14 July, 2016 468
Səhifə Administratoru Səhifə Administratoru
Azerbaijan: Ethnic Diversity, Peaceful Co-existence & State Management

Peaceful co-existence between ethnic and ethno-religious groups in any diverse society is an essential element of public order, social peace, security and human development. Tolerance and respect for cultural differences is the best antidote to extremism, social tensions, violence and civil war. Since the beginning of this century, the number of domestic conflicts around the world that have brought ethnic and ethno-religious groups into variance with one other and with their national parliaments has mushroomed. These conflicts have taken their toll of victims in Iraq, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Central African Republic and other countries. In Europe, there is now a trend and a threat to fragmentation of and secession from sovereign states. Kosovo has gained its independence from Serbia. Catalonia and Scotland will each hold a referendum for independence. In Ukraine, Crimea has held an illegal referendum and has joined the Russian Federation regardless of international law. States hosting a wide range of peoples, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups can have legitimate concerns about their territorial integrity, especially if neighbouring countries have some geo-political interest in weakening their social cohesion and exacerbating their internal tensions. This study addresses the issue of the co-existence of ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan and the management of diversity by the state. It highlights the specificities of a number of minorities and their historical roots, as well as the concerns of the state, which is still in the process of creating a new identity from the ashes of the former Soviet Union and which, due to recent experience, is also concerned about its territorial integrity. The challenges were and are still huge: the identification of ethnic minorities in the light of the self-identification of their members, the accommodation of collective rights, social integration while respecting diversity and security.

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