Nationalist Rhetoric and Public Legitimacy in Ilham Aliyev's Azerbaijan Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Midas, Benjamin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • This thesis explores the question of why nondemocratic leaders use nationalist rhetoric in ways very similar to democratic leaders through a case study of Azerbaijan. I argue that Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev uses nationalist rhetoric in order to build public legitimacy for his regime. Despite not needing to build a base of support for legitimate elections, Aliyev needs to legitimate his regime in the eyes of his citizens. To do so he uses nationalist themes in his speeches that resonate with Azerbaijani population to develop popular support. These themes come from applying theories of nationalism to the context of Azerbaijan. I will show the nationalist themes Aliyev utilizes in his speeches and how the use of those themes changes in response to events in Azerbaijan. Aliyev modulates his nationalist rhetoric in response to events in predictable ways, which shows how he manipulates nationalist themes to generate support.
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  • In Copyright
  • Johnson, Erica
  • Bryant, Chad
  • Morgan, Michael
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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