Azerbaijan's Soviet and post-Soviet political history has been tumultuous and varied, particularly with regard to the struggle for independence, democracy and sovereignty. Suha Bolukbasi here illustrates how post-Stalin resilience, the tolerance shown toward subtle nationalist expression and Gorbachev's relaxation of central control from Moscow were all-in-part responsible for the initial emergence of a more liberal atmosphere in Azerbaijan. As a result, issues such as Moscow's responsibility for environmental degradation, the depletion of Azerbaijan's oil, and unfavourable terms of trade have all begun to be freely discussed. However, the Azerbaijan-Armenia dispute over Karabagh has had a dramatic impact on the political discourse. The dispute has become not only an international conflict, but one which involves the lives of more than one million refugees. This book shows how Azerbaijan's recent political history - both domestic and international - has influenced the development of the country and the history of the surrounding region.