All posts by Audrey L Altstadt

Audrey L Altstadt

About Audrey L Altstadt

Audrey L. Altstadt is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of several dozen articles published in the US, Europe, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, and of three books, most recently The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920-1940 (Routledge, 2016) and Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan (Woodrow Wilson Centre Press and Columbia University Press, 2017.) She has been a consultant with the US Foreign Service Institute, the Department of Justice, the US Institute of Peace, Freedom House. She has been a fellow at Harvard’s Davis Russian Research Centre, the Kennan Institute, and the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2000 by Khazar University in Baku.

The Azerbaijani Laundromat: Why It Matters

azerbaijani money laundering

Money laundering may not be theft, but it is a product of theft. Sources of laundered money may include illegal activities such as trafficking in drugs or humans, or it may be diverted income from natural resources, inflated costs, bribes, fake loans, or other financial manipulation. The money might be stolen from the state, in the form of unpaid taxes or other charges, or from the people of a country – as with stolen revenues from the sale of natural resources from oil to diamonds. Money laundering thus reflects economic and moral damage to individuals and institutions and thereby threatens the stability and security of states, societies, and regions.

Continue reading The Azerbaijani Laundromat: Why It Matters

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing