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Publications (10 of 23) Show all publications
Pikulik, A. & Bedford, S. (2019). Aid Paradox: Strengthening Belarusian Non-democracy through Democracy Promotion. East European Politics and Societies, 33(2), 378-399
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aid Paradox: Strengthening Belarusian Non-democracy through Democracy Promotion
2019 (English)In: East European Politics and Societies, ISSN 0888-3254, E-ISSN 1533-8371, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 378-399Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on paradoxes of democracy promotion aid and offers research on an understudied topic: the microlevel of incentives facing donors and receivers of aid and its overall effect on the stability of authoritarianism. It argues that in the Belarusian case traveling the democracy promotion road, donors and implementers faced a typical bureaucratic problem: It became easier and more rational to justify the continuation of the democracy promotion project at large rather than closing it down, even though it was becoming increasingly clear it was not providing the desired results, that is, bringing about democratization or even a step in that direction. This created negative stimuli for the local beneficiaries, who developed strong aid addiction. A co-dependency between the providers and receivers of foreign aid led to the continuous application of unfit and self-defeating strategies. In fact, all of the actors involved (Western donors, implementers, and the Belarusian opposition but also the regime) became rationally interested in the status quo. As a result we argue that the democracy promotion efforts strengthened autocratic rule in Belarus rather than bringing about democratization.

Keywords
democracy promotion, Belarus, autocracy, donors, opposition, elections, post-Soviet politics, democratization
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-359702 (URN)10.1177/0888325418791725 (DOI)000465011100006 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974)Swedish Institute, 05755/2015
Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved
Bedford, S. & Vinatier, L. (2019). Resisting the Irresistible: ‘Failed Opposition’ in Azerbaijan and Belarus Revisited. Government and Opposition, 54(4), 686-714
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resisting the Irresistible: ‘Failed Opposition’ in Azerbaijan and Belarus Revisited
2019 (English)In: Government and Opposition, ISSN 0017-257X, E-ISSN 1477-7053, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 686-714Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent literature on post-Soviet electoral revolutions in places where attempts at regime change through popular protest did not succeed, opposition groups are often simply regarded as ‘failed’. And yet, opposition actors exist and participate in the political life of their country. Building on the Belarusian and Azerbaijani cases, we argue that opposition actors are maintained in a ‘ghetto’, often virtual, tightly managed by the ruling authorities who exert monopolistic control over civic activities. Opposition actors adapt to the restricted conditions – accepting a certain level of dependency. They thus develop various tactics to engage with the outside, striving to reduce the ghetto walls. To this end this article proposes a typology of what we call oppositional ‘resistance models’: electoral, in the media, lobbying and through education. The models highlight what makes ‘opposition’ in authoritarian states and are a step towards a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon in this context.

