Il giorno 25 novembre, l’IsAG ha partecipato, nella persona del Presidente Tiberio Graziani e su invito del Ministero della Cultura della Repubblica del Kazakhstan, al Astana Forum of Political Scientists, dedicato al nuovo ordine economico (NurlyZhol– Kazakhstani way), e al convegno “Terrorism and the Internet“.
Qui di seguito vengono riportati le due relazioni pronunciate da Tiberio Graziani.
Virtuality vs Territoriality: the Internet against the State
New technologies have changed the relationships between human being and the world, modifying everyday life and, with virtual reality, the perception of reality itself too. The Internet, moreover, has damaged two of three fundamental elements of the modern state: territory and sovereignty.
The State can be considered as “State-community” and “State-apparatus”. The first concerns the whole community and its organization on a specific territory, with the consequent establishment of a central authority. The second concept is related to a central, sovereign but impersonal power. In both of them is the State that retains the right to use the force to establish the order inside the country and to guarantee the external defence. Another important element to consider is the territory, because in relation to it, the State legitimises his authority over the community. When this relation between State and territory is subject to a modification, the risk is that the legitimacy of the State can be undermined and then the capacity to exercise his power decreases.
This legitimacy is strictly linked with the respect of freedom, fundamental rights and sovereignty, elements characterized by the socio-economic dimension. When these elements are not fulfilled, it is impossible to exclude social unrest among citizens. This point is an important one and not only in consideration of the legitimacy of political power. Indeed, State and territory are linked by the fact that the state can exercise his coercive power and use it against citizens to maintain the order. It is not very important that this power is implemented by police. In fact, the use of power in such events can be considered an exclusive monopoly possessed by the State, which can be only delegated to other state-organs but that, in theory, a sovereign State cannot alienate. State holds the monopoly of use of force and can use it against citizens when it is believed necessary.
The question is that the rising of importance of the web create problems in State-territory relationship and, due to the diverse telematics threats, undermines the idea that the State is the only owner of the monopoly of force. This is a huge strike to state power and his hierarchical structure. This because the power of the web (or of its users) lies in the creation of an organisation from the bottom, able to attack the institutions. This factor induced States to pay attention to this phenomenon and they are trying to use the web for their advantages.
It is possible to mention some examples of this evolution: 1) the protests in Europe and Northern Africa: originated in the web, they were justified by political, economic and social reasons. In those cases the Internet, as a virtual social “place”, replaced bars, pubs, squares and all other places where citizens could confront. Peoples organized by themselves. 2) A rising number of institutional actors uses the web to attack their rivals: in this case, cyberspace becomes another battle space.
So, we must underline how the web changed the role of the spaces. The spaces we used to consider “social” spaces in “state-community”, now have lost their function. Function taken by new, but virtual, “social” spaces. In these, emerge new virtual communities, where it is possible to send and to reproduce political and social messages against State and institutions. Even if these communities hardly can be considered as real ones (because the single person remains isolated from all the others), these new “entities” must not be undervalued. The internet has become the space where it is possible to express all the disappointment and anger against the institutions and their representatives, with consequences that can be unpredictable.
An interesting factor is the presence not only of the governments, but also of religious, academic and economic institutions in the web: in this way, they are trying to use the Internet to promote their “ideology” and to create a relationship with their followers (militants, readers, students, believers).However, the issue of this new form of social space is important, because the State still today is not able to use an efficient form of prevention or answer to these threats of cyber warfare and cyber crime.
This problem, in Italy, adds to a crisis that we can consider “systemic”. However, the government limits itself to follow NATO’s dispositions about cybernetic defence and to implement European Union discipline on information security. There are policies that could be considered a form of national answer to this issue as, for instance, the Italian strategy on cyber security and cyber defence, approved in December 2013. But, at a deeper analysis, it is possible to note how this “Italian strategy” is, for the most part, a sort of collection of European directives and regulations. Nevertheless, NATO and EU are following developments in this sector not to defend the Italian State, but to safeguard the European system and its economy. As history teaches us, the only way to realize an effective defence system is to retain the monopoly on the use of force. Both NATO and EU (the European Union with EUROGENDFOR) have their monopoly.
The Italian state, after renouncing to most of its sovereign powers, included monetary sovereignty, is ready to give up even to the monopoly on the use of force. If the territory provide the State with legitimation, the same can be said about Internet, where State power it is not so pervasive. In fact can be very easy to back out of the control of the State on the Internet.
Some analysts explain that now for a State it is impossible not to consider the importance of cyber-warfare or of the web in its “Grand strategy”. For other analysts it is necessary to take into account the developments caused by unilateral foreign policy implemented by US President George W. Bush but, it means no more of defence of “State-apparatus” prerogatives.
