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Halted Democracy: Government Hijacking of the New Opposition in Azerbaijan

  • Altay GoyushovEmail author
  • Ilkin Huseynli
Chapter

Abstract

The text is about the independent youth organizations in Azerbaijan which emerged after the serious setback of the opposition political parties in the 2005 parliamentary elections. In the first part oft he text the authors describe the reasons of oppositional failure in Azerbaijan after the death of the former president in 2003. Firstly the divided opposition in Azerbaijan and secondly the traditions and habits in Azerbaijani politics such as patriarchy values which enabled the government to reign in a oppressive way towards the traditional opposition.

These events and reasons lead to the “new opposition” in Azerbaijan which criticize the old opposition that their traditions and values corrupt democracy. In the next part it is described why the old opposition failed and therefor the youth in Azerbaijan lead the protest against the government and managed to bring significant changes to the Azerbaijani society such as questioning authority and providing forums for younger people to discuss their problems. This forced the government to adapt and overcome the new opposition, by weakening it by adapting the youth’s movement ideas and buying influential figures in the newly formed opposition.

In the following sections, first, the authors give a background of the political developments in Azerbaijan since the year 2005 when the unified traditional opposition tried to challenge the government in legislative elections. Second, they give a descriptive account of the emergence of youth organizations and the rationale behind the activism of the then new generation between 2005 and 2013 mainly based on interviews with key public figures following a discussion of the reaction of the government to these new developments and the attempt of the ruling elite to hijack and transform the discourses of the new opposition by various methods. Finally, the positive effects of the new opposition on the Azerbaijani society as well as its shortcomings are discussed.

Keywords

Azerbaijan Youth Movement Opposition New opposition Traditional opposition 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baku Research InstituteBakuAzerbaijan

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