From the outset, Germany’s chairmanship of the OSCE, in 2016, promised to be fraught with sizable challenges. One of these challenges came from the recent developments in the South Caucasus, which demonstrated with renewed force that national boundaries in the post-Soviet space, and thus the security situation, are still far from stable.
Azerbaijan’s capital Baku was ready when the Eurovision Song Contest took place there at the end of May 2012. All guests were welcome. “Baku was very open and liberal,” Stern.de journalist Jens Maier describes the atmosphere. “A gay club was opened. I do not know of any cases in which problems arose or people felt threatened.” Two openly gay activists, Elham Bagirov and Kamran Rzayev, also remember the excitement of this occasion.
On 27 September 2011, the Heinrich Boell Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office organized the public debate in Baku. The topic of the discussion was: “Gender as an issue of academic discourse in Azerbaijan”.
Contemporary Azerbaijan is a largely oil based economy, which has been able to benefit from continual high world oil prices over the past years. Despite the double digit growth rates, which the country was able to maintain until recently, the development of human capital and with it the advance of science and research remains in a backward stage.