Is the Council of Europe fostering democratisation in Azerbaijan? : analysing the impact of the organization and its faith in the ballot box
Fernández Jiménez, Pablo
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This paper examines the impact of the Council of Europe (CoE) in the process of democratisation in Azerbaijan, a member state where the organisation has failed to overcome the obstacles to democratic progress, legitimising a democratic façade. This case exemplifies the weaknesses and potential of the CoE, while the political and social context in Azerbaijan illustrates how conflict, natural resources, and geopolitics can challenge the progress of democracy. Both the country’s underlying conditions and the organisation’s internal weaknesses have been addressed in this paper, aiming to identify the obstacles and opportunities. After reviewing the CoE’s strategy and actions, the need to move beyond the legitimisation of authoritarian practices and flawed elections, through a holistic and impactful monitoring system, has been highlighted. At a time of economic and social change in Azerbaijan, it is in the best interests of both the country and the CoE to co-operate to uphold democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.