by Nathan Hamm on 3/12/2005

Azerbaijan, which I’ve been neglecting due to all the exciting news in Kyrgyzstan, is still simmering after the murder of Elmar Huseynov. Go visit Publius Pundit for the latest.

Competing criminal networks that are part of the government? Sounds like Uzbekistan without the strong central leader and more decentralized power (meaning that it’s extremely concentrated in more hands than in Uzbekistan where it’s in just a few). And, it implies that a post-Aliyev period would be still rife with corruption and a power struggle. Not that it’s not manageable or a reason to shy away, but it just underlines that it’s not necessarily sunshine and puppy dogs after popular, democratizing revolts. I only mention this in the interest of toning down the plethora of folks who seem to be suggesting we’re on the cusp of a golden age when in fact we’re on the cusp of a helluva lot of hard work (that, in my opinion, we should gleefully and enthusiastically undertake).

Back to Azerbaijan though… I have to wonder if the reaction to unrest in this neck of the woods is written at some writers’ roundtable in the basement of Lubyanka. First, we hear the familiar “it’s a plot by Soros!” argument. Next we have the “nothing to see hear folks” stuff from the president. What’s next? Warnings that the country will collapse into civil war?

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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