The lack of democratisation in Armenia and Azerbaijan is by many observers argued to constitute a key obstacle to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, but other observers contend that the problem is that the respective leaderships are not sufficiently secure to agree to a difficult compromise. This article, however, finds that the relationship between regime types and conflicts is a lot more complex than is often argued in the literature, and that the Karabakh peace process has been undermined by the worst of two worlds: intense elite competition, but without the restraint and widened participation that democratisation could provide.

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