Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Multiculturalism and inter-religious tolerance: the experience of Azerbaijan and its significance for Europe

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azsemISDP Conference

Multiculturalism and inter-religious tolerance: the experience of Azerbaijan and its significance for Europe

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, from 2 to 4 p.m.

On November 18, 2015, a delegation of religious dignitaries from Azerbaijan will visit Stockholm. The delegation consists of the Muslim mufti, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, as well as the Russian Orthodox Archbishop, the Catholic Nuncio, and the leaders of the community of Mountain Jews and the Community of European Jews of Azerbaijan, as well as the State Counsellor for multiculturalism and religious affairs. In a time when the greater Middle East suffers from escalating sectarian conflict, the Azerbaijani delegation provides a unique example of ethnic, religious tolerance and mutual understanding -- as recently showcased by Time Magazine.

A seminar will be held in Stockholm's Sheraton Hotel on November 18 between 14.00-18.00, which will provide the opportunity to discuss the Azerbaijani and Swedish experiences of multiculturalism and religious tolerance.

The Institute for Security and Development Policy is a co-organizer of this seminar in cooperation with the Embassy of Azerbaijan to the Kingdom of Sweden, and the Baku International Multiculturalism Center.

 

Conference program:

- 14:00 – 14:30 Welcome speeches

Kamal AbdullayevMember of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
State Adviser on Inter-ethnic, Multicultural and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan (click for video)

Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazada
Chairman of the Caucasian Muslim Board

Dr. Adish Mammadov
Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Kingdom of Sweden (click for video)

Dr. Svante Cornell
Director of the Institute of Security and Development Policy (click for video)

- 14:30 – 16:00 Panel I

"Azerbaijan's experience of inter-religious tolerance"

Moderator:
Azad Mammadov
Executive director of Baku International Multiculturalism Center

Lectures:
Kamal Abdullayev:
 Member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
State Adviser on Inter-ethnic, Multicultural and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazada
Chairman of the Caucasian Muslim Board

Alexander Ishein
Archbishop of the Baku and Azerbaijan eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church

Ordinary Vladimir Fekete
Ordinary of the Apostolic Prefecture of the Roman Catholic Church in Azerbaijan

Milix Yevdayev
Leader of the Mountain Jews Religious Community

Gennadiy Zelmanovich
Chairman of the Baku Religious Community of European Jews

16:00 – 16:30 Break

- 16:30 – 18:00 Panel II

"Azerbaijani and Swedish models of multiculturalism: comparative analysis"

Moderator:
Dr. Svante Cornell
Director of the Institute of Security and Development Policy

Lectures:

Helene Egnell
The Centre for Inter Faith Dialogue

Göran Lennmarker 
Former member of Swedish parliament, former president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Azad Mammadov
Executive director of Baku International Multiculturalism Center

Dr. Svante Cornell
Director of the Institute of Security and Development Policy

Stefan Gullgren
Deputy Director-General of the Swedish MFA, Head of Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
 
The working languages of the conference will be Azerbaijani and English.

The complete program is available here. 

Location: 

Sheraton Stockholm Hotel
Tegelbacken 6
10123 Stockholm, Sweden

 

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News

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    In 2016, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program launched an initiative on documenting the interrelationship of religion and the secular state in the region. This initiative departed from the fact that little systematic reserch had been undertaken on the subject thus far. While there was and remains much commentary and criticism of religious policy in the region, there was no comprehensive analysis available on the interrelationship of religion and the state in any regional state, let alone the region as a whole. The result of this initiative has been the publication of six Silk Road Papers studying the matter in regional states, with more to come. In addition, work is ongoing on a volume putting the regional situation in the context of the Muslim world as a whole.

     

    Case Studies

    Each study below can be freely downloaded in PDF format.

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    Azerbaijan's Formula: Secular Governance and Civil Nationhood
    By Svante E. Cornell, Halil Karaveli, and Boris Ajeganov
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    2018-04-Kazakhstan-SecularismReligion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
    By Svante E. Cornell, S. Frederick Starr and Julian Tucker
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    Articles and Analyses

    Svante E. Cornell, "Religion and the State in Central Asia," in Ilan Berman, ed., Wars of Ideas: Theology, Interpretation and Power in the Muslim World, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021.

