Alec (Alirza) Rasizade (Azerbaijani: Əli Rasizadə) is a retired Azeri-American professor of history and political science, who specialized in Sovietology, primarily known for the typological model (or "algorithm" in his own words), which describes the impact of a drop in oil revenues on the process of decline in rentier states by stages and cycles of their general socio-economic degradation upon the end of an oil boom. He has also authored more than 200 studies on the history of international relations, Perestroika reforms and breakup of the USSR, oil diplomacy and contemporary politics in the post-Soviet states and autonomies of Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.[1]

Alec (Alirza) Rasizade
Alec Rasizade in 2000.jpg
A.Rasizade in 2000 on a US passport
Born (1947-05-21) 21 May 1947 (age 72) in Nakhchivan Flag of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (1956–1991).svg Azerbaijan
CitizenshipFlag of the United States.svg United States
Alma materMoscow State University
Known forAlgorithm of decline theory
Spouse(s)Narmina Rasizade
ChildrenJamila Rasizade
Scientific career
FieldsContemporary history
InstitutionsАкадемия наук СССР
ThesisTruman Doctrine (1974)
Doctoral advisorН.В.Сивачёв [ru] (USSR), T.Swietochowki (USA)

Education and scholarshipEdit

Alec (Alirza) Rasizade was born in Nakhichevan-on-Araxes (Azerbaijan SSR) in 1947 and graduated from the history department of Baku State University in 1969, then graduated and received a PhD in history from Moscow State University in 1974,[2] and the doctor of history [ru] degree from the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1990.[3] He subsequently worked as a professor of history at Azerbaijan State University from 1975 to 1980, and a senior research fellow at Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences from 1981 to 1990.[4] Upon the demise of the USSR in 1991, A.Rasizade emigrated to the United States as a visiting professor of history at the University of South Florida in Tampa.[5] Furthermore, as a Fulbright professor, he taught Soviet history in the 1990s at Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, SAIS, Monmouth and other universities.[6][7] After obtaining a PhD in history from Columbia University in 1995, he worked at its Harriman Institute.[8][9] In 2000 Rasizade was invited to Washington to work at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, whereupon in 2004 he moved to the newly established Historical Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences,[10] where wrote his most significant works until retiring upon its closure in 2013.[11] Occasionally participates in academic, educational, social, analytical and legislative events, discussions, panels, peer reviews, interviews, broadcasts and hearings as an expert in post-Soviet affairs. He is also an advisory or editorial board member in a number of the world's leading academic journals in his field of regional studies and an emeritus professor of Baku State University.[12]

Rasizade's academic contribution to Sovietology may be divided into 4 general categories: Caspian oil boom, Russia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. His ideas and conclusions for each of these major studies are summarized in the following sentences: 1) Having an insider knowledge of Caspian oil reserves, Rasizade precisely calculated and predicted in his writings the exact end of the second Baku oil boom of 2005-2014, notwithstanding the geopolitical euphoria of the 1990s in Western capitals based on exaggerated estimates by American academia, the Azeri government and Caspian oil consortium.[13] 2) On Russia he wrote that Putin's Bonapartism was a natural result of the 1990s turmoil, when the society as a whole and the nouveau riches in particular, longed for a strongman who could establish order, stability and legitimacy for the illegally acquired wealth even at the expense of civil rights restriction. Furthermore, Rasizade argues that demise of the USSR was only the first stage in the process of Russian Federation's own breakup or, as he put it bluntly, Russia is doomed to disintegrate as did all multinational empires in history.[14] 3) Azerbaijan, in his view, is a classical Middle Eastern petrostate, which will eventually sink into its legitimate place among impoverished Muslim nations with the end of oil boom, as is predetermined by its culture, endemic corruption and lack of industrial endowment. He insists that the oil boom was just an aberration on Azerbaijan's natural path from communism into the Third world.[15] 4) As for Central Asia, his main argument has been the futility of US efforts to impose there the democratic values of European civilization, since democracy in Muslim countries inevitably leads to entrenchment of Islamofascism. Instead of direct Western intervention in the region, he recommends to support the local despots who are able to maintain peace in the region and order in their countries by brutally effective methods of the same Islam.[16]

