In the communist period, the Soviet republics could be regarded as a kind of pseudo-states or proto-states, which had some of the trappings of true states, but lacked essential elements such as control of their own territory and economy. Today, the state authorities in the successor states are striving to transform these political contraptions into real, modern states. This a complex and multidimensional process in which the present articles concentrates on the identity aspect of nation-building. In order to make these states functioning entities, it is essential that the people who live in them transfer their political loyalty to the new state. They must develop a sense of belonging in the state and forge a common identity. The ongoing Kazakhstani nation-building debate may be divided into three separate sections. At the ground level of press articles, the polemics include a wide variety of disparate viewpoints. Elevated about shadow boxing at the ground level hover the official statements of Kazakhstani authorities. In between the official and the ground levels we find the academic discourse on nation-building and integration.