Violent Extremism in Kazakhstan: The Role of Criminal Background

by Serik Beissembayev, Gumilev Eurasian National University

Monday, 3 October
17:00–18:15 / HALL 237
Valikhanov Building / KIMEP UNIVERSITY











The research discusses the issue of intertwining of petty crime and violent extremism in Kazakhstan. On the basis of semi-structured interviews with prisoners serving sentences on charges of extremist and terrorist activities, the author concludes that involvement in the criminal subculture increases the risk of radicalization on the basis of radical ideology. The key mechanism of transition of criminalized youth to the ranks of jihadist ideology supporters is frame alignment, when the ideology of jihadism resonates with the worldview spread in the criminal subculture.

Serik Beissembayev is a research fellow/PhD candidate at the L.N.Gumilev Eurasian National University. He received his MA in sociology from the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. In 2014-2015 he was a fellow of the Bolashak International Scholarship of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan Public Policy Initiative. He has extensive experience in planning and concept development of sociological surveys. He is the author of several analytical publications on social and political issues in Kazakhstan.

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