The article analyzes political rule in an entity affected by violent conflict. Aiming at contributing to the study of the South Caucasus ‘de-facto states’, it is argued that so far insufficient attention has been paid to the influence the persistent violent conflicts have had on political processes inside these entities. To substantiate the argument three elections in the de-facto state of Nagorno-Karabakh are scrutinized. The analysis reveals that contrary to prevalent classifications the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not frozen, but that indeed the persistent violent conflict constitutes a significant factor that helps us account for the specific character of political rule in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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