Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan

Audrey L. Altstadt

Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Columbia University

Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan

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Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231704564

304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231801416

304 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan

Audrey L. Altstadt

Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Columbia University

Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan follows a newly independent oil-rich former Soviet republic as it adopts a Western model of democratic government and then turns toward corrupt authoritarianism. Audrey L. Altstadt begins with the Nagorno-Karabagh War (1988–1994) which triggered Azerbaijani nationalism and set the stage for the development of a democratic movement. Initially successful, this government soon succumbed to a coup. Western oil companies arrived and money flowed in—a quantity Altstadt calls "almost unimaginable"—causing the regime to resort to repression to maintain its power. Despite Azerbaijan's long tradition of secularism, political Islam emerged as an attractive alternative for those frustrated with the stifled democratic opposition and the lack of critique of the West's continued political interference.

Altstadt's work draws on instances of censorship in the Azerbaijani press, research by embedded experts and nongovernmental and international organizations, and interviews with diplomats and businesspeople. The book is an essential companion to her earlier works, The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity Under Russian Rule and The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920–1940.
Audrey L. Altstadt is the finest American scholar on Azerbaijan. She has the perspective of a historian complemented by current contacts inside and outside of Azerbaijan and a strong policy sense. Richard Kauzlarich, former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan
List of Maps and Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Notes on Languages and Spelling
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction
1. A Starting Point: History and Geopolitics and What They Tell Us
2. The Open Wound: Mountainous Karabagh and National Consciousness
3. Azerbaijan's Best and Brightest: The Rise, Decline, and Renewal of the Democratic Opposition
4. Oil Lifts All Boats? Social and Economic Repercussions and the Rise of Corruption
5. Jail for the "Donkey Bloggers": Crushing Youth Activism, Human Rights, and a Free Media
6. Allah-u Akbar: Islam in Azerbaijan—Piety, Politics, and the Future
7. What's Next? The Choices Ahead
Notes
Selected Bibliography of Major Sources
Index

About the Author

Audrey L. Altstadt is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was a fellow at the Wilson Center in 2014–15.