Student online protests in Uzbekistan: democratization of higher education as concomitant to the COVID-19 crisis?

Dilnoza Ubaydullaeva*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The democratization of higher education (HE) has been interpreted from various perspectives in many country-specific case studies. Yet, it has been overlooked that in authoritarian regimes the democratization of HE may involve the development of freedom of expression, an element taken for granted in democratic societies. Growing research on the implications of COVID-19 on HE fails to cover the emergence of democratization of HE in the form of freedom of expression practiced by university students. This research examines post-Soviet Uzbekistan to analyse how the practising of freedom of expression emerged among the student body during the pandemic era in the country and how the Uzbek government responded to and resolved the matter. Based on this case, it is argued that in authoritarian states the HE democratization framework can include the development of freedom of expression in the form of student protests that, in this article’s case, emerge as concomitant to the pandemic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)382-399
    Number of pages18
    JournalCentral Asian Survey
    Volume40
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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