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Adila Aliyeva

BA (Baku State University), MA (Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy)

PhD Research Student

Contact Details:

Email: aaliyeva1@sheffield.ac.uk


Working Thesis Title: Social Capital in the South Caucasus: A comparative analysis of Azerbaijani and Georgian societies

Start Year: 2013

Supervisors: Prof Maria Grasso and Dr. Andrew Taylor

Research Topic:

Recent debate on the role of civil society and social capital in newly independent states has raised a variety of theoretical and empirical questions. These questions centre upon the importance of civil society and the social capital in nation building as these societies formulate their civil structures, national values and philosophies. The predominant refrain in the debate attaches tremendous significant role to voluntary associations and relationships between individuals in the society. Participation in social groups produces social capital, which, in turn, is considered the main factor for the collective action and social activeness of the society.

The primary objective of the research project is to contribute to a broader understanding of social capital and social activeness differences of smaller, newly-independent states in general by using the recent examples from the formation of Azerbaijani and Georgian social capital characteristics. The aim of the project is to explore the differences between the Azerbaijani and Georgian societal development and the reason why Georgian society is more socially active than Azerbaijan’s. The primary goal is to understand how the selected variables of national identity, civil society, pre-Soviet and Soviet past, and the religious composition of the two societies have affected the development process. The question of how Georgians came to be more socially active than Azerbaijanis is the critical question for consideration of these factors. Alongside with deep analyse of national identity of Georgians and Azerbaijanis, the research project examines the emergence of civil society in Georgia and Azerbaijan. This study also examines the perceptions of Islam in a Muslim society while investigating the role of religion in the formulation of a country’s social capital. Finally, this paper also investigates selected factors of the pre-Soviet and Soviet past of both countries with regard to the effect on the long-term social development of both nations.

Research Interests:

  • Political Sociology, The history of Social Theory, Politics of resistance and Nationalism
  • Social Activism, Social groups and Civil Society
  • Role of Religion in Society, National Identity problem in newly-independent democracies

Research Group Membership:


  • Scholarship of Azerbaijani Republic’s State Program on “Study Abroad of Azerbaijani Youth in 2007-2015 years”


  • BA in International Relation, Baku State University, Azerbaijan (2007-2011)
  • MA in Diplomacy and international Affairs, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, Azerbaijan (2011-2013)


English, Russian, Turkish and French

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