Azerbaijan: A Political History

Azerbaijan: A Political History

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 1780767595

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Azerbaijan's Soviet and post-Soviet political history has been tumultuous and varied, particularly with regard to the struggle for independence, democracy and sovereignty. Suha Bolukbasi here illustrates how post-Stalin resilience, the tolerance shown toward subtle nationalist expression and Gorbachev's relaxation of central control from Moscow were all-in-part responsible for the initial emergence of a more liberal atmosphere in Azerbaijan. As a result, issues such as Moscow's responsibility for environmental degradation, the depletion of Azerbaijan's oil, and unfavorable terms of trade have all begun to be freely discussed. However, the Azerbaijan-Armenia dispute over Karabagh has had a dramatic impact on the political discourse. The dispute has become not only an international conflict, but one which involves the lives of more than one million refugees. This book shows how Azerbaijan's recent political history - both domestic and international - has influenced the development of the country and the history of the surrounding region.

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to the iqta system, distributing state lands as non-hereditary grants to beys and aghas (local notables) for services rendered to the ruler, the khan.16 The khanates contributed to a lack of unity and the failure to establish an independent state until the twentieth century. Another legacy of the khanates was yerbazlik or regionalism, which meant that local allegiances preceded national or multi-regional loyalties.17 As we shall see later, this legacy proved to be an important facet of

Azerbaijani rule in early 1921. Prior to that, in the wake of the Red Army’s arrival, Nakhichevan was first placed under Azerbaijani rule in July 1920. It was then transferred to Armenia following the fall of the latter to the Red Army in late 1920, only to be reassigned to Baku a few months later. The push to create the NKAO could therefore be the outcome of Moscow’s desire to strike a balance between the territorial claims of both republics.113 Some scholars claim that during the initial months

titular nationality, and enabled the latter to have national pride, the perception of a colonial or quasi-colonial situation, that is, that Russians dominated and exploited other nations, persisted in most – including Turkic – republics. This also contributed to feelings of solidarity between natives. Hence, in the late 1980s, when Gorbachev gave more leeway to expressions of dissent, indigenous activists usually referred to Moscow’s discriminatory policies to explain their republics’ various

to Armenia’s Supreme Soviet. The AzCP accused Bageyan with the pursuit of a nationalist and separatist policy, disregard of the AzCP’s decisions, and obstruction of the NKAO Organization Committee’s work. Gadrut’s local party administration was also suspended, and replaced with a temporary raion organization committee to implement Baku’s directives.23 Such administrative fiat, however, was not to last too long. Sooner than later Armenian paramilitaries would successfully eliminate any residue of

the consequence of this policy was military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the deaths of many people. Mutalibov accused Moscow of tolerating the formation in Armenia of a, as he put it, 140,000-strong national army commanded by the republic’s “informal authorities.”30 While Mutalibov and the AzCP were embracing some of the APF’s arguments, the APF itself was in the process of adopting new goals. In an interview with a Turkish newspaper in July 1990, the leader of the APF,

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