Policy Memos

All Quiet on the Karabagh Front?

Policy Memo:


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The present state of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabagh and the surrounding territories can be simultaneously assessed in three completely different tones: hopeful, alarmist, and cynically bored. A flurry of recent diplomatic moves involving the long–entrenched belligerents, as well as Turkey, Russia, and the West, have generated optimism about an impending breakthrough in the peace settlement. At the same time, a bountiful harvest of petrodollars has afforded Azerbaijan an impressive military buildup and an ominously assertive (if not bellicose) shift in its domestic discourse on Karabagh. Many in Armenia have taken this as validation of their worst fears and have braced themselves for another war. Seasoned regional commentators, however, remain skeptical, believing that Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders are likely to pursue the realpolitik agenda of avoiding unforeseen consequences by perpetuating a politics of “neither peace nor war.” [...]

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About the author

Professor of Social Research and Public Policy
New York University Abu Dhabi