Registan’s Azerbaijan News & Analysis Archive

Since independence, Azerbaijan’s fortunes have been bolstered by its energy wealth. However, its war over control of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved, fueling persistent tensions and risk of war with Armenia. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s relationships with Iran and Russia are often strained. Domestically, both pro-democracy activists and religious conservatives have been targeted by a government determined to remain the sole authority on social and political questions.

Several Registan authors and members of its network of experts have lived, worked, and studied in Azerbaijan and have between them decades of experience in academia, government, and private industry dealing with topics related to Azerbaijan. We use that experience and expertise to report on, contextualize, and analyze current events in Azerbaijan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, visit our services page.

Guest Post: Hungarian-Azeri-Armenian Relations: The Axe Factor

by Joshua Foust
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This is a guest post by Péter Marton. The act Ramil Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani army, came to Budapest in 2004 to study English at a seminar organized by the Hungarian National Defense University in the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. There were participants of various nationalities attending the course, including […]

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The Warming of the Caspian Cold War

by Casey_Michel
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The Caspian Sea first crept into the world’s cognizance sometime in 1873. Utilizing machinery constructed in nearby Bibi-Heybat Bay, jutting to the south of Baku, oil workers installed the world’s first offshore and machine-drilled wells, setting their engineering skills on the viscous black gold roiling underneath the Absheron peninsula. Gas-lit lamps and foreign nationals soon […]

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The Decline and Fall of Matthew Bryza

by Joshua Foust
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While he was the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder advocated constantly for the construction of Nord Stream, an undersea natural gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, along the floor of the Baltic Sea, and end in Germany. It seemed like a great deal for Germany, to get a direct line to Russia’s vast energy wealth, […]

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Focus on the “Social” in Social Media

by Nathan Hamm
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Earlier this week, Small Wars Journal published an article by Matthew Stein, a research analyst currently working at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, discussing the role of videos recorded and posted by citizen bystanders in the information battle to control the narrative over the police’s violent crackdown on protesters in Zhanaozen […]

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Facing up to illiberal democracy

Kazakhstani ballot box (Wikipedia). by Christopher Schwartz

In the last two months, we’ve born witness to more incidents of illiberal democracy or democracy’s “doubles” here in Central Asia/Eurasia, from Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections which many say was an experiment in pseudo-pluralism; to Turkmenistan’s surreal presidential election that has left those of us on the outside (and, indeed, many of those on the inside) […]

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Central Asia: An Exception to the “Cute Cats” Theory of Internet Revolution

by Sarah Kendzior

Last month Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at the Berkman Center of Internet and Society, gave a lecture on how his “cute cats” theory of the internet applies to the Arab Spring. For those of you unfamiliar with the theory, Cory Doctorow sums it up in an rapturous review of the talk in the Guardian: […]

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Chart of the Day

by Joshua Foust
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Hello, Conflict of Interest

by Joshua Foust

Xandra Kayden, a senior fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, is unhappy with RFE/RL: There is something weird and rather disturbing about Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) – a U.S.-funded media outlet that is famous for broadcasting information during the Cold War to support our friends and undermine our enemies – attacking an […]

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Indulging the Autocracies of the FSU

by Joshua Foust

Here at, we’ve almost made it a sport to poke fun—sometimes gently, sometimes not—at the ridiculous antics of the family members of the Former Soviet Union states. It should come as no surprise that many of the dynasties currently choking Central Asia are, in fact, rotten to the core… though, as Steve LeVine points […]

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Aliyev Must be Pandering for Votes…

by Asher Kohn

…because he just decreed that the Azeri people’s debt to the state owned gas company is kaput. Wait, did I say “decreed”? I guess this isn’t a vote thing after all. It’s just Caucasus economics. Aliyev looks great to his people (and his parliament). He gets to be a father of the people just like […]

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