Keywords
opposition activism resistance models authoritarianism Azerbaijan Belarus
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-341916 (URN)10.1017/gov.2017.33 (DOI)000483865500005 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-05974Swedish Research Council, 2014-05970Swedish Institute
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-16 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved
Souleimanov, E. A., Schwampe, J. & Bedford, S. (2018). Chechnya:: A Study of a Post-Soviet Conflict (1ed.). In: Felix Jaitner; Tina Olteanu; Tobias Spöri (Ed.), Crises in the Post‐Soviet Space: from the dissolution of the Soviet Union to the conflict in Ukraine (pp. 213-223). Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chechnya:: A Study of a Post-Soviet Conflict
2018 (English)In: Crises in the Post‐Soviet Space: from the dissolution of the Soviet Union to the conflict in Ukraine / [ed] Felix Jaitner; Tina Olteanu; Tobias Spöri, Routledge, 2018, 1, p. 213-223Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Chechnya, a tiny republic of around 17,000 square kilometers located on thenorthern edges of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, has become a symbol of  post-Soviet turmoil and war. Civil unrest, religiously-inspired extremism andterrorism, economic decline and criminality, and incessant insurgency andcounterinsurgency has plagued this North Caucasian republic since the early1990s. Most of Chechnya’s destruction is caused by two subsequent invasions byRussian armies and the ruthless violence deployed by them since the mid-1990sto the mid-2000s. Yet the roots of the conflict date back to the gradual dissolutionof the Soviet Union at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, what has cometo shape Chechnya’s political landscape – and its relations with Moscow – crystallised as Chechnya along with the rest of the Soviet successor territoriesslipped into deep economic and political crisis. Indeed, the dissolution of theSoviet Union paved the ground for separatism as newly established Chechenelites sought to fill the power gap left after the withdrawal of Soviet authorities.The crisis of political legitimacy was coupled with an unprecedented economiccrisis, an outcome of the decline of Soviet centralised economy and Chechnya’sefforts to secede from the rest of Russia. Against this background, as the followinglines show, the outbreak of hostilities between the Russian center and its Chechen periphery became inevitable, which ultimately resulted in what came to be knownas the First Russian-Chechen War (1994–1996).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018 Edition: 1
Series
Post-Soviet Politics
Keywords
Chechnya, war, conflict, post-Soviet, Russia
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353779 (URN)9780815377245 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-5974Swedish Research Council, 2014-5970
Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-10-11Bibliographically approved
Bedford, S., Vinatier, L., Alieva, L. & Gojayev, V. (2016). 'Failed Opposition' Reconsidered: Dynamism and Changing Paradigms in Azerbaijan (1ed.). In: Kaj Hobér, Anna Jonsson Cornell and Leonid Polishchuk (Ed.), The Uppsala Yearbook of Eurasian Studies: (pp. 104-122). London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'Failed Opposition' Reconsidered: Dynamism and Changing Paradigms in Azerbaijan
2016 (English)In: The Uppsala Yearbook of Eurasian Studies / [ed] Kaj Hobér, Anna Jonsson Cornell and Leonid Polishchuk, London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing , 2016, 1, p. 104-122Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this article we argue that repression and political manipulation do not eliminate opposition in authoritarian contexts but give it a dynamic and transformational character. However marginalized opposition parties are still, in some cases after twenty years or more, publicly requesting change, freedoms and liberties. Moreover, this pro-democracy work is continued by the next generation of activists. We will be using the case of Azerbaijan to highlight that even though the uncompromising attitude of the authoritarian institutions seem static, and unable to shake, the opposition against them is very dynamic. Despite being severely repressed ‘opposition’ is gradually becoming more diverse and sustainable, even though this is not at all visible on the political arena. The purpose of the article is to shed light on these new opposition dynamics in the context of the Azerbaijani 2013 presidential election. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing, 2016 Edition: 1
Series
The Uppsala Yearbook of Eurasian Studies, ISSN 2059-0989 ; 1
Keywords
Opposition Azerbaijan Authoritarianism Protest Elections Caucasus Post-Soviet democratization revolution
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302407 (URN)
External cooperation:
Projects
Building Sustainable Opposition in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes#ProtestBaku. Står Azerbajdzjan på tur för en demokratisk revolution?
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, F13-1356:1Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974 V
Available from: 2016-09-02 Created: 2016-09-02 Last updated: 2018-01-10
Bedford, S. (2016). Turkey and Azerbaijan: One Religion-Two States?. In: Murad Ismayilov and Norman Graham (Ed.), Turkish-Azerbaijani Relations. One Nation-Two States?: (pp. 127-149). London and New York: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Turkey and Azerbaijan: One Religion-Two States?
2016 (English)In: Turkish-Azerbaijani Relations. One Nation-Two States? / [ed] Murad Ismayilov and Norman Graham, London and New York: Routledge, 2016, p. 127-149Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter is set to provide a more thorough understanding of what made ‘Turkish Islam’ the preferred choice for the political leaders of independent Azerbaijan as well as highlight and attempt to explain the fact that this amicable reception of Turkish religious representatives seems gradually to be coming to an end. It is argued that even though the religious aspect has never been the most significant in Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, the dynamics within the religious terrain underlying the interaction between the two states can be viewed as a function of the ‘politicization’ of the issue. Put differently, because the embrace of Turkish Islam on the elite level came as a political decision, transformation of and change in the political parameters underlying bilateral relations—both intra-state parameters within Turkey and Azerbaijan respectively and, to some extent, the nature of political dynamics between the latter two states—prompted change in the official status of Turkish Islam in Azerbaijan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London and New York: Routledge, 2016
Series
Routledge Advances in Central Asian Studies ; 8
Keywords
Turkey, Azerbaijan, Religion, Politics
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-291511 (URN)9781138650817 (ISBN)9781315625119 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Available from: 2016-09-02 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-09-02
Bedford, S. & Souleimanov, E. A. (2016). Under Construction and Highly Contested: Islam in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. Third World Quarterly, 37(9), 1559-1580
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Under Construction and Highly Contested: Islam in the Post-Soviet Caucasus
2016 (English)In: Third World Quarterly, ISSN 0143-6597, E-ISSN 1360-2241, Vol. 37, no 9, p. 1559-1580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While scholarship on Islam in the Caucasus has focused on the late Soviet religious revival – the rise of Salafi jihadism and religious radicalisation in the northern part of these strategic crossroads – no study to date has addressed the discursive struggle over the social functions of regional Islam. This article deconstructs these discourses in order to examine the very varying, and often conflicting, representations of Islam advocated by various actors across the region and within particular republics. The article highlights the contested functions of regional Islam against the background of a religious revival that is still a work in progress.

