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Despite predictions of a fourth wave of democratization and the assumption that socio-economic development would lead to democratization, Azerbaijan has consolidated a political system with authoritarian features. This article identifies both the domestic pillars of stability –the ability to spend, repress, and create patronage networks as a result of significant hydrocarbon revenues– and the international apathy that have produced this remarkable political stability. It concludes by arguing that the current strategies to create stability and legitimacy are likely to be unsustainable. Therefore, in the next few years it will be crucial for Azerbaijan to introduce reforms to gradually make the country more democratic, as well as encourage the population to make a living independently, so the economy can be diversified and sustained by taxes.

 

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Isabelle Langerak
Isabelle Langerak
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Foreword TPQ’s Summer issue, NATO in 2020 and Beyond: New Strategies and Frontiers, offers insights on the Alliance’s current challenges and future security trends, while offering a look into Euro-Atlantic relations in the coming decade. It is clear that as the international security landscape is rapidly changing, member states’ capabilities, resilience, and most importantly, their...
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