Azerbaijan may not be on the cusp of a major reform, but developments of recent months have formed the most interesting socio-political dynamics this rather boringly-stable Caspian Republic has seen since 2003.
It is not the first time “reform” has become a buzz word in Azerbaijan. The authorities made several pledges in the past to overhaul and diversify the economy and uproot corruption – especially ahead of elections or in moments of social unrest. Yet apart from a few cosmetic changes, the system and its people remained largely intact. So when the 57-year old president recently announced a package of sweeping reforms and started replacing older officials with young technocrats, many shook their heads in disbelief, taking it as yet another empty promise aimed to pacify the public and create a façade of change.
January 28, 2020 -