Algorithm of declineEdit

The most significant work of A.Rasizade, which gained an international acclaim, was the eponymous algorithm of decline theory, described in his 2008 article at the peak of oil prices, when nothing foreshadowed their steep fall and the subsequent onset of global economic crisis with irreversible consequences for oil-exporting nations.[17] Prior to that, the effect of rising oil prices, rendered to strengthen the national currencies and affect the economies of rentier states as a result of oil boom, was described only by the "Dutch disease" theory, first introduced in 1977.[18] However, this theory could not foretell the further course of events after a drop in oil prices on the world market: what would have turned out for oil-dependent countries upon the end of their oil booms? And precisely that happened in 2008, when the price of oil collapsed from $147 per barrel in the middle of the year to $32 by its end, i.e. by 75 percent.[19] Exactly at that moment came out of press the aforementioned article, in which Rasizade explained the chain reaction of an unavoidable sequence of events in the process of impoverishment, degradation and decline in living standards of nations whose welfare depends on the export of natural resources, when one change inevitably entails another. Appearance of the article was so timely that the described algorithm, which was unfolding in real time, had been picked up in scholarly literature as a typological model by the name of its author.[20]

Rasizade's algorithm may be described succinctly as the following chain reaction: a decline in oil production or a drop in the price of oil translates into the synchronous fall in the inflow of petrodollars, which results in the collapse of treasury's revenues and expenditures, which leads to devaluation of the local currency, which ensues (in a free market) a tumble in prices of goods, services and real estate in dollar terms, which squeezes the tax base, which entails the redundancy of government bureaucracy, nationwide layoffs and bankruptcies in the private sector, which further squeezes the tax base, which results in cutting wages and social benefits, which causes mass unemployment and impoverishment of the populace, which triggers a growing dissatisfaction of power elite, which brings about a regime change with redistribution of wealth and property. Then the whole cycle repeats itself on a lower level of revenues and living standards until the final slump of this state into its historically legitimate and economically stable place among the Third world nations. This is the final stage of algorithm, after which an industrial development may (or may not, as the experience of backward countries shows) begin in a given state — such a prediction does not lend itself to political or economic calculations and depends on the mentality and traditions of each particular nation. Therefore, after adjusting to new standards of living, these nations can exist in the condition of entropy indefinitely.