The diffusion of the Internet has evidenced once again the crisis of the State, which in recent times has tried to resist delegating his prerogatives in order to survive. However Italy is loosening its sovereign and independent characteristics and, more than a modern State, it looks like a “local” entity, positioned only in a higher level than the regions.
Considering that all the States can be possible targets of cyber-attacks, Italy should address this issue, but as an independent State. Rather than leave to NATO all the aspects of cyber defence, the government should promote a “fair collaboration” with private firms, in order to realize its own defence strategy and to save its own sovereign power. However, also this move it is not exempt from implications, because it means to give up a little bit of power in favour of private sector. Indeed, the government could be forced to agree to compromise with the firms.
Nazarbayev and the creation of Kazakhstani nation: unity and strategy for the future
Many analysts have recognized the role of President Nursultan Nazarbayev in implementing policies aimed to build a solid and sovereign State. After the fall of the Soviet Union was widespread the certainty that Kazakhstan would have suffered ethnic and religious strife due to its fragmented demographic composition. The events have demonstrated they were wrong, because during these two decades Kazakhstan emerged as a rising economy and a stable player in regional and global arena. Furthermore, under the leadership of President Nazarbayev, the formation of a cohesive society has represented probably the most important result reached by the new independent country, a result that must be deemed essential for the creation of a strong state.
Thanks also to his allegiance in creating unity among so many nationalities and religious communities, Nazarbayev has granted to his country a successful transition from socialist economy and the consolidation of state institutions. Of course, Kazakhstan’s path to modernization is still underway: the important results reached so far don’t imply that the challenges for the country are over. As recognized also by state officials, the construction of a democratic system, implemented according to Kazakh culture and values, is still in progress. The goal of a diversified economy, moreover, is one of the challenges that the country is facing in these years.
Nevertheless, if we look back at these nearly twenty-three years of independence, we can see a huge improvement made by Kazakhstan, combining its traditional values and the openness with modernization. In doing so, Nazarbayev has assured development and stability to his country, acting as the “father of the nation”. If we look to other historic examples, the role of Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan’s consolidation can be compared to those of other great statesmen, like Charles De Gaulle, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk or Lee Kuan Yew. These leaders inherited their countries in times of troubles and emerged not only as efficient politician, but also as charismatic figures that succeeded in setting the way for their countries for the decades successive. This is exactly what Nazarbayev has done.
We said about the role of Nazarbayev in building a strong state, but an important element in this process has been the building of a united society and the definition of a new national identity.
President Nazarbayev understood that the chances of Kazakhstan to survive as sovereign state, and to develop itself, greatly depended on the cohesion of its society and without it, every effort could have be vane. He recognized that a new independent nation could be created only with the support of all the communities resident in the country. Kazakhstan’s government did not follow the policies implemented by many other newly formed states (including some former Soviet republics), characterized by social and cultural complexity, which in the process of nation building have operated a clear-cut division between the titular ethnic community and the other nationalities. To state officials it was clear that such orientation could have bring to the implosion of the country.
In Nazarbayev’s vision, the re-birth of a national Kazakh identity would have not affected traditions, languages and cultures of the other 130 nationalities, and president’s role in trying to create unity in diversity has been fundamental. Nazarbayev acted as a moderate force and as a guarantor of the rights of all communities, he was also able to isolate the forces whose aim was directed to divide the society and to put nationalities against each other. But all this has been possible also thanks to the way in which the new sovereign Kazakhstan has been defined. Since the very first days of his presidency, Nazarbayev sought to position Kazakhstan at the centre of the Eurasian region, not only for its geographical traits, but also due to its demographic and historical characteristics.
The fact of having 130 nationalities and 16 religious communities in its territories made Kazakhstan an Eurasian country where not only can be found European and Asian elements, but where these elements have found a model that permit them to coexist and to develop themselves side by side. At a first glance, this can surprise all of us, because in our geopolitical analyses we are used to treat religion, culture, language and ethnicity like factors of discord between people or states. The Kazakhstan’s example has shown us how the idea of an articulated social and religious composition instead of being conceived as a threat for the stability, can be overturned in a possible positive source for the future development of the state, representing a new model also for other countries of former USSR. The idea of a pacific, tolerant, co-operative coexistence among peoples of different cultures has given the possibility to the government to define the framework of the new country’s identity, in which Kazakhstan is not only “the land of Kazakhs”, but it is the “land of Kazakhstani”. The unity of the society is, in this manner, conceived as the creation of a united nation, founded on civic values recognized by all Kazakhstani citizens, without any form of exclusion or emargination. In this way, the idea of Kazakhstani nation meets the one of Kazakhstan as the real Eurasian country, thanks to its capacity to reach a syntesis from the initial diversity. This capacity can be found in many occasions where Nazarbayev has made clear his idea, welcoming the religious renaissance of Islam or the re-discover of Kazakh identity, but stating also that the state will no impose “double standards” in ethnical affairs.