    Svante E. Cornell, "Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go?" in Religion, Conflict and Stability in the Former Soviet Union, eds. Katya Migacheva and Bryan Frederick, Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation, 2018.

  • Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's Post-Conflict Territories
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  • Resources on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
    Monday, 05 October 2020 08:19

    Resources on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

     

    The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program have a long track record of covering the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict. This page presents the key resources and most recent analysis. 

    In 2017, Palgrave published the first book-length study of the International Politics of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, edited by Svante Cornell. The book concluded by arguing that if international efforts to resolve the conflict are not stepped up, “the ‘four-day’ war of April 2016 will appear a minor skirmish compared to what is sure to follow”.

    In 2015, CACI & SRSP released the Silk Road Paper  “A Western Strategy for the South Caucasus”, which included a full page of recommendations for the U.S. and EU on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. These are reproduced below:

    ------------------

    Develop a substantial and prolonged Western initiative on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

    o This initiative must be led by the United States, in close consultation with its European partners – primarily the EU Commission and External Action Service, and France. Barring some process to reinvigorate the Minsk Process – a doubtful proposition given Western-Russian relations in the foreseeable future – Western leaders must be prepared to bypass that process, utilizing it where appropriate but focusing their initiative on developing direct negotiations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders.

    o The U.S. and its European partners must abandon the practice of relying solely on the Minsk Group co-chairs to resolve the Karabakh conflict. These diplomats have contributed greatly to formulating a workable framework agreement. However, strong and sustained U.S. Government leadership from the top level is needed to complement or, failing that, to replace the Minsk Process. In practice, this means the expressed support of the President, involvement of the White House, and leadership manifested in the appointment of a distinguished citizen as Special Envoy for the resolution of the conflict.

    o The EU must take a more clearly defined and substantial role in the process, by integrating to the highest degree possible the French co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group with EU institutions. While Washington will need to take the lead on the political side, it would be natural for the EU to take the lead in organizing an international development program for the currently occupied Azerbaijani provinces and Karabakh itself. That effort, too, would need to be led by a senior EU figure.

    --------------------------------------------

    In 2011, CACI & SRSP helped launch an extensive study of the steps needed for the post-conflict rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's occupied territories, in cooperation with Eldar Ismailov and Nazim Muzaffarli of the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Caucasus. The monograph "Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's Post-Conflict Territories" can be accessed here

     

    More background resources:

    Svante E. Cornell, "Can America Stop a Wider War Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?", The National Interest, October 2020

    Brenda Shaffer and Svante E. Cornell, Occupied Elsewhere: Selective Policies on Occupation, Foundation For Defense of Democracies, January 2020. 

    Brenda Shaffer and Svante E. Cornell, "The U.S. Needs to Declare War on Proxies", Foreign Policy, January 27, 2020

    Svante E. Cornell, “The Raucous Caucasus”, American Interest, May 2017

    Svante E. Cornell, Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, RoutledgeCurzon, 2001.

    Svante E. Cornell, The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Uppsala University, 1999

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    Turkey’s Commitment to Azerbaijan’s Defense Shows the Limits of Ankara’s Tilt to Moscow,” Turkey Analyst, 9/25/20, Turan Suleymanov & Bahruz Babayev

     “Cross-Border Escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 9/25/20, Natalia Konarzewska

    Russia and Turkey: Behind the Armenia-Azerbaijan Clashes?”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 8/31/20, Avinoam Idan

    Armenia and the U.S.: Time for New Thinking?”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 10/2/19, Eduard Abrahamyan.

    Why Washington Must Re-Engage the CaucasusCentral Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 7/8/19, Stephen Blank

    Azerbaijan’s Defense Industry Reform”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 5/7/19, Tamerlan Vahabov.

    Military Procurements on Armenia's and Azerbaijan's Defense Agendas”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 3/27/19, Ilgar Gurbanov

    Armenia's New Government Struggles with Domestic and External Opposition,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 3/20/19, Armen Grigorian.

    Bolton's Caucasian Tour and Russia's Reaction”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 12/17/18, Eduard Abrahamyan.