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ASP Public Lecture."Azerbaijan: 20 Years of Independence"

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
5:00 AM
1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will trace the evolution of Azerbaijan’s domestic politics since the fall of the Soviet Union, beginning with an overview of the movement for independence and the development of Azerbaijan’s new national identity, and continuing through the presidencies of Elchibey, Heydar Aliyev, and Ilham Aliyev. Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will speak from his perspective as a political and economic analyst, as well as a former opposition party leader, to document the development of Azerbaijan into its current “pseudo-democratic” state, including the impact of the oil boom. Furthermore, he will mobilize his experience as Azerbaijan’s former Ambassador to Russia in order to provide an insider’s perspective on Azerbaijan’s foreign politics with Russia, the West, and its local neighbors, such as Turkey and Iran. Finally, Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will highlight the current tensions arising in his country between movements for human rights and religious freedom and the rise of religious extremism.
Mr. Hikmet Hadjy-Zadeh is a National Endowment for Democracy Reagan Fascell Democracy fellow in Washington, DC. He is co-founder and president of the Far Centre for Economic and Political Research, a Baku-based think tank aimed at deepening democracy in Azerbaijan. He has previously served as Azerbaijan’s vice-premier, ambassador to Russia, journalist, political party leader, and creator/webmaster of Democracy House (, the first online library of the social sciences in the Azeri language.
He is the author of Democracy: A Long Way to Go (2001), an Azeri language reader featuring classics of democracy and democratic reform, from Plato to Václav Havel. He also plans to identify the reforms that would be needed to make countries democratic not merely in name but also in practice.