Dr. Maria Blackwood, a Title VIII Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will present “Kazakhstan’s Communist Party Elite in the Early Soviet Period: A Prosopographical Analysis” at Fulbright University Vietnam on Friday, 30 November 2018 at 4 pm.
Blackwood’s research examines the process of elite formation in Soviet Kazakhstan in order to explore political power dynamics within the Soviet Union and its successor states. Her presentation will provide an overview of ethnic Kazakhs within the republic’s pre-war nomenklature, using biographical data to provide a statistical picture of Kazakhstan’s Party elite.
“Analyzing those Kazakhs who served as members of the republic’s Party Bureau between 1920 and 1937 – when and where they were born, where they went to school, and when and how they joined the Party – offers insight into the broader process of elite formation in the early Soviet period,” Blackwood said.
Blackwood, whose research focuses on Central Asia, was previously based in Moscow as an Alfa Fellow with the NGO International Memorial. Her research has been supported by grants from the American Councils for International Education, the Fulbright Program, and Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, among others.
“Russian colonization was profoundly economically and socially disruptive for the Kazakh population, but the cohort of elite Kazakh Bolsheviks comprised people who had benefited from the Russian imperial presence,” Blackwood continued. “My research reveals a clear pattern in terms of who became a Bolshevik and what types of people achieved political success in the first two decades of Soviet rule.”