Vol. 3, No. 24 (December 15, 2010)

Baku offers ‘Azerbaijan model of development’ to others

Two events this month call attention to a new vector in Azerbaijani foreign policy: Baku’s interest in presenting itself not just as a country that has successfully navigated the path from one social-economic system to another without the kind of instability that has plagued others in this situation but as a model for others.  On the one hand, Baku has released a new book entitled The Azerbaijani Model of Development in which various officials, journalists and scholars talk about what has taken place in Azerbaijan over the last 17 years.  And on the other, the Azerbaijani gov...
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Rethinking Central Asia

Amidst the endless rush of events in the heart of the Caucasus, and the ongoing dance of external powers there, it is easy to allow Central Asia to slip from view.  By “Central Asia,” I mean the historical region including Afghanistan that has existed as a cultural zone for 3,000 years and not only the five former Soviet republics. The casual picture one forms from both the Russian and western press is a depressing one.  With remarkable consistency, the press of Russia, Europe, and America offer the image of a region that is dominated by primitively authoritarian government...
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Transforming public spaces in post-Socialist cities

Urban public spaces are important local intersections where economic, political and social relations are revealed and played out.  For this reason, the transformation of public space in post-socialist cities is especially important for understanding state-society relations and their change in post-socialist contexts.  In Western literature, the origins of urban public space are often traced back to the agora of the Greek city-states.  The agora, translated as a gathering place, was an open area in the center of the city where all citizens could gather and participate in a ...
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