The limits of leadership: Elites and societies in the Nagorny Karabakh peace process
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The Nagorny Karabakh conflict helped pave the way for the first democratic processes in Azerbaijan but has since been used as a pretext to delay democratic reforms. Rasim Musabayov describes the political crises that gripped newly independent Azerbaijan during the war and the relative stability that followed. Political elites have sought to use public preoccupation with the Karabakh issue to their own advantage. All parties emphasise the need to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but amidst much populist militant rhetoric the ruling regime has been highly secretive about the peace process and the opposition unable to produce constructive proposals. The difficult compromises vital for peace cannot be made until the regime engages in dialogue with opposition politicians and civil society representatives.