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.

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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Look Out Kid, It’s Something You Did

by Asher Kohn

Let’s try something different today. A big part of some folks’ frustration with getting involved in Central Asian happenings is that they have a difficult time jumping in to the deep-end of the subject matter that gets covered here. To remedy that, I’m going to try to explain some trends in energy policies within Central [...]

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Livestock-related Political Satire=Hooliganism in Azerbaijan?

by Noah Tucker

The NYT carries a story today about two Azeribaijani bloggers arrested this week on charges of “hooliganism” apparently in retaliation for a politcally charged satirical video they produced last month featuring a donkey giving a press conference. English subtitles were kindly added to the video for all to enjoy (but not the postscript: can anyone [...]

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Azerbaijan’s NATO Prospects

by Nathan Hamm

Over at Foreign Policy, Joshua Keating assesses Azerbaijan’s NATO membership chances to be decent compared to other candidates’ which is kind of like the analytical equivalent of Evel Knievel attempting to jump Snake River Canyon. It’s a bold argument, but I’m playing the part of ABC Sports here and not buying it. Keating jumps off [...]

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Why Bother Researching Anything, Anyway

by Joshua Foust

Guess who wrote this: While there are no Starbucks or Crate and Barrels in Baku, the city’s 2-million-plus residents experience a life radically more American than Saudi. Soviet aesthetics and mannerisms still dominate, yet materialism rears its Bulgari-ed head. “Tropic Thunder” and “Hellboy II” play in the local multiplex down the promenade from Cafe Mozart, [...]

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Rashid Behbudov

by Marc W

I’m listening to a CD of Rashid Behbduov right now. Who, you ask? Don’t feel bad, I had never heard of him either. My boss just walked into my office and offered the CD to me, describing it as “old-timey Azeri music.” According to his entry on Wikipedia, Behbudov was born in Tblisi in 1915 [...]

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Freedom of the Press in Azerbaijan

by Marc W

I skimmed the Caucasus news today, and there are still several stories about Putin’s opposition to NATO enlargement (such as this one), but this one about an imprisoned Azeri journalist caught my eye. Eynulla Fatullayev, the editor-in-chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan , has been in jail since 2004 for various charges. He [...]

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Hey, it’s that Caucasus Guy!

by Marc W

I’m back from a couple of weeks in England and Ireland. I have to say, I didn’t follow the news too much about the Caucasus. I did catch a decent amount of BBC, but their international coverage was primarily confined to Tibet and Zimbabwe. I did, however, have an interesting in-flight magazine on BMI. All [...]

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Azerbaijan and Oil

by Marc W

I had lunch on Monday with a former boss who currently works at a research institute here in DC. He’s currently working on energy security issues, and when I mentioned my recent involvement with the Caucasus (his response: I would have started with something a little less controversial, like Norway), he told me that he [...]

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The Orientalist

by Marc W

As I promised, today’s post has nothing to do with protests. Instead, I wanted to write about one of the books that got me interested in the Caucasus, The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life. It’s the story of Essad Bey (nee Lev Nussimbaum), a man who was born Jewish in [...]

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