National Security Affairs
Central Asia; Russia; Islamic World; Social Capital; Politics of education; Sociolinguistics; Civil Society
Victoria Clement earned her Ph.D. in 2005 from The Ohio State University where she also earned a Master of Arts degree in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, focusing on Turkish, as well as an M.A. in Russian History. She also studied at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in fall of 1991 and at Turkmenistan’s Azadi National World Language Institute in fall 2001. She is a founding member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society.
Dr. Clement’s research explores the intersection of political and social power in modern Central Asia. She has completed a book manuscript entitled Learning to Be Turkmen: Literacy, Learning and Power, 1914-2006, which is now under review at a major university press. The book examines social power in the historical context of shifting politics during which Turkmen gained and lost symbolic, political, economic, and social power through the transformation, acquisition or loss of cultural knowledge. This case study offers an opportunity to study the experience of a people who experienced Russian colonialism, the Soviet experiment and independence in 1991, shedding light on this Muslim people and on the Soviet peoples more generally.
Dr. Clement’s research has been published in Nations and Nationalism, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, the edited volumes Daily Life in Central Asia (2007) and Muslim World in Transition (2007) as well as several encyclopedias, and two Central Asian publications: Türkmen Dili (2003) and Owadan (1997). She has lived in Turkmenistan, Russia and Turkey and works with primary sources in Turkmen, Turkish, and Russian languages.
In addition to her work on Central Asian history, Dr. Clement remains active in analysis of contemporary Central Asia and Turkey. She has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State and USAID, as well as Oxford Analytica and the Home Office in England. In 2004, Dr. Clement was commissioned by the National Bureau of Asian Research to write the report “Secular and Religious Trends in Turkmen Education.”
In Spring 2012, Dr. Clement was selected to serve as the U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist in Aşgabat, Türkmenistan. This program is designed to provide expertise to the region and bring policy-relevant research to the service of the U.S. Government. She was also named a Fulbright Fellow for her work on civil society in Turkmenistan.
Her work has been supported by organizations as diverse as the Open Society Institute and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. She is currently a member of Centra Technologies Central Asia Expert Network project.
- “Articulating National Identity in Turkmenistan: Inventing Tradition through Myth, Cult and Language,” Nations & Nationalism, July 2014, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 546-562.
- “Faith-based schools in post-Soviet Türkmenistan,” European Education, Spring 2011, Vol. 43, Issue 1, p. 76-92.
- “Grassroots Educational Initiatives in Türkmenistan,” in Globalization on the Margins: Education and Post-socialist Transformations in Central Asia, Iveta Silova ed. (Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2010).
- “Emblems of Independence: Script choice in post-Soviet Turkmenistan,” International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 192, July 2008, pp. 171-85.
- “Türkmenistan’s New Challenges: Can Stability Co-Exist with Reform? A Study of Gülen Schools in Central Asia,” Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gülen Movement (London: Leeds Metropolitan University Press, 2007), pp. 572-283.
- “Changes in Turkmen Alphabets, 1904-2004” in Daily Life in Central Asia, Jeff Sahadeo and Russell Zanca, eds. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, June 2007).