Furthermore, during these years of independence, we had seen that these ideas have been implemented by the government. For instance, it is possible to mention the institution of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, with the aim to establish a space of dialogue between national communities and the state and to develop the cultural policies of these groups.
Another issue, where it is possible to see these trends, is the language issue that represented one of the key factors in inter-ethnic relationships. In promoting the use of Kazakh, and in defending the role of Russian language, Nazarbayev showed himself as a moderate leader able to calm down the excesses of those he called “pseudo-patriots”.
These are only some concrete examples of how the new Kazakhstani identity has been put into practice. What is important to underline is that a reflection about Kazakhstani identity has not to be considered as a secondary factor in the creation of a strong state. There can’t be a strong, economically developed and modern Kazakhstan if its roots are not solid. A strong state can’t be built without a cohesive society, and Nazarbayev’s merit has been to have understood this.
Furthermore, the President established a path for the future through different official documents that represent the guidelines set for the country and for all state institutions and organs. In this way, these state concepts can be considered both “ideological” documents and strategic papers that need to be extended and implemented by the institutions. All this documents mark an important characteristic of Kazakh government: its capacity to look at the future, making a reflection about the Kazakhstan of the present day, defining a vision for the next decades and establishing the principles that the State will follow. In this regard, I want to stress just few documents, underlining how even in these it can be found the relevance of the unity in the society and the importance of the vision of future Kazakhstan whose we have spoken.
The most important document is, without any sort of doubt, the Strategy “Kazakhstan-2050”, announced by Nazarbayev in December 2012 and that replaced the precedent document “Kazakhstan 2030”. As it has been said before, analyzing the document I believe we should add two more aspects in our considerations. The first is the importance, repeated in the document, of the cohesion of the society and that of inter-ethnic and inter-religious concord, considered in relation to the development of Kazakhstan state. This point was, moreover, previously established in another official institutional paper, the Doctrine of National Unity, approved by Nazarbayev in 2009. Here the ideas of unity, concord inside the society and the new Kazakhstani patriotism, are recognized as values for the state, that establishes its commitment in promoting them in the diverse spheres of social life: language policy, school, the cultural and spiritual fields, mass media, justice and, last but not the least, inter-confessional relations.
The second interesting element contained in the Strategy Kazakhstan 2050 is linked to the importance of creating the right conditions to give next generations the means to be competitive in the future. One of the principal points contained in the Strategy is related to the improvement of the living conditions of Kazakhstanis, starting with projects for students, schools, healthcare and sport. For instance, the project aimed to promote the diffusion of Kazakh, English and Russian languages is of great significance. In this way, young Kazakhstanis will speak not only the two most important languages of their country, but also the one that will permit them to be competitive in the global world.
The appeal to Kazakhstani youth emerges also in the continuous attention given by Nazarbayevin defending it, and the whole society, from the threats of extremism and terrorism. This is a crucial issue for the Central Asian countries, but in particular for Kazakhstan, whose cohesive and secular society could be at risk if foreign radical ideologies, imported from abroad, expanded themselves among citizens, weakening the unity and solidarity that, as we have already said, represent one of its strength. In these years, it has been realized a policy aimed not only in contrasting these perils, but also in promoting among young citizens the values of solidarity, tolerance, respect of other cultures, the importance of spiritual aspects of life and the deference for elderly people. The President knows that the assimilations of these principles is the best defense against the divisive threats posed by who wants to put Kazakhstan into the chaos.
We think it is important to underline the work made by Nazarbayev in promoting these values in the international arena. Kazakhstan is now well know for its moderate, but dynamic, stance in some of the most important issues of the political agenda. It is a reliable state that operates for the research of concord and stability. Among the international initiatives promoted by Nazarbayev, it is important to mention the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditonal Religions and the World Forum of Spiritual Culture that are held in Astana, whose their final messages often stress the importance to address the education and the formation of the youth.
In conclusion, we could say that all those appeals of President Nazarbayev to the young Kazakhstanis are aimed not only to the formation of generations able to bring Kazakhstan to a new and higher level of prosperity, but also to the transfer of the teaching that only with the concord a society can reach great results.