Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

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The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: What’s Next for Armenia and Azerbaijan?
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This event is online only.

Join us for a meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Series, co-hosted by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

In September 2023, the decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan reached another critical juncture when Azerbaijan launched an offensive to reclaim the Nagorno-Karabakh region, prompting an exodus of Armenian residents from the area. Our panel of experts will discuss these events and their implications for the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as their humanitarian toll. What goals do Azerbaijan and Armenia pursue in the aftermath of the offensive? How does the incorporation of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan change the long-term strategies for both nations and their future relationship? We will also examine the prospects for peacebuilding and the roles that the West, Russia, and other regional forces can play in this process.

This event is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Thomas de Waal, Senior Fellow with Carnegie Europe

Anna Ohanyan, Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stonehill College; Nonresident Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Russia and Eurasia Program

Audrey L. Altstadt, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, Associate Professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School

Moderated by:

Elise Giuliano, Senior Lecturer in Political Science; Director of the MARS-REERS Program; Director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations

Joshua Tucker, Director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University


Thomas de Waal, a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. He is the author of numerous publications about the region, including The Caucasus: An Introduction, The Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide, and the authoritative book on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. From 2010 to 2015, de Waal worked for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. Before that, he worked extensively as a journalist in print and for BBC radio. From 1993 to 1997, he worked in Moscow for the Moscow Times, the Times of London, and the Economist, specializing in Russian politics and the situation in Chechnya. He co-authored the book Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus, for which the authors were awarded the James Cameron Prize for Distinguished Reporting.

Anna Ohanyan is the Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stonehill College. She is also a Nonresident Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Russia and Eurasia Program and a two-time Fulbright Scholar to the South Caucasus. She has authored and (co)-authored five books, which include Russia Abroad: Driving Regional Fracture in Post-Communist Eurasia and Beyond; Networked Regionalism as Conflict Management; and The Neighborhood Effect: The Imperial Roots of Regional Fracture in Eurasia. Her articles appeared in Nationalities Papers, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and International Studies Review, among other journals. Professor Ohanyan served as a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2002-2004) and has consulted for numerous organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the World Bank, the National Intelligence Council Project, the U.S. Department of State, the Carter Center, and USAID.

Audrey L. Altstadt is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920-1940; The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity under Russian Rule; and Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan. Her current book project is “First In: The American Diplomats Who Opened Embassies in New Post-Soviet States, 1992.” She has written dozens of articles on the politics, culture and history of Azerbaijan published in the US, UK, France, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Professor Altstadt holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an honorary doctorate from Khazar University in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has been a recipient of various grants, including from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Harvard Russian Research Center, the US Institute of Peace. She has been a consultant for Freedom House, Oxford Analytica (UK), Radio Liberty, US Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service, the US State Department, the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other agencies.

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar is an associate professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School. His research areas include international security and Middle East politics. He is the author of Religious Statecraft: The Politics of Islam in Iran. Dr. Tabaar has been a fellow or a visiting scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Harvard University’s Center for the Middle East, Cambridge University’s Centre of Islamic Studies, and George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies. His articles have appeared in Security Studies, PS: Political Science & Politics, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Political Science Quarterly. Dr. Tabaar is currently working on two research projects: nuclear statecraft in hybrid regimes, and Marxist armed organizations in Iran. He has a PhD in government from Georgetown University.


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