This paper examines the construction of Azeri national identity from a broad historical and sociological perspective. It first emphasises the explanatory power of modern theories of nationalism as developed by Kedourie, Gellner, Anderson and Hobsbawm. It then applies these modern theories to the case of Azeri nationalism by identifying three historical and sociological causes of its late development: (a) the existence of a divided nation in a divided land; (b) the problems of transition from ‘umma’ (religious) identity to ‘secular’ (laic) identity; (c) the late development of ‘print-capitalism’ and language unity. The paper concludes by arguing that the problems of late nation-building in Azerbaijan is not necessarily different than other Turkic Republics and the Azeri nation will continue its search for a homogenised national identity.
|Translated title of the contribution
|The Difficulties of Constructing Azeri National Identity
|Number of pages
|Published - 2002