Areas of main activity
The Institute of History and Ethnology was named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a leading research center of historical science in Kazakhstan, which conducts fundamental research in the field of historical knowledge, develops strategic guidelines in the field of national ideology, contributes to the formation of Kazakhstani patriotism, tolerance, civic identity to ensure the national security of the country.
In the history of the development of science in the USSR, a positive practice of forming a network of scientific institutions was tested, including in the Kazakh SSR, when in 1932 a base was opened in Alma-Ata (now Almaty), then in 1938 an affiliate of the USSR Academy of Sciences, transformed in 1946 into an independent Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan. The Institute of History, Archeology, and Ethnography was established in 1945 by separating from the Institute of Language, Literature, and History by unanimous Resolution of the Presidium of the Kazfilial of the USSR Academy of Sciences №20 on August 14, 1945. In January 1961 The Institute was named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov. By the Decree of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR №73 of September 12, 1991, it was renamed the Institute of History and Ethnology named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov in connection with the separation of the Institute of Archeology named after A.H. Margulan, and in 1996 the Institute of Oriental Studies named after R.B. Suleimenov was spun off.
The mission of the Institute is to implement state policy in the field of development and conduct fundamental scientific research in the field of historical sciences, ethnology (ethnography) and anthropology, historiography and source studies, organization and implementation of production, and economic activities in the field of science.
The main tasks of the Institute:
- conducting fundamental scientific research in the field of historical sciences, ethnology (ethnography) and anthropology, historiography, and source studies;
- development and high-quality implementation of research programs and projects of grant and program-targeted financing;
- international cooperation with leading scientific centers for the study of topical problems of national history by signing memoranda, conducting research within the framework of international collaboration with the involvement of foreign specialists;
- conducting interdisciplinary research, introducing new methods of scientific research;
- implementation of scientific examinations of completed research and competitive projects; provision of consulting and scientific-analytical services in the field of activity;
- implementation of publishing activities, including the publication of scientific journals, involvement of domestic and foreign authors, editors in publications, and organization of subscriptions to them;
- improving the quality of scientific publications, including peer-reviewed foreign, indexed in the Ssorisi WoS databases, and domestic publications recommended by COXON;
- training and retraining of scientific personnel and their stimulation to research activities;
- advanced training of scientific personnel in the framework of postgraduate education programs (master’s and doctoral studies), organization
- scientific internships, etc.;
- introduction of modern organizational technologies, improvement of the corporate governance system, quality management;
- expansion of the Institute’s structure, the opening of new affiliates, increase of staff units, strengthening of scientific personnel, competent personnel policy;
- growth of human capital based on the growth of competitive advantages of each employee of the organization, strengthening of social policy (participation in programs for the provision of preferential housing, etc.).
Scientific research is carried out by the following basic principles:
– the principle of objectivity, which involves relying on historical sources, as well as presenting not only one’s position on the problem is covered, but also an unbiased coverage of the opponents’ positions;
– the principle of comprehensiveness, which assumes a comprehensive description of a historical phenomenon or problem, even if it is insufficiently studied, making the appropriate reservation;
– the principle of validity of conclusions, i.e. all conclusions must be logically reasoned.
At the Institute, the main scientific research is carried out by submitting applications for participation in competitions for scientific grants and program-targeted programs through the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. By 2022, it is planned to conduct research in priority areas of historical science at the expense of basic funding.
Priority areas of research:
- problems of methodology, historiography, and source studies of the history of Kazakhstan in the context of world history
- the use of quantitative methods and computer technologies in historical research;
- the multi-thousand-year tradition of statehood in the Great Steppe;
- Kipchak studies; the problems of a succession of Ulug Ulus (Golden Horde) and the Kazakh Khanate;
- the history of the Great Steppe and the Kazakh Khanate through the prism of the activities of the great rulers, bays, batyrs, etc.;
- Kazakhstan is in the orbit of the Russian Empire;
- National-liberation uprisings of the Kazakh people;
- history of Kazakhstan in the Soviet period;
- little-researched pages of the famine of 1921-1922, 1931-1933 in Kazakhstan;
- mass political repressions of the 1920s-1950s in Kazakhstan and the problem of complete rehabilitation of victims of repression.
- questions of the history of national statehood and national security;
- Socio-demographic development of Kazakhstan in the XIX-XX centuries.
- problems of the socio-political and economic history of Kazakhstan in the twentieth century;
- modern culture of Kazakhstan in the global world;
- problems of ethnogenesis and ethnic history of Kazakhs;
- ethnography and restoration of material culture and everyday life of the Kazakh society;
- ethnic anthropology;
- Kazakh monument studies;
- Sacred geography of Kazakhstan;
- Historical demography and population problems of Kazakhstan.
