Nagorno-Karabakh is engulfed in the flames of war. Half of its population has fled, while the remaining families cower in basements as artillery and drones destroy their houses and cultural institutions. A ceasefire on October 10, agreed after ten hours of negotiations in Moscow between the warring sides of Armenia and Azerbaijan, has not stopped the killing and destruction.
Since 1994, this contested territory has been an unrecognised Armenian statelet, the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh). Officially part of Azerbaijan, the authorities in Baku have had no control over the territory since a destructive war in the early 1990s.
Though the role of other countries, including Turkey and Russia, is central to both escalation and resolution in this conflict, at the heart of the struggle are the people who still live in the contested territory. We conducted face-to-face public opinion surveys in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2011, 2013, and most recently, in February 2020. As the future hangs in the balance, what do the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh think about the political status of their territory, and the world around them?