AZERBAIJAN: ETHNOPOLITICAL SECURITY IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Kenan Allahverdiev, Ph.D. (Philos.), Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Political Administration, Academy of State Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)
I would like to say from the very beginning that any, even hypothetical, consideration of a conflict settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the focal point of the Caucasian instability salient, would be illogical without taking into account the possible geopolitical shifts in the region and in each of its countries. This suggests the following:
— An analysis of the key factors of what is called the forecast background: the key trends of the initial and forestalling period in the history of the phenomenon being studied;
— Long-term forecasts of the prospects for ethnopolitical security of the Azerbaijan Republic based on the principles of scientific prognostication;
— A normative scenario of the country’s development in the mid- and long-term perspectives based on the priorities of its ethnopolitical security strategy.
The Forecast Background: Key Factors
Any political forecast, either of domestic or international developments, should follow certain principles (it should take account of possible alternatives, be verifiable, objective, etc.), thus serving as the starting point for the forecast proper. This is an all-important requirement and the hardest to obey. Scenarios can be described as the most widely used type of political forecasting based on the correct identification of critical points in any political entity, the quantitative impact on which might trigger irreversible qualitative changes.
To achieve this, we should single out the key factors of the forecast background. In our case, they are:
First, the factor of Caucasian geopolitics; much has already been written about the problem, however the target of the study remains somewhat vague. There is no Caucasian region (or even what is known as the Southern Caucasus) in the strict sense of the word. There are three states with different development vectors, different values, and different political mentalities. This means that the Caucasus is not a subject but an object of geopolitics and that global and regional powers, rather than the local states and their coordinated efforts, are behind the geopolitical changes there. This creates another problem, viz. the vague and inconsistent policies of the largest powers in the region and their attitude toward Azerbaijan. It is no exaggeration to say that Russia and the United States have not yet clarified their Caucasian policies.
Second, the factor of a successful national development model, which the region badly needs. It should harmonize, in the most natural and fundamental way, ethnic, national, and regional interests in all spheres of social life. Kamaludin Hajiev has written on this score that the Caucasus “is a knot of barely resolvable socioeconomic, national-territorial, confessional, geopolitical, and…………..