The limits of leadership: Elites and societies in the Nagorny Karabakh peace process
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The consequences of the Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan and Armenian societies include large numbers of refugees and displaced persons, huge post-war migration out-flows and other significant demographic changes in both countries. Former combatants have come to be an important constituency in both societies and, particularly in the case of Azerbaijan’s government, viewed with great suspicion. But in reviewing social changes in both societies, Baghdasarian and Yunusov distinguish between these consequences and the ‘no war, no peace syndromes’ related to the current impasse. These include stalled democratic development, taboos against questioning militarism and military spending, and the internalisation of ‘victim’ and ‘victor’ identities. Political elites ‘manage antagonism’ to sustain hostility towards the enemy without allowing it to reach a crisis point.