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The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Jukka Pietiläinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Values, Trust in Institutions and Social Structure in Russia and Kazakhstan

This paper compares two authoritarian countries Russia and Kazakhstan and is based on data available from two surveys, one collected in Russia in 2015 and one in Kazakhstan in 2016. Both of them cover all the country from capital to small villages. Russian sample includes 5,349 respondents and the Kazakhstan sample 1,000 respondents. Fieldwork was done by Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences and Public Opinion Foundation, Astana, Kazakhstan respectively. The Russian sample is larger than usual and covers also regions with Islamic populations in Volga region and Northern Caucasus. Both surveys include same questions concerning values (e.g. important things to gain success in life) and trust in various institutions. Therefore it is possible to analyse differences and similarities between Russia and Kazakhstan. Both Russia and Kazakhstan have followed an authoritarian path with some democratic elements. In Russia the development has been more varied, while Kazakhstan has been under single leader during the whole post-Soviet era. The research questions asked are which are the main differences between Russian and Kazakhstan around 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and which are the most important similarities, do ethnic Russians differ on the basis of their home country and what is the role of religion (Islam and Orthodox Christianity) in relation to individual values. The size of Russian sample gives possibility to analyse Islamic minority in Russia separately. Does the trust in various institutions differ between Russia and Kazakhstan and how trust in different institutions is structured in different groups of population? The paper focuses also to differences in social structure and well-being in Russia and in Kazakhstan.