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Asking the right questions: environmental conflict in the case of Azerbaijan

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Abstract:

This paper contributes an empirical test of key themes of the literature on natural resource conflict. Survey and interview data from an ongoing project in Azerbaijan provide insights into an unexpected lack of conflict in Azerbaijan related to the environment, resources and energy despite the predictions of resource conflict literature. We contend that questions about public perceptions about the environment and other daily concerns are critical if we are to understand who is likely (or unlikely) to be involved in conflict and why. The data presented in this paper demonstrate that Azerbaijani citizens rank environmental and resource issues among their immediate concerns and their top concerns for the country. However, compared to other day-to-day concerns such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and economic concerns, environment-related concerns do not appear to be sufficient to motivate widespread violent conflict or citizen dissent related to environmental or natural resource conditions.

Keywords: Azerbaijan; Caucasus; energy; interview; resource conflict; survey

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2006.00704.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA, Email: olear@ku.edu

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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