Elections in the South Caucasus: Reflections on Economic and Security Affairs
This article explores the significance of the presidential elections held in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in 2013 within their broader geopolitical contexts. While the elections were important in terms of the political change – or continuity – that they reinforced, the article argues that they were not a primary driving force for change in the region. Rather, it is the larger trends that are having the greatest impact on the political, economic, and security evolution of the region – most notably Russia’s resurgence in the Caucasus, Turkey’s renewed focus on becoming an active regional player, and the potential implications of negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. In line with historical patterns, external players continue to shape the regional dynamic in the Caucasus as much as internal ones do, if not more so. The elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – and their largely predictable outcomes – are a testament to the relative political stability of the Caucasus compared to the situation 20 or even 10 years ago. Yet the geopolitical forces shaping the region remain as dynamic as ever, portending significant changes in the months and years ahead.
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