The Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS) was founded at the premises of the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), which functioned as part of KIMEP University since January 1992 till June 1993. Within a year and a half of its activity, the CSS proved its worth as the first research department in the Republic, which prepared expert appraisals, recommendations and suggestions for the management purposefully and holistically.
The President of Kazakhstan made a decision on transformation of the CSS to independent institute, allotting it a special status – under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which determined development and activity of the KazISS as a leading analytic center of the country for years to come.
The First Director of the KazISS was Umirserik Tuleshovich Kassenov, an experienced expert in international relations. U. T. Kassenov put a great deal of effort into establishment and development of the KazISS scientific relations with various international centers and similar institutes for strategic studies. Famous American analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke in the KazISS at the end of 1993, and former US Secretary James Baker in 1996. Both meetings were conducted with the participation of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev. Prevalent research trends in internal policy during that period were analysis of social and economic reforms in Kazakhstan; appraisal of amounts and efficiency of foreign capital in economy of the country; development of economic reforms’ strategy and appraisal of trends of social and economic reforms. The subject which became a unique calling card of the KazISS was nuclear non-proliferation challenge and participation of Kazakhstan in the START I Treaty, and it prevailed in foreign policy agenda up to 1995. Main foreign policy priorities of Kazakhstan, established during that period, are continued nowadays. Kazakhstan was the first country among the countries of Central Asia, which was elected to the UN Security Council. The central event during Kazakhstan chairmanship in the UN Security Council was the “Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: confidence-building measures” address of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev on thematic debates, initiated by our country in January 2018. The “Business climate in Kazakhstan” roundtable was conducted in December 1996 under the chairmanship of the Head of state at the KazISS venue with participation of leading Kazakhstani and American businessmen. In the course of development, within the period 1993-1997, the KazISS was obtaining experience, its authority was growing, the frame of highly professional experts was formed, the basic structure, which is still relevant nowadays, was formed. Such trends as internal policy, social and economic development, foreign policy, international relations and security are in the focus of the KazISS research work nowadays.