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Moynihan European Research Centers present: Natalie Koch

341 Eggers Hall

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Authoritarian regimes have long taken an interest in promoting elite and mass sport, deploying it as both a nation-building strategy and a tool to elicit respect and legitimacy on the global stage. However, authoritarian regimes do not all equally engage sport for these ends. Rather, as I argue, it is characteristic of ‘soft’ authoritarian regimes, i.e. those that rely less on overtly violent tactics of maintaining power (‘coercion’) and more on seemingly ‘positive’ tactics (‘persuasion’). Through the example of sport in Kazakhstan, and specifically the Astana Professional Cycling Team, I argue that nation-building through state promotion of sport illustrates the ways that soft authoritarian regimes such as that of Nursultan Nazarbayev perpetuate their rule. Natalie Koch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She obtained her PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2012. She specializes in political geography, post-Soviet regional studies, urban geography, and qualitative methods. She has been conducting research in Central Asia since 2005. Lunch will be served. Speaking: Natalie Koch Assistant Professor Department of Geography, the Maxwell School of Syracuse University Sponsor: Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Co-Sponsor Moynihan European Research Centers, Co-Sponsor

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