Historians, politicians and representatives of civil society discussed Azerbaijan’s democratic past and the heritage of its first republic.
On 2 October, Center for National and International Studies (CNIS) organized a conference titled “Democratic Values in the History of Azerbaijan.” Attended by several prominent Azeri historians and politicians, as well as the representatives of civil society and youth groups, the conference held discussions around Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920), its short experience of democracy-building and its heritage. Conference participants gave their interpretations about Azerbaijan’s first democratic republic’s legacies in the lights of today’s events. Discussions touched upon not only the role and policies of ADR, but also its implications for modern days and its comparison with the political system established in Azerbaijan now.
In 2008-2009, CNIS has held eight similar conferences on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the ADR in various regions of Azerbaijan. The main purpose of this project (project manager Leyla Aliyeva and project coordinator Aydin Balayev) was to research and discuss democratic traditions and values throughout Azerbaijani history.
The conferences that were held looked into the traditions of parliamentarianism in Azerbaijan (Sheki), the problems of Azerbaijan’s integration into Europe (Ganja), oil revenues and their mutual link with reforms being implemented in the country (Salyan), the traditions and problems of Azerbaijani journalism (Shirvan), agrarian reforms (Quba), gender issues (Masalli), local government (Barda) and independent courts (Balakan). Several participants of these conferences were also present at final event in Baku.
During the last conference held in Baku, a special edition of CNIS containing minutes of all the previous conferences were presented to guests and participants.
The project was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.