Modern Azerbaijan is a typical Middle Eastern petrostate ruled by a classical Middle Eastern despot, where political (and economic) power is concentrated and inherited within the ruling family. Azerbaijan’s military compact with Turkey, signed in 2010, suggests that Baku is preparing for war to take back Nagorno-Karabakh. Due to Azerbaijan’s impending economic and strategic insignificance to the West after the peak of oil production in 2010, Azerbaijan needs to become more realistic in its claim to Nagorno-Karabakh, as its ability to persuade the great powers is set to dwindle synchronously with the depletion of oil reserves from 2011 to 2019.

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