Since the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, work has been carried out at the Institute to uncover the “white spots” of national history, scientists have been working on declassifying documents and on little-studied problems of the history of the republic in the Soviet period. From 1991-to 1999, under the leadership of the director of the Institute, academician M.K. Kozybayev, work was carried out on the study of political repression and rehabilitation of Alash figures within the framework of the activities of various state commissions (for example, the Commission under the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh SSR, November 1991). In recent years, work has been carried out on the implementation of important projects of program-targeted financing and state tasks, including the implementation of the projects “Sacred Geography of Kazakhstan” (jointly with the Institute of Archeology named after A. Margulan), “Great Names of the Great Steppe”, “Archive-2025” (jointly with the Institute of Oriental Studies named after R.B. Suleimenova), “Analytical research, updating and informational support” of the Interactive scientific historical map “People of Kazakhstan” (together with the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan). From 2021 The Institute provides scientific and expert support for the work of the State Commission for the Complete Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression within the framework of the scientific and technical program of the PCF “Mass political repression in Kazakhstan in the 20-the 50s of the XX century and rehabilitation processes: the creation of a unified database” (2021-2023). The Institute regularly carries out archaeological expeditions to cities of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, etc. to identify historical sources and scientific literature, organizes and conducts comprehensive ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological expeditions to the regions of Kazakhstan, neighboring countries (Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, etc.).
Research is based on the use of innovative methods and tools, and wide source support, including the basis of the analysis of documents identified in archives and libraries of foreign countries under the programs “Cultural Heritage” and “Archive-2025”. This made it possible to achieve new scientific and theoretical results reflected in monographic studies, scientific collections, scientific articles, and documentary publications. The works published in recent years have become the basis for the formation of historical consciousness, rethinking the general world historical process.
The Institute regularly hosts national and international (with the involvement of foreign colleagues) scientific and practical conferences, round tables, methodological seminars, etc. International scientific and practical conferences have become annual: Asylbekov, Nusipbekov, and Mukanov readings.
The next important activity of the Institute is the scientific support of the activities of the state governing bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which provides for the preparation of certificates, responses to requests, analytical documents, expert opinions, reviews, etc. for the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Parliament, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, various ministries and departments, primarily for the Ministry of Education and Science and the Science Committee, akimats of various levels, universities, museums, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and many other institutions, anniversary events (mainly conferences and round tables). The Institute participated in the publication of draft legislative acts to develop conceptual documents. In particular, proposals have been developed to introduce the Concept of the Development of Historical Science.
One of the leading activities of the Institute is the popularization of historical knowledge, the formation of historical consciousness, and the strengthening of Kazakhstani patriotism, unity, and harmony among the people of Kazakhstan. The Institute’s employees are actively published in the national and foreign press, participate in television and radio broadcasts, are involved as experts in the work of various research institutions, make reports and reports at conferences, and hold meetings with various institutions and organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Close communication with educational institutions is carried out through the conclusion of agreements on joint research involving teachers and students, competitions of scientific papers, conferences, etc. In addition, the staff of the Institute carry out educational and pedagogical activities in various universities, give lectures, read special courses on the history of Kazakhstan, and develop educational and teaching aids. The closest relations are traditionally maintained with the historical faculties of the Kazakh National University. al-Farabi, Kazakh National Pedagogical University named after Abai, Eurasian National University, etc.
The Institute carries out a joint program with Al-Farabipo Kazakh National University for Master’s and doctoral studies (https://iie.kz/ru/?page_id=6364/) (since 2014), conducts on a contractual basis with universities industrial practices and scientific internships for bachelors, undergraduates and doctoral students in the profile of the Institute’s activities. The scientists of the Institute – Z.E. Kabuldinov, A.I. Kudaibergenova, O.H. Mukhatova, Z.T. Sadvokasova, A.T. Kapaeva, A. Toktabai, A.S. Ualtaeva, etc. take part in the work on the preparation of doctoral and undergraduates.
Young scientists are fruitfully engaged in research work, and participate in grant projects of the Institute. All of them have completed scientific internships at leading universities and research centers of the world: Italy, Germany, the USA, Japan, Turkey, etc. Undergraduates and doctoral students of the Institute take an active part in various scientific conferences and make presentations. Articles of young scientists are published in domestic and foreign journals Scopus.
The Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology maintains permanent scientific ties with leading research institutes and centers – the R.B. Suleimenov Institute of Oriental Studies, the Institute of State History, the A. Margulan Institute of Archaeology, the Research Institute of Turkology and Altaic Studies of the Eurasian National University, etc.
The Institute maintains and develops international relations with foreign research centers abroad (Great Britain, India, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Hungary), and individual scientists, and participates in the development of joint international programs. The Institute develops creative ties with scientists from Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) and the Russian Federation. Scientists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov, Barnaul, London, Novosibirsk, Kyiv, Minsk, Tashkent, Istanbul, and Delhi exchange experience at the Institute. Every year the Institute holds major international conferences on historical issues with dozens of scientific reports and reports, the topics of which attract the close attention of the press.
Since 1998, the Institute has published the scientific journal “Otan Tarikhy”, where the publication of materials is carried out in 3 languages – Kazakand h, Russian, English. During its existence, it has turned into the most prestigious historical journal (KOKSONi RSCI), where prominent scientists and public figures are published not only in Kazakhstan but also in the near and far abroad. Since 2014, the electronic scientific journal “Edu.e-history.kz “, currently consists of the RSCI database.
