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To Participate or Not To Participate—That is the Question. Electoral Strategies of the Azerbaijani Opposition
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
2015 (English)Other, Policy document (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))Text
Abstract [en]

Elections pose a dilemma for the democratic opposition in electoral authoritarian states. On the one hand, the election campaign is often their only opportunity to get sanctioned access to the public, on the other, through their participation in an election where the outcome is known beforehand they appear to support a democratic charade. This article focuses on the ways in which oppositional actors in Azerbaijan choose to tackle this predicament in relation to the recent parliamentary elections. The analysis and comparison of respective electoral strategies (boycott, campaigning, statements and monitoring) tell us about the roles elections, despite their predictable outcome, play in this type of context. Even though no one in the opposition is ‘in it to win it’ the Republican Alternative (REAL) movement stands out. Fully aware of their marginalization in society, as representatives of an extremely unpopular ‘opposition’, their electoral work focused on selling themselves to the public as ‘something new,’ which is, of course, easier said than done. Nevertheless, their approach and campaign could be interpreted as an attempt to actually convert this into practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Resource Security Institute (RSI) , Center for Security Studies (CSS), Heinrich Böll Foundation, Research Centre for East European Studies (FSO) , 2015.
, Caucasus Analytical Digest, 79
Keyword [en]
Azerbaijan, Election Campaigns, Elections, Electoral Systems, Governance, Legitimacy, Parliamentary Elections, Political Opposition, Political Participation, Political Parties and Organizations, Political Representation, Politicians and Political Leadership, Politics
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270977OAI: diva2:890958
Building Sustainable Opposition in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes
Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2016-02-02Bibliographically approved

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No 79, Caucasus Analytical Digest: Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan(385 kB)22 downloads
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No 79, Caucasus Analytical Digest: Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan

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Bedford, Sofie
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