The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself an independent republic in 1992, yet this de facto status hasn’t been officially recognised elsewhere. Azerbaijan has aspired to regain control of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory which has always enjoyed close military and ethnic ties with Armenia. 

Small and mountainous, the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Artsakh secessionist state, is situated in southwestern Azerbaijan with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. It is of highly symbolic importance to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. For Armenians it symbolises freedom and self determination as it was the only independent Armenian populated territory when Armenia was under Iranian rule in the 6th century AD. At the same time Karabakh occupies a special place in Azerbaijanis national consciousness as it was a major Azerbaijani cultural center in the 19th century.
 
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan and Armenia gained their independence, but the Nagorno-Karabakh region became a bone of contention. Karabakh was mainly populated by Armenian Christians but during Stalin’s rule it was given to Azerbaijan. 

 When the predominantly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh wanted to break away and become independent, Armenia sent troops in order to dislocate Azerbaijan people from the area. In the early nineties, the conflict escalated and a full scale war broke out which created hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people on both sides. During the 5 year war, in which an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people lost their lives, the ethnic Armenians gained control of the area and proclaimed independence.   

During the Soviet times Karabakh was an area under Muslim control but now the only people in Nagorno-Karabakh are Christian Karabakheans. In Azerbaijan the anniversary of the country’s war with Armenian forces is still commemorated and refugee Karabakh Azeris yearn for return. At the same time Armenians might have won the most recent conflict and, given the degree to which they suffered through successive occupations, they steadfastly refuse to broker a peace with Azerbaijan which could include any political compromise. 

Today, as in most of the post-Soviet conflicts, there is no war in Karabakh, but also no peace. The issue still remains open with both sides fearing a new conflict and preparing for a possible war.  

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict


Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself an independent republic in 1992, yet this de facto status hasn’t been officially recognised elsewhere. Azerbaijan has aspired to regain control of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory which has always enjoyed close military and ethnic ties with Armenia. 


Small and mountainous, the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Artsakh secessionist state, is situated in southwestern Azerbaijan with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. It is of highly symbolic importance to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. For Armenians it symbolises freedom and self determination as it was the only independent Armenian populated territory when Armenia was under Iranian rule in the 6th century AD. At the same time Karabakh occupies a special place in Azerbaijanis national consciousness as it was a major Azerbaijani cultural center in the 19th century.

 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan and Armenia gained their independence, but the Nagorno-Karabakh region became a bone of contention. Karabakh was mainly populated by Armenian Christians but during Stalin’s rule it was given to Azerbaijan. 


 When the predominantly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh wanted to break away and become independent, Armenia sent troops in order to dislocate Azerbaijan people from the area. In the early nineties, the conflict escalated and a full scale war broke out which created hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people on both sides. During the 5 year war, in which an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people lost their lives, the ethnic Armenians gained control of the area and proclaimed independence.   

During the Soviet times Karabakh was an area under Muslim control but now the only people in Nagorno-Karabakh are Christian Karabakheans. In Azerbaijan the anniversary of the country’s war with Armenian forces is still commemorated and refugee Karabakh Azeris yearn for return. At the same time Armenians might have won the most recent conflict and, given the degree to which they suffered through successive occupations, they steadfastly refuse to broker a peace with Azerbaijan which could include any political compromise. 

Today, as in most of the post-Soviet conflicts, there is no war in Karabakh, but also no peace. The issue still remains open with both sides fearing a new conflict and preparing for a possible war.  

Le Clézio: Interrogating French-Mauritian Identity
J. M. G. Le Clézio is a Franco-Mauritian novelist and professor born in Nice. His father was of French ethnicity but was born in Mauritius at a time when the island was a British possession. Le Clézio, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008, is a prolific writer whose French-language works reflect his dual identity.
J.M.G. Le Clézio is the best-known cultural icon of Mauritius. Le Clézio, who holds dual Mauritian and French citizenship, maintains strong personal ties with the island. He once said in an interview: ’I consider myself an exile because my family is entirely Mauritian. For generations we were fed on Mauritian folklore, food, legends and culture… On the other hand, I love the French language which is perhaps my true country’ France remains the dominant cultural influence on Mauritius since it first gained control of it in 1715, despite ceding the island to the British in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. 
Le Clézio began writing at the age of eight during a month-long voyage to Nigeria where he and his family would eventually settle. His ability was immediately recognized at the age of 23 when his first novel Le Proces-Verbal (The Interrogation) earned him the Prix Renaudot. At least thirty six of his books, including short stories, novels and essays, have been published since his debut novel, rendering him one of France’s greatest contemporary literary figures. 
From 1963 to 1977, Le Clézio explored themes of language, insanity and writing. His writing style was characterised by experimentation and innovation in form. However, in the mid-1970s when he started travelling extensively, his method altered remarkably as it became informed by more traditional narrative structures. His style grew increasingly more sober, and the artfulness of his work lay in the simplicity of the language. He used popular themes such as travelling, adolescence, and childhood that attracted a greater audience. 
Le Clézio’s literary career has produced a powerful and poetic body of over fifty works. Recent publications include the Ballaciner (2007), which is a personal account of the importance and relevance of the medium of film in the author’s life, and the Ritournelle de la faim (2008), a melancholic novel about the life of Ethel Brown and her tribulations following a chain of events that leave her stripped of her childhood dreams. 
The apotheosis of Le Clézio’s critical acclaim culminated in his being awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy described Le Clezio as being an ‘author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization’. 