Keywords
Decolonisation and colonisation, Islamism, religion, culture, Caucasus, narratives
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-291440 (URN)10.1080/01436597.2016.1166047 (DOI)000382376800003 ()
Projects
Emil A. Souleimanov carried out this work in the framework of the Program P17 ‘Sciences on Society, Politics, and Media’ at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974
Available from: 2016-05-02 Created: 2016-05-02 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Bedford, S. & Souleimanov, E. (2015). Islam im postsowjetischen Kaukasus Von Sunniten, Schiiten, Sufis und Salafisten. Osteuropa: Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsfragen des Ostens, 65(7-10), 71-92
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Islam im postsowjetischen Kaukasus Von Sunniten, Schiiten, Sufis und Salafisten
2015 (German)In: Osteuropa: Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsfragen des Ostens, ISSN 0030-6428, Vol. 65, no 7-10, p. 71-92Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [de]

Der Islam ist im Kaukasus in unterschiedlichen Formen verbreitet. Der Nordostkaukasus ist von sunnitischen Sufi-Bruderschaften geprägt. Dort betrachten Eliten und Laien die Religion als Quelle politischer Legitimität. Im Nordwestkaukasus ist der sunnitische Islam der hanafitischen Rechtsschule verbreitet. In Aserbaidschan dominiert die von der iranischen Safawiden-Dynastie verbreitete Zwölfer-Schia, und der Islam ist – wie auch im Nordwestkaukasus – weitgehend auf den Bereich der Spiritualität beschränkt. Doch auch dort stellen Salafisten die Autorität des offiziellen Islam in Frage.

Keywords
Caucasus, Islam, religion, representation, narratives, post-Soviet Islam
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276991 (URN)
Projects
Program P17 “Sciences on Society, Politics, and Media,” at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974
Available from: 2016-02-17 Created: 2016-02-17 Last updated: 2018-01-10
Bedford, S. & Souleimanov, E. A. (2015). Islam in the Post-Soviet Caucasus On Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, and Salafis. Osteuropa: Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsfragen des Ostens, 65(7-10), 71
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Islam in the Post-Soviet Caucasus On Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, and Salafis
2015 (English)In: Osteuropa: Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsfragen des Ostens, ISSN 0030-6428, Vol. 65, no 7-10, p. 71-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the Caucasus, Islam is represented in various forms. The Northern Caucasus is marked by Sunni Sufi-brotherhoods. Elites and laymen there see religion as the source of political legitimacy. The Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence is present in the Northwest Caucasus. In Azerbaijan, the Twelver Shia Islam spread by the Iranian Safavid dynasty predominates, and, as in the Northwest Caucasus, Islam is largely limited to the realm of spirituality. But there, too, Salafis are calling into question the authority of official Islam.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-288642 (URN)000372045800004 ()
Available from: 2016-05-04 Created: 2016-04-28 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Bedford, S. (2015). Islamic opposition in Azerbaijan: Discursive conflicts and beyond. In: Greg Simons and David Westerlund (Ed.), Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries: (pp. 117-142). Farnham: Ashgate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Islamic opposition in Azerbaijan: Discursive conflicts and beyond
2015 (English)In: Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries / [ed] Greg Simons and David Westerlund, Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, p. 117-142Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 2004 the Azerbaijani authorities decided to evict the Juma mosque community from the mosque in Baku’s old town where they had been conducting prayers since 1992; under the auspices they lacked the proper registration and the facilities were state property. As the community resisted eviction, police entered the mosque during prayertime, physically removed the worshippers and closed it down. Preceding this, the popular imam of the Juma Mosque had been arrested during a political demonstration and sentenced to a five year suspended sentence for violating Azerbaijani law by engaging politically despite being a religious leader. These episodes rendered a lot of attention at the time as they highlighted a conflict between a religious group and the state in Azerbaijan, a country generallydescribed as one of the more secular in the former Soviet Union. Almost 10 years after the Juma incidents the relationship between the Azerbaijani authorities and certain parts of the Islamic community is still tense and doesfrom time to time manifest itself in open controversies. In order to shed lighton how some Muslim groups in Azerbaijan became perceived as oppositional, this chapter focuses on colliding discourses that become societal and intensified as the authorities with all means try to control discursive as well as social practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Farnham: Ashgate, 2015
Series
Post-Soviet politics
Keywords
Islam, opposition, mobilization, post-Soviet, Azerbaijan, authoritarianism
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Political Science; Sociology of Religion; Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241511 (URN)978-1-4724-4969-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-01-13 Created: 2015-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Bedford, S. (2015). To Participate or Not To Participate—That is the Question. Electoral Strategies of the Azerbaijani Opposition. Resource Security Institute (RSI) , Center for Security Studies (CSS), Heinrich Böll Foundation, Research Centre for East European Studies (FSO)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To Participate or Not To Participate—That is the Question. Electoral Strategies of the Azerbaijani Opposition
2015 (English)Other, Policy document (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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, pages
Resource Security Institute (RSI) , Center for Security Studies (CSS), Heinrich Böll Foundation, Research Centre for East European Studies (FSO), 2015
Series
Caucasus Analytical Digest ; 79
Keywords
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
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270977 (URN)
Projects
Building Sustainable Opposition in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 348-2014-5974
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2016-02-02Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5098-7227

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