The transition from a command to a market economy has not been easy for Azerbaijan, which returned to its 1990 level of economic development just this year. In moving forward the country must take particular care to avoid the Dutch Disease, that is, the overdevelopment of resource-exporting industries and the neglect of the rest of the economy.
On Monday, July 18, 2005, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted Dr. Alikhan Baimenov, leader of the AK ZHOL Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, and Dr. Asim Mollazade, M.D., leader of the Democratic Reform Party of Azerbaijan, to discuss their experience with reform in their respective countries. Carnegie Endowment Senior Associate Martha Brill Olcott moderated the session.
A discussion forum featuring Anatol Lieven, Daniel Byman, Michael Scheuer, and W. Patrick Lang on the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the progress of the the "War on Terror."
Heydar Aliyev, president of oil-rich Azerbaijan, has finally accepted the frailties of age, withdrawing from the October 15 presidential election in favor of his son Ilham. This is the time for concerted international effort to ensure that those who bought the Azerbaijan's election don't own the country's presidency.
A discussion meeting with Jayhun Mollazade, President of the U.S. – Azerbaijani Council, Carnegie Visiting Scholar Edward Chow and Senior Associate Martha Brill Olcott.
The Central Asian countries are anything but democracies. The degree of oppression may vary, but all Central Asian rulers enjoy uncontested autocratic power, with nominal legislatures mostly used to extend their tenures. Should Ilham Aliyev become president after his father's death, it would be the first dynastic succession in a post-Soviet state.
In a global context, the Caspian represents another North Sea or Alaska; it is significant, but even full development would not represent a fundamental shift in market dynamics. U.S. policy must be based on a realistic assessment of the global energy situation and the potential role the Caspian can play. Bilateral energy arrangements are no substitute for balanced foreign policy in the region.
Increasing oil production in Iraq will not alleviate the potential problems in other important oil producing regions, including West Africa, Latin America, and new producers in the Caspian region. The United States must anticipate energy security threats from these regions and prepare for them in advance.
Marina Ottaway discusses findings from her new book on semi-authoritarian regimes. Audio transcripts are available.
The soon-to-be members of the EU are to be congratulated but a new divide has emerged to their east. Until now, the EU has been so preoccupied with its enlargement that it has had little time to look further east. It must now face up to its responsibility and focus on what it can do. The EU's goal should be to integrate the post-Soviet economies for mutual economic benefit and political stability.