Nationalist leaders in the former Soviet states strive for national identity in both the political and cultural domains. Their language policies contend with Russian-speaking intelligentsias, numerous ethnic minorities and sizeable Russian communities backed by the Russian Federation - all presenting major challenges to facing the legacy of Soviet rule. Drawing on many years of research, interviews with educators and officials, and visits to the region, Barbara Kellner-Heinkele and Jacob M. Landau explore the politics of language and its intersection with identity in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. With special attention to language education in schools and universities within each state and debates over bilingualism versus multilingualism, their insights offer researchers of politics, linguistics and Central Asian studies a comprehensive account of a highly politicised debate.
Barbara Kellner-Heinkele is Professor Emerita of Turkology at the Freie Universitat Berlin. Her most recent books include: The Politics of Language in the Ex-Soviet Muslim States (with Jacob M. Landau, 2001), and the Catalogue of the Turkish Manuscripts in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (with Ismail Parlatir & Gyorgy Hazai, 2007). Jacob M. Landau is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published extensively on the contemporary history and politics of the Middle East and, more recently, Central Asia; including Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation (1995) and The Politics of Language in the Ex-Soviet Muslim States (with Barbara Kellner-Heinkele, 2001).