Zulfiyya Abdurahimova


Ph.D. Candidate, Institute for German and International Party Law and Party Research, Heinrich-Heine-University of Duesseldorf


Zulfiyya Abdurahimova, originally from the village Orta Zeyzid on the Greater Caucasus mountain range of northwestern Azerbaijan, studied European Studies (receiving her B.A. and M.A.) in the capital city Baku. Strong aspirations of self-determination as a woman in a traditional, patriarchal and Muslim society fostered her motivation for a western education and experience abroad.

Directly subsequent to her Baku studies, she was awarded the International-Parlaments-Scholarship by the German Parliament Bundestag, becoming one of the first five young graduates from Azerbaijan ever to work for an MP at the Bundestag. Inspired by the democratic system in Germany, she started her M.A. degree in Political Science with a focus on Democracy and Civil Society, being granted a reputable scholarship by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation. During and after her M.A. degree she completed two internships in the Administration, Social Democratic Faction and at the office of a Green Party MP at the Parliament of the State North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany. Learning about democracy in theory and in practice indepth moved her to study, within the framework of a dissertation, the prospect of democratization in her home country. For her Ph.D. studies at the Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf she was awarded the Johannes-Rau Scholarship from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research NRW in Germany.

At the Davis Center, she will complete her dissertation. The first term of her stay at Harvard is supported by the Johannes-Rau Scholarship from Germany. For the second term she is awarded with the highly prestigious Carnegie Fellowship from USA. Her dissertation is entitled "A Comparative Analysis of the Democracy Promotion Policies of the USA and EU in Azerbaijan," and is supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Poguntke.

Democracy Theories; Transition; Non-Democratic Regimes; Democracy Promotion Policy; Civil society
Current Project
A Comparative Analysis of the Democracy Promotion Policies of the USA and EU in Azerbaijan
Foreign Language


, Political Science
, University of Muenster