Le Clézio: Interrogating French-Mauritian Identity

J. M. G. Le Clézio is a Franco-Mauritian novelist and professor born in Nice. His father was of French ethnicity but was born in Mauritius at a time when the island was a British possession. Le Clézio, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008, is a prolific writer whose French-language works reflect his dual identity.

J.M.G. Le Clézio is the best-known cultural icon of Mauritius. Le Clézio, who holds dual Mauritian and French citizenship, maintains strong personal ties with the island. He once said in an interview: ’I consider myself an exile because my family is entirely Mauritian. For generations we were fed on Mauritian folklore, food, legends and culture… On the other hand, I love the French language which is perhaps my true country’ France remains the dominant cultural influence on Mauritius since it first gained control of it in 1715, despite ceding the island to the British in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. 

Le Clézio began writing at the age of eight during a month-long voyage to Nigeria where he and his family would eventually settle. His ability was immediately recognized at the age of 23 when his first novel Le Proces-Verbal (The Interrogation) earned him the Prix Renaudot. At least thirty six of his books, including short stories, novels and essays, have been published since his debut novel, rendering him one of France’s greatest contemporary literary figures. 

From 1963 to 1977, Le Clézio explored themes of language, insanity and writing. His writing style was characterised by experimentation and innovation in form. However, in the mid-1970s when he started travelling extensively, his method altered remarkably as it became informed by more traditional narrative structures. His style grew increasingly more sober, and the artfulness of his work lay in the simplicity of the language. He used popular themes such as travelling, adolescence, and childhood that attracted a greater audience. 

Le Clézio’s literary career has produced a powerful and poetic body of over fifty works. Recent publications include the Ballaciner (2007), which is a personal account of the importance and relevance of the medium of film in the author’s life, and the Ritournelle de la faim (2008), a melancholic novel about the life of Ethel Brown and her tribulations following a chain of events that leave her stripped of her childhood dreams. 

The apotheosis of Le Clézio’s critical acclaim culminated in his being awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy described Le Clezio as being an ‘author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization’. 

Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, DemocracyBonnie HonigPrinceton University Press
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[A] remarkable book… . Honig’s careful work enriches our understanding of democratic politics. — William Corlett, Law and Politics Book ReviewCreatively engaging with many debates in democratic theory, [Honig] is at her best reinterpreting unconventional texts like biblical parables or the legal history of the Red Scare. — ChoiceEmergency Politics nicely combines theory with insightful analyses of historical and contemporary events… . This is a timely and important book that should be read by anyone interested in the current state of democratic theory and practice. It is a cogent argument for an agonistic conception of democracy, based on insightful theoretical and empirical analyses. — Lasse Thomassen, Journal of Politics

Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy
Bonnie Honig
Princeton University Press

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[A] remarkable book… . Honig’s careful work enriches our understanding of democratic politics. — William Corlett, Law and Politics Book Review

Creatively engaging with many debates in democratic theory, [Honig] is at her best reinterpreting unconventional texts like biblical parables or the legal history of the Red Scare. — Choice

Emergency Politics nicely combines theory with insightful analyses of historical and contemporary events… . This is a timely and important book that should be read by anyone interested in the current state of democratic theory and practice. It is a cogent argument for an agonistic conception of democracy, based on insightful theoretical and empirical analyses. — Lasse Thomassen, Journal of Politics

Barbican Art - Conversations on Progress

Have you ever thought that there could be more to your conversational life? Historian and philosopher Theodore Zeldin hosts an evening of conversations on progress. Participate in stimulating interactions with people you have never met, and be inspired and provoked. Zeldin is author of An Intimate History of Humanity and President of The Oxford Muse. 

Event Details

An Intimate History of HumanityTheodore ZeldinVintage; New edition edition (25 Sep 1995)
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A provocative work that explores the evolution of emotions and personal relationships through diverse cultures and time. “An intellectually dazzling view of our past and future.”—Time magazine

An Intimate History of Humanity
Theodore Zeldin
Vintage; New edition edition (25 Sep 1995)

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A provocative work that explores the evolution of emotions and personal relationships through diverse cultures and time. “An intellectually dazzling view of our past and future.”—Time magazine

"This illuminating book explores the concept of happiness in Soviet culture, as manifested in a number of key topics, ranging from literature, art, architecture, and film to advertising, cookery books, and textiles… The analysis throughout is underpinned and enriched by careful attention to detail and, wherever appropriate, the use of personal testimony. The black-and-white illustrations may evoke in many a nostalgia for a paradoxical era that blighted many lives, but that also testified to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of often overwhelming adversity."

Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style
-from the foreword by Roger Cockrell, University of Exeter, in ‘Modern Language Review’ 

Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet StyleMarina Balina & E A DobrenkoAnthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian StudiesAnthem Press
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Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style
Marina Balina & E A Dobrenko
Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
Anthem Press

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Free Public Lecture by Professor Michael Mainelli
Gresham College, Bernard’s Inn Hall
Thursday, 17 Nov 2011 

This event is a book launch to mark the publication of The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions by Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris.

The Price of Fish addresses issues related to ‘real’ (as opposed to ‘transactional’) commerce: the complex ways in which people, organisations and societies communicate and deal with each other. The book argues that real commerce drives society, politics, the economy and our future, including the ways complex interactions adapt and change over time. The aim of the book is to make sense of the way the world really works beyond economics. 

"In this thought-provoking and enlightening book, Mainelli and Harris highlight a point that economists too often forget: that economics is, at its heart, the study of human behaviour, and that both commerce and its wicked sister, finance, mean nothing unless they are connected to people and society."

-The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions 
-from the foreword by Bill Emmont Former Editor of The Economist