Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood


Despite recent upheavals in the Middle East and the celebration of what has been called the “fourth wave of democracy,” some countries still couple authoritarian rule with a high degree of stability. In the South Caucasus region, Azerbaijan represents a paradigmatic case. This article identifies and discusses two main reasons that contribute to the surprising stability of Aliyev’s regime: the persistence of strong informal institutions –next to weak democratic ones–, and a widespread political culture that can hardly be considered as conducive to a democratic turn.