The Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) has bestowed the prestigious Edward Allworth Lifetime Service to the Profession Award upon Dr. Balihar Sanghera, recognizing his extraordinary lifetime contributions to Central Eurasian Studies.
With an illustrious career spanning more than two decades, Dr. Sanghera has profoundly impacted the field through intensive research, mentorship, and his dedication to marginalized communities in Central Asia.
The award, accompanied by a $1,000 monetary prize, is a testament to Dr. Sanghera’s dedication. Several colleagues nominated him, lauding his groundbreaking efforts in understanding Central Asia’s complexities. One of the notable mentions describes Dr. Sanghera’s work as “long-awaited, counter-hegemonic, emancipatory, and human-centric.”
A trailblazer in the study of Central Asia, Dr. Sanghera has primarily focused on the intersections of agency, morality, and capitalism. His unique approach offers a critical political economy perspective that has been translated into Russian due to its resounding significance.
His efforts have consistently illuminated the lives of the marginalized – rural migrants, indebted households, informal settlers, and underprivileged groups. By offering insights into these communities’ challenges, Dr. Sanghera has significantly enriched the understanding of Central Asian transformations.
Beyond his research endeavors, Dr. Sanghera’s commitment to academic mentorship is unparalleled. He has been instrumental in training numerous scholars in the region, helping many pursue their postgraduate degrees at elite institutions.
Dr. Sanghera embarked on his academic journey at the University of Lancaster, earning a BA (Hons) in Economics. He further expanded his knowledge with an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Oxford and culminated his studies with a Ph.D. in Sociology from Lancaster.
Before joining the School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Policy in 2004, he held positions at the American University – Central Asia, Novosibirsk State University, and the University of Central England in Birmingham.
Apart from his vast research in Central Asia, his interests extend to moral economy, political economy, and social theory. He has also delved into the UK’s philanthropic foundations and their pursuits in social justice.
Dr. Sanghera has been an active educator, convening courses in sociological perspectives, social practices, and political economy at various institutions. He welcomes Ph.D. candidates interested in a plethora of areas, including moral economy, rentierism, social justice, and post-Soviet dynamics.
He also holds prestigious memberships with the British Sociological Association and sits on the editorial boards of respected journals, including “Sociology,” “Sociological Research Online,” and “Social Sciences.”
The Central Eurasian Studies Society’s award is but a token of recognition for Dr. Sanghera’s invaluable contributions to the field, but his impact on Central Eurasian scholarship is bound to resonate for generations to come.