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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Sevket Akyildiz

PhD (SOAS) MA (SOAS) BA (Kingston, Surrey)


Sevket Akyildiz
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Research Associate

Dr Sevket Akyildiz
Email address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Thesis title:
Implementing a Vision of Citizenship in Soviet Uzbekistan: Theory, Social Issues and Education


Born in Manchester, UK. Several years experience in the service sector and the BBC. My work is interdisciplinary. I am interested in Soviet Central Asia in a political, historical, cultural and sociological context. The influence of Western modernity on Muslim peoples and the response of these people to social transformation. My approach is to focus upon social politics and I have currently been researching the role of sport on the Uzbek society, with particular reference to the significance of the Olympics and Soviet heroes, and multicuturalism.

PhD Research

My PhD was a study of the socialization channels used by the CPSU to integrate the Uzbek people into the socialist nation-state building project. Channels examined include education, sport, civic ceremony, and youth movements. Analysis covers the 'classical republican' style civic values and norms fostered. These concern community, duty, and a non-republican value - internationalism (or Soviet multiculturalism). By discussing these channels and social issues in the region I dispute Cold War texts that argued the Uzbeks and other Central Asian Muslim peoples would rebel against Moscow's rule in the 1980s. Focusing upon the period 1980-1991 I disagree that an Islamic revival-political nationalist uprising was an option. Social issues were evident in Uzbekistan, but I argue that they reflect a general disatisfaction with the CPSU and the government. Regards the USSR during perestroika I would say that Uzbeks sought greater political representation and democratisation, jobs, and inward investment. In short they wanted and expected the fruits of the 1917 Revolution to be delivered. So, their frustrations were directed against the government not the entire Soviet system. Finally, I report that Soviet identity and the internalization of civic values was more or less achieved; weaknesses were evident in the socialization of the Central Asian masses, however, unlike the Baltic republics, the Uzbeks never mobilised around political nationalism prior to 1991.

PhD Publications

Polyvocia SOAS Journal of Graduate Research Students

PhD Conferences

Cambridge University, SOAS, Manchester Metropolitan, Kings College & Aracadia


The Eurasia Studies Society (TESS), UK


Social Theory


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Available for
Regional Expertise
Country Expertise
  • Uzbekistan