Changing Identities: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

The Heinrich Boell Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office seeks to contribute to the formation of free, fair and tolerant societies with inclusive and participative political systems in the region. To this end, the Foundation encourages in-depth analysis of current civic and political processes in the region so that it can understand the civic and political context to support democratic processes.
It is very difficult to realistically measure the specific effect of so-called democratization measures. Such activities are oriented at effecting long-term changes in systems and societies. The HBF Regional Scholarship Programme is one of the means of measuring these changes in the South Caucasus. Under this programme, operating since 2004, the HBF has observed political, social and cultural processes in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia through encouraging young generations of social scientists. In addition, the programme seeks to create networks among young experts in the South Caucasus. The selected articles in this publication represent the best research conducted in 2004-2007. They illustrate scientific ideas and methods that have been applied within the framework of the HBF Regional Scholarship Programme.
The past 20 years have clearly shown that in three countries of the South Caucasus, as well as in other countries of the former socialist camp, the formal establishment of democratic and civic institutions cannot ensure real democratic transformations and the rule of law. When determining whether a certain political system is truly democratic or merely has a democratic facade, two aspects are especially important: on the one hand, political culture and the quality of the development of civil society and on the other hand, the influence of ethno-political conflicts on political processes in these countries.
In 2011 many important analytical materials were published in connection with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union. The vast majority of these publications focused on the building of state institutions and economic processes. With this collection of works, the Heinrich Boell Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office offers readers an analysis of the social and cultural transformation under way in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and documents phenomena that have recently emerged in the South Caucasus.

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Heinrich Boell Foundation
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Table of contents
  • Preface: Changing Identities: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia 7
  • Introduction 9
  • Leyla Sayfutdinova “Good” and “Bad” Armenians: Representation of the Karabakh Conflict in Azerbaijani Literature 15
  • Sevil Huseynova Ethnicity as Social Status and Stigma: Armenians in Post-Soviet Baku 41
  • Gayane Shagoyan Memorializing the Earthquake 70
  • Ruslan Baramidze Islam in Adjara – Comparative Analysis of Two Communities in Adjara 96
  • Ia Tsulaia Being a Kist: Between Georgian and Chechen 126
  • Aysel Vazirova Freedom and Bondage: The Discussion of Hijab in Azerbaijan 148
  • Tork Dalalyan Construction of Kurdish and Yezidi Identities among the Kurmanj-speaking Population of the Republic of Armenia 177
  • Giorgi Gotua Different Governments in Tbilisi, Same People in Regions: Local Elites in the Years of Independence 202
  • Tatevik Margaryan Phenomena of Informal Relations in the System of Local Self-government in Armenia 222
  • Tamar Zurabishvili Migration Networks of Labor Migrants from Tianeti 246
  • About authors 27