Lala Jumayeva

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in comparative perspective

Supervisor: Professor Stefan Wolff

The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the emergence of new independent states and resulted in the escalation of a number of ethnic conflicts in these countries. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, started in 1988 between the two South Caucasus states - Azerbaijan and Armenia, developed into a full-scale war in the early 1990s. The conflict became internationalised after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 when the western world turned its attention to the South Caucasus. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) took the initiative and offered mediation to the conflict parties by forming the so-called Minsk Group for mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process. Since 1992, the Minsk Group has been the only official mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, however, it has proved unable to solve the conflict. In 1994, the conflict parties signed a cease-fire agreement brokered by Russia and since then the conflict has been frozen into a ‘no war, no peace situation’ and it seems that there is no final settlement for it. Even though the conflict has been considered as ‘frozen’ by many researchers in the field, the conflict parties at different periods of time managed to move toward the settlement process, however, due to a certain context aspects the parties failed to reach any successful outcome.

This research will investigate the reasons that have caused the rapprochement of the dispute parties at certain phases of the conflict resolution process as well as the delay of the settlement process. By studying the environment in which the conflict has been embedded it will be argued that the lack of necessary context factors have affected the current state of the dispute.

The research will also study the content of the past proposals for a negotiated settlement that were put on the table at different periods since the beginning of the negotiation process in Nagorno Karabakh dispute. It will be also argued that these case-specific essential context aspects may not only determine the outcome of the conflict’s resolution but also influence the degree of the durability of the agreed peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia.


I obtained my BA (Hons.) degree in International Relations from Baku State University, and my MA degree in International Relations from the University of Nottingham. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to work for international organizations such as International Republican Institute (IRI) and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

My interest in conflict and peace studies was shaped during my study at the University of Nottingham where I was a Research Fellow at the Centre for International Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution. The dissertation for my Master’s degree in IR was on conflict resolution in the South Caucasus.

On completion of my MA course and my return to Azerbaijan, I was invited to Khazar University as a guest lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. This provided me with an opportunity to coordinate the activity of Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation in Baku.

I am a recipient of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) Faculty Development Scholarship and Open Society Foundation's GSGP-Europe Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year.


  • MA in International Relations (The University of Nottingham)
  • BA in International Relations (Baku State University)

Research interests

  • Conflict Management 
  • Ethnic Conflicts
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Mediation

Teaching responsibilities

  • Guest Lecturer, undergraduate module – ‘Political Systems and Institutions’ (Political Science and International Relations Department, Khazar University, 2010)
  • Guest Lecturer, undergraduate module – ‘Introduction to Economics’ (Political Science and International Relations Department, Khazar University, 2011)

Conference papers

Jumayeva, Lala. 2012. The Role of Institutions in Conflict Transformation. Paper presented at the CRS Annual Conference 2012, Peace and Conflict: an international interdisciplinary conference, University of Coventry, UK. September 18-20.

Jumayeva, Lala. 2011. To what extent does impartiality influence the successful mediation outcome? Paper presented at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy’s Sixth PhD Workshop, Baku, Azerbaijan. December 26.


Jumayeva, Lala. 2010. Review of Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal, by Tim Potier. Caucasian Review of International Affairs 4, No. 2 (Spring): 192-195.

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