Semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan

  • Jody LaPorte


LaPorte examines the dynamics of semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s regime is a curious hybrid, in which semi-presidential institutions operate in the larger context of authoritarianism. The author compares formal Constitutional provisions with the practice of politics in the country, suggesting that formal and informal sources of authority come together to enhance the effective powers of the presidency. In addition to the considerable formal powers laid out in the Constitution, Azerbaijan’s president also benefits from the support of the ruling party and informal family and patronage networks. LaPorte concludes by discussing the theoretical implications of this symbiosis between formal and informal institutions in Azerbaijan’s semi-presidential regime.


Prime Minister Presidential Election Executive Branch Informal Source Rule Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abbasov, Shahin. 2011. Azerbaijan: Foundation finances renovations at Versailles, Strasbourg. Eurasianet, August 26.
  2. Aide: Draft Constitution Provides for Presidential Republic. 19 Oct 1995. Moscow Interfax. Foreign Broadcast Information Service.Google Scholar
  3. Bulakbasi, Suha. 2011. Azerbaijan: A political history. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  4. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. 1996. Azerbaijan’s November 1995 Parliamentary Election.Google Scholar
  5. Cornell, Svante E. 2011. Azerbaijan since independence. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  6. Darden, Keith. 2008. The integrity of corrupt states: Graft as an informal state institution. Politics & Society 36(1): 35–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Waal, Thomas. 2003. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through peace and war. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Easter, Gerald. 1997. Preference for presidentialism: Postcommunist regime change in Russia and the NIS. World Politics 49(2): 184–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elgie, Robert. 1999. The politics of semi-presidentialism. In Semi-presidentialism in Europe, ed. Robert Elgie, 1–21. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fish, M. Steven. 2003. The impact of the 1999–2000 parliamentary and presidential elections on political party development. In The 1999–2000 elections in Russia: Their impact and legacy, ed. Vicki L. Hesli and William M. Reisinger, 186–212. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fish, M. Steven. 2005. Democracy derailed in Russia: The failure of open politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Further on Acting President’s New Appointments. 10 Apr 1992. Moscow Interfax. Foreign Broadcast Information Service.Google Scholar
  13. Gasanov ‘Freed’ from Duties as Prime Minister. 6 Apr 1992. Moscow Interfax. Foreign Broadcast Information Service.Google Scholar
  14. Grzymala-Busse, Anna. 2010. The best laid plans: The impact of informal rules on formal institutions in transitional regimes. Studies in Comparative International Development 45: 311–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hale, Henry. 2005. Regime cycles: Democracy, autocracy, and revolution in post-Soviet Eurasia. World Politics 58(1): 133–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heinrich, Andreas. 2010. The formal political system in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan: A background study. Working paper, Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen.Google Scholar
  17. Horton, Scott. 2000. Law reform in Azerbaijan: Snapshot in a time of transition. In Caspian conference report: Succession and long-term stability in the Caspian region.
  18. International Crisis Group. 2004. Azerbaijan: Turning over a new leaf? Europe Report No 156, Baku/Brussels.Google Scholar
  19. International Crisis Group. 2010. Azerbaijan: Vulnerable stability. Europe Report No 207, Baku/Brussels.Google Scholar
  20. Kamrava, Mehran. 2001. State-building in Azerbaijan: The search for consolidation. The Middle East Journal 55(2): 216–236.Google Scholar
  21. Kendall-Taylor, Andrea. 2012. Purchasing power: Oil, elections and regime durability in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Europe-Asia Studies 64(4): 737–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nichol, James. 1996. Azerbaijan. In Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Country studies, ed. Glenn E. Curtis. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.Google Scholar
  23. Official Comments on New Constitution, Nagorno-Karabakh. 19 Oct 1995. Baku TURAN. Foreign Broadcast Information Service.Google Scholar
  24. OSCE/ODIHR. 2001. Election observation mission final report: Republic of Azerbaijan, parliamentary elections, 5 November 2000 & 7 January 2001, Warsaw.Google Scholar
  25. OSCE/ODIHR. 2006. Election observation mission final report: Republic of Azerbaijan, parliamentary elections, 6 November 2005, Warsaw.Google Scholar
  26. OSCE/ODIHR. 2011. Election observation mission final report: Republic of Azerbaijan, parliamentary elections, 7 November 2010, Warsaw.Google Scholar
  27. Radnitz, Scott. 2012. Oil in the family: Managing presidential succession in Azerbaijan. Democratization 19(1): 60–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. ‘Reins of Government’ Pass to Aliyev. 18 June 1993. Baku TURAN. Foreign Broadcast Information Service.Google Scholar
  29. Shugart, Matthew Soberg, and John M. Carey. 1992. Presidents and assemblies: Constitutional design and electoral dynamics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Siaroff, Alan. 2003. Comparative presidencies: The inadequacy of the presidential, semi-presidential and parliamentary distinction. European Journal of Political Research 42: 287–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Swietochowski, Tadeusz. 1995. Russia and Azerbaijan: A borderland in transition. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Valiyev, Anar. 2002. Referendum in Azerbaijan: Next victory of Azeri President. The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, September 9.

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jody LaPorte
    • 1
  1. 1.OxfordUK

Personalised recommendations