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  • Author: Valeri Modebadze
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: This article explains why it is so difficult to achieve peace in Nagorno-Karabakh and what factors prevent the peaceful resolution of the conflict. This conflict is very difficult to resolve because the conflicting parties have contradictory geopolitical interests and cannot achieve consensus during negotiations. We have to take into account Russia’s geopolitical interests in South Caucasus that Kremlin is interested in freezing this conflict to weaken both states, Azerbaijan and Armenia, and bring them back to Russia’s orbit. Moscow aims to establish firm control over South Caucasus which was viewed in the past as a ‘Russian backyard’. Russia still views South Caucasus as its zone of influence and tries to bring this region back into Russia’s orbit.
  • Topic: Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Author: Aram Terzyan
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: Despite the growing body of research on authoritarian regimes, few studies address the issues of their legitimization through exaggerating external threats and constructing enemy images. Targeting the gap in the literature, this article explores the discursive strategies of ‘evilization’ and demonization of the ‘other’, with a focus on their implications for legitimating and sustaining the authoritarian regimes in post-Soviet space. Examining the cases of Russia and Azerbaijan, the qualitative, comparative analysis presented in this article uncovers a series of essential similarities between the regimes’ legitimization strategies. Findings suggest that there has been a strong tendency in both Russian and Azerbaijani discourses to ‘externalize’ major problems facing the countries and scapegoat ‘evil forces’ as their main causes. Frequent appeals to the external threats have been accompanied by a heightened emphasis on the necessity of strong presidential power, with ‘strongmen’ that are capable of withstanding the enemies’ conspiracies. Remarkably, one of the core similarities between the two regimes is their unstoppable drive towards monarchical presidencies.
  • Topic: Power Politics, Bilateral Relations, Authoritarianism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Ice Ilijevski
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: Mass media have been a critical weapon of warfare since the cold war, and even more recently, the powerful intrusion of the new media: transformed the landscape in terms of reach and influence. Its role can be both constructive and deconstructive. The Rwanda genocide, armed violence in Nigeria and Kenya, and the Balkan wars has questioned its roles, powers, and ethical responsibilities in violent conflict circumstances. In these cases, the mass media played a poisonous role. Although establishing a causal relationship between mass media and framing of opinion, emotion, and beliefs that steams violent conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa is neither linear nor clear. However, this paper underscores the mass media’s compelling influence on how perception in the fragile armed conflict environment of Africa is developed. It is not only used as an effective propaganda machine for promoting regime defense, building resistant movement, but also transforming the political actor’s parochial interest in people’s interest.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Conflict, Hate Speech
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Valeri Modebadze
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: This article describes the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia for achieving regional hegemony in the Middle East. Both states have the ambition to be the leader of the Islamic world and there is a constant struggle between them to dominate the Middle East and spread their influence in neighboring countries. Both countries fund militant Islamic movements abroad and are engaged in a fierce battle for regional dominance. After the establishment of the theocratic regime in Iran, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia vehemently opposed Teheran’s ambitions to export revolutions and increase its influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is determined to counter the Iranian revolutionary threat and constantly opposes Teheran’s ambitions to dominate the Arab World. Saudi Arabia and Iran often accuse each other of fueling sectarian violence by backing Shia and Sunni militias in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. Both countries try to avoid direct confrontation with each other. Instead of direct conflict, both sides fight each other indirectly and provide varying degrees of support to different camps in nearby conflicts.
  • Topic: Hegemony, Geopolitics, Conflict, Militias
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Francesco Trupia
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to lead an overview of the Nagorno-Karabakh rivalry between Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to highlight the frozen state of affairs through an alternative perspective left currently out within the peacekeeping operations. Therefore, the main attention is not paid to OSCE-Minks attempts to unfreeze the ethnic conflict, however to the role of collective trauma and historical imaginary to point out the Other question that will be performing a structural role when the two-decades-war will be hopefully over. Hence, what is to be forgotten from wrenching past? How will the figure of the Other – no matter Armenian or Azerbaijani – affect the post-conflict scenario currently negated by cultural prejudices and political propaganda?
  • Topic: Psychology, Conflict, Trauma
  • Political Geography: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh