Vol. 3, No. 16-17 (September 01, 2010)

Ten years of Azerbaijan’s membership in the Council of Europe: A look back and into the future

In January 2011, it will be 10 years since Azerbaijan has joined the Council of Europe (CoE) as a full member.  On 17 January 2001, at its meeting the CoE’s Committee of Ministers adopted a decision to admit the Republic of Azerbaijan to this Organization.  Perhaps, 10 years are not too long from the historical point of view, especially given the fact that Azerbaijan’s independence is only nearly 20 years old, but it is a substantial period of time in terms of the membership in a highly reputable and authoritative international organization, such as the CoE. Azerbaijan is a...
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The formation of contemporary Azerbaijani society: The role of the Russian conquest in the rise of a new elite

To understand contemporary Azerbaijan, one has to understand the rise of the native secularly educated intelligentsia that came into being after the Russian conquest and that has been the driving force behind every crucial ideological transformation in Azerbaijani society.  Not surprisingly, this has become a subject of particular debate in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of the Republic of Azerbaijan. There is an intense debate about who were the first messengers of the drastic changes that emerged after the Russian conquest.  Some argu...
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Another turn of the Caucasus kaleidoscope: Georgia proposes a confederation with Azerbaijan

When Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited Batumi on July 20, his Georgian host Mikhail Saakashvili proposed that their two countries form a confederation in recognition of their extremely close ties and in order to promote even closer ones.  Georgian officials, including both Saakashvili and his foreign minister, have repeated this call since that time, but Azerbaijani officials have been silent, and most commentators and politicians in Tbilisi, Baku, and Moscow have treated this proposal as a typically hyperbolic Georgian gesture rather than a meaningful proposal with any cha...
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