Citizenship, National Identity, and Nation-Building in Azerbaijan: Between the Legacy of the Past and the Spirit of Independence


NATIONALITIES PAPERS-THE JOURNAL OF NATIONALISM AND ETHNICITY, vol.50, no.4, pp.813-830, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/nps.2020.81
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, American Bibliography of Slavic & Eastern European Studies (ABSEES), Educational research abstracts (ERA), Geobase, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.813-830
  • Keywords: Azerbaijan, nationalism, national identity, citizenship, POLITICS, CONSTRUCTION, CONFLICT, GAMES, BAKU
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this article is to shed light on the process of nation-building and the formation of national identity in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The peculiarity of Azerbaijani nation-building is that the debates on how to build a nation and define national identity were nourished by two discourses: Azerbaijanism (Azerbaycanciliq) and Turkism (Turkuluc). The article focuses firstly on the discourses on national identity and nation-building in the pre-independence period while elaborating on the roots and premises of the nationalist independence movement. Secondly, it highlights the discourses of nation-building in the post-independence period while discussing the meanings attributed to national identity and nationhood. It shows how these two discourses shaped the existing identity formation in Azerbaijan with a particular emphasis on citizenship identity, marked by multiculturalism, hospitality, tolerance, and patriotism. Yet one can still categorize the country as having an incomplete nation-building process, due the violation of territorial integrity as a result of the Karabakh conflict.