In the structure of the Institute, an affiliatewas opened in Nur-Sultan in 2022, a Center for the preparation of a new academic publication on the history of Kazakhstan in 7 volumes (from 2021), and 8 departments function:
– Department of Ancient and Medieval History of Kazakhstan and Neighboring Countries;
– Department of the History of Kazakhstan of modern times;
– Department of History of Kazakhstan of the XX century;
– Department of Ethnology and Anthropology;
– Department of External Relations, Information and Scientific Cluster;
– Department of Historiography, Source Studie,s and Modern Methodology;
– Department of World History.
The staff of the Institute currently consists of about 80 people who have academic titles of academicians, corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, doctors, and candidates of Historical Sciences, Ph.D., undergraduates. Currently, such scientists as O. Ismagulov, D. Krhibekov, B.E. Kumekov, Zh.B. Abylkhozhin, Z.E. Kabuldinov work in the team., K.S. Aldazhumanov, M.Zh. Abdirov, S.E. Azhigali, A.U. Toktabai, N. Alimbai, A.I. Kudaibergenova, Z.T. Sadvokasova, K.U. Torlanbayeva, A.T. Kapaeva, A. Dauletkhan, S.K. Rustemov, J. Zhenis, A.S. Ualtayeva, S.A. Asanova, M.Ch. Kalybekova, A.T. Kaipbaeva, G.U. Orynbayeva, A.M. Abikey, N. Zhetpisbay, R.E. Orazov, M.R. Satenova, etc.
The Council of Veterans of the Institute of History and Ethnology has been functioning since the late 1980s. Since 1990, the Veterans Council of the Institute has been headed by a war veteran, a veteran of labor, and an outstanding ethnographer, Khalel Argynbayevich Argynbayev. From 1995 to June 2017, the chairman of the Council of Veterans was a Candidate of Historical Sciences, a participant in the war, a veteran of labor, N.E. Edygenov. Currently, the Council is headed by a well-known specialist in the history of the Soviet period, Ph.D., Chief researcher K.S. Aldazhumanov has been working at the Institute for more than 50 years. The Veterans Council of the Institute is the organizing and consolidating body of labor veterans, promotes their social protection, as well as the preservation of the best traditions of the Institute’s workforce.
The Council of Young Scientists of the Institute of History and Ethnologis y named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov (hereinafter – SMU) is a public body that represents the interests and unites young historians and researchers working and studying at the Institute of undergraduates and Ph.D. doctoral students. SMU was organized back in the mid-1950s. It was led by such talented young historians as R. Suleimenov, K. Nurpeisov, K. Baypakov, who later became prominent academicians. Every year, SMU members take part and make scientific reports, scientific reports at conferences of various levels, round tables, seminars, and doctoral and undergraduates undergo internships at leading universities and research centers of the near and far abroad.
The Trade Union Committee is engaged in protecting the general rights and interests of the Institute’s employees, solves economic, labor, and social issues, and organizes leisure activities. The Trade union contributes to the purchase of vouchers to resorts and sanatoriums in Kazakhstan for the Institute’s employees on a preferential basis. The trade union is seeking funds to provide feasible material assistance to employees in need. As part of the social policy at the Institute in 2018, monthly free travel tickets for researchers were introduced at the expense of extra-budgetary funds.
In 2018, a Board of Trustees was established among well-known statesmen, businessmen, and patrons (M. Sarsenbayev, Zh. Turkiya, A. Igbayev, etc.). The main purpose of the Council’s activities is to assist in the publication of scientific publications of the Institute (monographs, collections of documents, conferences, etc.), to sponsor scientific competitions, to provide scholarships to the best scientists based on the results of their scientific activities, to participate in the joint development of the Institute’s development strategy based on the requests of the state and society.
The Institute has opened 7 memorial offices of prominent historians who have made a huge contribution to the development of the Institute and fundamental historical research, A. Nusupbekov, E. Bekmakhanov, M. Asylbekov, T. Balakayev, M. Kozybayev, K. Nurpeisov, Z. Kinayatuly.
In 2021, the Institute opened the office of the State Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression.
The Institute has a computer publishing center (since 2003) for publishing scientific products, a library,y, and an archive. The archive contains copies of documents identified in archives and libraries of foreign and domestic archives on paper and electronic media. The Institute publishes 3 scientific journals publishing the results of research in the field of historical sciences, ethnology and anthropology, historiography, and source studies: “Otan tarikhy” (otan.history.iie.kz), an electronic magazine “edu.e-history.kz “(edu.e-history.kz), “Turkestan Bulletin” (journal.kz ).
The Institute has its website (iie.kz ), where information about its activities, employees, events, and the main results of the research is located. The site has links to the electronic portal of the encyclopedia “Great Names of the Great Steppe” (names-steppe.with arts.kz ), which includes information about 100 historical figures in 3 languages, developed by the Institute, as well as on the websites of 3 scientific journals.
The Institute has a Youtube channel (studio.youtube.com), as well as Instagram and Facebook social media pages.