The transformation of engineering profession in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan

Sayfutdinova, Leyla
This thesis investigates how the changing relationship between state and society in the course of the post-Soviet transformation has affected the engineering profession in Azerbaijan. Utilizing qualitative methodology, namely, in-depth interviews with Soviet educated and post-Soviet engineers, I explored the changes in the profession along three dimensions: work orientations, informal relations among engineers and state bureaucracy, and the impact of global actors on the professions. Partial retreat of the state did not lead to re-professionalization of engineering profession along the lines of neo-weberian theory of professional autonomy. The impact of postsocialist transformation has been uneven, and led to stratification of the profession. A small group of engineers working in the oil industry has joined the ranks of global professional class. Engineers from manufacturing sector, which declined the most, either left the profession or reskilled and found new jobs in the growing construction sector. De-prioritization of industry and informalization of state bureaucracy led to decline in the quality of education and professional standards; individual engineers have struggled to maintain their professional values through informal mentoring and maintaining close ties with their professional circles. Engineers see the prospects of their profession as dependent on the economic strategy of the state.


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Citation Formats
L. Sayfutdinova, “The transformation of engineering profession in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.