In class today, Ove held the last of his lectures about Kazakhstan, and particulary about the president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
According to Ove, Nazarbayev is the most progressive of central asia’s authoritarian leaders. And considering how for example Islam Karimov rules Uzbekistan , I can’t argue with that statement.
(not that I ever doubt Ove’s words =)
However, it’s pretty obvious how Nazarbayev behaves like a typical authoritarian leader no different from others. For example, a big bronze statue of himself has been raised in the kazakh capital of Astana. The political-comment blog Registan features an article on it (the reader comments are worth a look as well).
So, clearly he has built himself a “nice” cult of personality, which is a bad sign especially since he well may be president for life (see this and this).
I just wanted to add this as a supplement for what we have learned today.