CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES IN UK Interview with Dr. SHIRIN AKINER, Senior Fellow of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge, and Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Member of Editorial Board of Vestnik RUDN. International Relations

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Dr. Shirin Akiner has long firsthand experience of Central Asia and has written and lectured widely on the region. In 2006 she was awarded the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs for her contribution to Asian studies. In 2008 awarded Honorary Fellowship of Anciens’ Association of NATO Defense College. In 2013, received the International Chingiz Aitmatov Award (for her “promotion as well as extensive contribution to the understanding of Central Asian countries and their cultures”). In 2010-2012, Special Advisor to UK Parliamentary Groups on Central Asian States. Has held research and teaching posts at the University of London, 1974-2008 (School of Oriental and African Studies, and University College); since 2008 - ongoing, Senior Fellow of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge, and Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She has also held visiting professorships at Oberlin University (USA), Uppsala University (Sweden), Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki (Finland), Kazakh National University (Almaty) and National University of Seoul (South Korea). From 1993-2015, she was a regular lecturer at NATO Defense College, Rome; also at Royal Defense College, London; has made oral and written submissions to UK House of Commons Select Committee on Defense, presentations on regional security to NATO Parliamentary Assembly and to the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum. Dr Akiner has authored seven monographs and numerous scholarly articles on such topics as Islam, ethnicity, political change and security challenges in Central Asia. Her work has been translated into 10 languages (including French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kazakh, Russian and Chinese etc.). In her interview, Dr. Akiner talks about Central Asian and Islamic Studies in Europe, the prospects of chaotization and radicalization of Central Asian Region and points out an influence of China on the regional situation.

About the authors

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  1. Akiner, Sh. (2009) Religious Language of a Belarusian Tatar Kitab: A Cultural Monument of Islam in Europe. Mediterranean Language and Culture Monographs Series 11, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009



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