kazakh Spring: Digital Activism and the Challenge to Dictatorship has just been published by Cambridge University Press. The book tells the story of regime-society relations and explains this dynamic in the context of the Kazakh Spring protests from 2019. Focussing on the interplay between a repressive regime and democratisation struggles define and shape each other, Dr Kudaibergen examines how a de-institutionalised protest movement can disrupt a solidified, repressive and extremely resilient authoritarian regime.

Combining original interview data, digital ethnography and contentious politics studies, she argues that the new generation of activists, including Instagram political influencers and renowned public intellectuals, have been able to de-legitimise and counter one of the most resilient authoritarian regimes and inspire mass protests that none of the formalised opposition ever imagined possible in Kazakhstan.

 'The Kazakh Spring' is the first book to detail the emergence of this political field of opportunities that allowed the possibility to rethink the political limits in Kazakhstan, essentially toppling the long-term dictator in unprecedented mass protests of the Bloody January 2022.

Kudaibergen DT. The Kazakh Spring: Digital Activism and the Challenge to Dictatorship. Cambridge University Press; 2024.