The nomadic civilization of the Kazakh steppe in its primordial form combined collectivist and individualistic, etatistic and liberal features. While monopoly of power, corporativism, clan ties and patron-client relations were typical of oriental societies, Kazakh society did not adopt these political traditions in their classic versions. This can be explained by the fact that the state played a marginal role in Kazakh society. In fact, throughout most of Kazakh history, one cannot speak of the existence of a state in the Western sense. Kazakh society functioned mainly as a civil society, insofar as the behaviour of the common people was regulated by the rules of so-called steppe democracy, although power relations were determined by oriental traditions of state administration.