Azerbaijan at 25: A New Era of Change and Turbulence

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Series Details 23.09.16
Publication Date 23/09/2016
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Azerbaijan is entering a new historical phase. The oil boom—which boosted the economy, consolidated the country’s statehood, and gave it a new international profile—has ended. The country’s leaders have more limited financial resources to offer a society that is not as politically quiescent as it was a decade ago and where new forms of opposition, such as political Islam, are slowly emerging.

For the authorities, their chief dilemma is whether they can carry out economic liberalization to revive the economy without resorting to political liberalization, which they fear will undermine their power. Technocratic members of the government are indeed making some changes. But if Azerbaijan’s wider elite does not find a new sense of humility to bridge a large gap between rulers and ruled, the country almost certainly faces political turbulence.

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