Notable studies and lecturesEdit

Notes and citationsEdit

  1. ^ Cross reference citations of A.Rasizade's works (Google Scholar).
  2. ^ А.Ш.Расизаде. Установление военно-политического союза США и Турции в 1947-1952 годах (автореферат кандидатской диссертации). Издательство МГУ, Москва, 1974, 24 стр.
  3. ^ А.Ш.Расизаде. Турция в системе НАТО (докторская диссертация). Издательство Наука (АН СССР), Москва, 1990, 389 стр.
  4. ^ А.Ш.Расизаде. Школа американистики в Азербайджане (концепция). = Учёные записки АГУ (Баку), 1978, номер 4, стр.70-98.
  5. ^ Alec Rasizade. Perestroika and breakup of the USSR (PhD dissertation). USF dissertation series: University of South Florida Press, Tampa, 1995, 257 pages.
  6. ^ Lectures of prof. Rasizade at the University of California (Berkeley) in 1997.
  7. ^ Lectures of prof. Rasizade at the University of California (Berkeley) in 2002.
  8. ^ Alec Rasizade at Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia).
  9. ^ Alec Rasizade (Harriman Institute of Columbia University). Republic of Georgia (an encyclopedia entry). = The New Book of Knowledge (New York: Grolier Encyclopedia), 1993-2008.
  10. ^ Alec Rasizade at Kennan Institute (Washington).
  11. ^ See abstracts and citations of those studies at Research Gate.
  12. ^ Alec Rasizade on advisory board of a Routledge published journal (London).
  13. ^ A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan and the oil trade: prospects and pitfalls. = The Brown Journal of World Affairs (Brown University Press), Summer-Fall 1997, volume 4, number 2, pages 277—294; A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan, the US and oil prospects on the Caspian Sea. = Journal of Third World Studies (Association of Third World Studies), Spring 1999, volume 16, number 1, pages 29-48; A.Rasizade. Mythology of the munificent Caspian bonanza and its concomitant pipeline geopolitics. = Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Duke University Press), 2000 double issue, volume 20, numbers 1-2, pages 138—152; A.Rasizade. The great game of Caspian energy: ambitions and the reality. = Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans (London: Taylor & Francis), April 2005, volume 7, number 1, pages 1-17.
  14. ^ A.Rasizade. Perestroika and breakup of the USSR (USF dissertation series). University of South Florida Press, Tampa, 1995, 257 pages; A.Rasizade. Putin's mission in the Russian Thermidor. = World Affairs (Delhi), Winter 2007, volume 11, number 4, pages 142-176; A.Rasizade. Putin's mission in the Russian Thermidor. = Communist and Post-Communist Studies (Amsterdam: Elsevier publishers for the University of California), March 2008, volume 41, number 1, pages 1-25; A.Rasizade. Putin's place in Russian history. = International Politics (London: Palgrave-Macmillan), September 2008, volume 45, number 5, pages 531-553; A.Rasizade. A propos of the Georgian war: reflections on Russia's revanchism in its near abroad. = Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies (London: Taylor & Francis), March 2009, volume 11, number 1, pages 9-27.
  15. ^ A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan descending into the Third World after a decade of independence. = Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Duke University Press), 2002 double issue, volume 22, numbers 1-2, pages 127-139; A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan after a decade of independence: less oil, more graft and poverty. = Central Asian Survey (London: Taylor & Francis), December 2002, volume 21, number 4, pages 349-370; A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan in transition to the "new age of democracy." = Communist and Post-Communist Studies (Los Angeles: Pergamon Press for the University of California), September 2003, volume 36, number 3, pages 345-372; A.Rasizade. Azerbaijan after Heydar Aliev. = Nationalities Papers (London: Taylor & Francis), March 2004, volume 32, number 1, pages 137-164; A.Rasizade. L'imbroglio du Karabakh: une perspective azérie (translated into French by B.Eisenbaum). = Les Cahiers de l'Orient (Paris), Hiver 2011, numéro 101, pages 83-95.
  16. ^ A.Rasizade. Dictators, Islamists, big powers and ordinary people: the new 'great game' in Central Asia. = Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft (Bonn: F.Ebert Stiftung), July 2002, number 3, pages 90-106; A.Rasizade. Na Afghanistan het nieuwe Grote Spel in Centraal-Azië (translated into Dutch by G.J.Telkamp). = Internationale Spectator (The Hague: Netherlands Institute of International Relations), October 2002, volume 56, number 10, pages 494-500; A.Rasizade. Entering the old 'great game' in Central Asia. = Orbis (Philadelphia: Pergamon Press for Foreign Policy Research Institute), Winter 2003, volume 47, number 1, pages 41-58; A.Rasizade. The new 'great game' in Central Asia after Afghanistan. = September 11 and World Politics (edited by G.Bacik & B.Aras). Fatih University Press, Istanbul, 2004, chapter 8: pages 127-143.
  17. ^ A.Rasizade. The end of cheap oil. = Contemporary Review (Oxford), Autumn 2008, volume 290, number 1690, pages 273—284.
  18. ^ The Dutch disease. = The Economist (London), 26.XI.1977, pages 82-83.
  19. ^ World oil market chronology from 2003. = Wikipedia article.
  20. ^ See, for example: K.M.Morrison. Oil, nontax revenue and the redistributional foundations of regime stability. = International Organization (Cambridge University Press), January 2009, volume 63, number 1, pages 107-138; O.J.Blanchard & J.Galí. The macroeconomic effects of oil price shocks. = International Dimensions of Monetary Policy (University of Chicago Press), Summer 2009, pages 182-203; J.D.Hamilton. Causes and consequences of the oil shock of 2007-2008. = University of California at San Diego, 2009, 69 pages; R.Torvik. Why do some resource-abundant countries succeed while others do not? = Oxford Review of Economic Policy, July 2009, volume 25, issue 2, pages 241–256.


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