World Politics

DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES OF HUMAN POTENTIAL (AS THE
EXAMPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN)

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World Politics
Draft
Research Article
international law, international relations, politics, political economy of
development, law, economic, international political economy

Comparative Politics, International Relations

Abstract: Outraging economical instability nowadays, observed frequently
in some countries since the last decade of the XX century and social,
political and ecological instability related to this, act as the cause of a
number of problems, including military conflicts. The emergence of such
new challenges is related to noncompliance with the sustainable
development principles in the process of planning and management of
development. The emerging situation is estimated by the UNO in most
cases as “development without future” or “development followed by
inequality” and is characterized as a factor affecting adversely to
progressive processes. The carried out analysis make it clear that nonoptimum consumption peculiar to the times and characterizing the modern
society makes the basis of the negative tendencies together with the other
factors that are observed and must be prevented in development
processes. As stated by the international organizations, the consumption
increased at least by 20 % in the first decade of the XXI century versus the
50’s of the XX century. This is both the result of the population increase
and age structure change and increase per capita. Environmental impacts
grow in number with constant increase in the number of population and per
capita consumption and it is manifest in the form of depletion of nonrenewable natural resources, environmental contamination, and reduction
in biodiversity. The differences observed between various countries and
population groups in many countries in terms of consumption levels add
further tensions between humans and environment. Here, environment is
assumed in the broadest sense and its components are entirely covered by
natural, economic, social, and political settings. Serious risks emerge for
development of society in the given context. These risks relate to the
factors enumerated above seriously hampering developmental prospects of
future generation and is characterized as "development without future" and
"development marked by inequality" by international classifications. Role of
sustainable development gains momentum in prevention of the above

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risks.

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World Politics

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Name, surname, father name
Title
Email
Phone
Work Adress

Habibova Ziyafat, Ziya
PhD
hziyafat@mail.ru
+99450 671 25 45
Baku, Lermontov str/ 74

Home Adress
Institution

Bakı, 8 microdis., Ajamistr./ home 18 a
Academy of Public Administration under the
President of Azerbaijan Republic
Analytical Advisor of the rector
Political Sciences

Department
Task

DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES OF HUMAN POTENTIAL (AS THE EXAMPLE OF THE
REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN)
HABIBOVA ZIYAFAT, ZIYA
Key words: human potential, resources of the development, human development index, continuous
development
Abstract: Outraging economical instability nowadays, observed frequently in some countries since
the last decade of the XX century and social, political and ecological instability related to this, act as
the cause of a number of problems, including military conflicts. The emergence of such new
challenges is related to noncompliance with the sustainable development principles in the process of
planning and management of development. The emerging situation is estimated by the UNO in most
cases as “development without future” or “development followed by inequality” and is characterized
as a factor affecting adversely to progressive processes. The carried out analysis make it clear that
non-optimum consumption peculiar to the times and characterizing the modern society makes the
basis of the negative tendencies together with the other factors that are observed and must be
prevented in development processes. As stated by the international organizations, the consumption
increased at least by 20 % in the first decade of the XXI century versus the 50’s of the XX century.
This is both the result of the population increase and age structure change and increase per capita.
Environmental impacts grow in number with constant increase in the number of population and per
capita consumption and it is manifest in the form of depletion of non-renewable natural resources,
environmental contamination, and reduction in biodiversity. The differences observed between
various countries and population groups in many countries in terms of consumption levels add further
tensions between humans and environment. Here, environment is assumed in the broadest sense and
its components are entirely covered by natural, economic, social, and political settings. Serious risks
emerge for development of society in the given context. These risks relate to the factors enumerated
above seriously hampering developmental prospects of future generation and is characterized as
"development without future" and "development marked by inequality" by international
classifications. Role of sustainable development gains momentum in prevention of the above risks.
ACTUALITY
We might say that the human civilization has stepped on a new phase of its development
history that forces humans and society in general, to ponder on deep-rooted problems of their
existence in a completely new prism. Giving way to concepts of constant development and postindustrial revolution and becoming their hallmark, the world demonstrates so profound and deep
changes that the processes going on in a society reminds us more of virtual reality. The only constant
factor remaining is that these changes are directed to building a new social and historic lifestyle and
discovery of the subsequent development level of the world. Sustainability of this development
where humans stand at the core of it as central figures is of priority issues. It must be considered here
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that humans, apart from being central figures in this development process, are creatures forming an
integral part of wild life needing protection to the same degree as other creations. (8).
As a matter-of-fact, the concept of sustainable development encompasses not only economic
aspect of public life but also other areas that may facilitate development of human civilization and in
the right direction. Concept of sustainable development put forward at the end of 20th century is the
course of development fully meeting demands of contemporary generation, while at the same time not
precluding development prospects of future generations. It is necessary to ascertain certain criteria in
order to assess the current situation and the kind of future targeted by society, as long as the problem
itself is extremely complex and the suggestions made are multifarious and controversial. In many
cases, criteria not related to sustainable development and human development is disregarded.
DISCUSSION
Investigation of social, economic, and ecological parameter in a single complex has become a
tendency recently. Naturally, sustainable development indices and criteria shall reflect this vital
integral part of the civilization. On the other hand, development may be regarded as an alternation of
settings with varying degrees of individual sustainability that are prone to changes. Sustainable
development criteria may shape up and progress namely on these planes.
Ecological problems that mobilize the entire world and have given impetus to emergence of
sustainable development concept are, in some sense, fruits of backwardness of economic reasoning.
So till 70s of 20th Century all well-known figures of economic philosophy have disregarded the
notion of ecological thriftiness in economic development. In its very essence, concept of sustainable
development is a new qualitative approach to the above mentioned concerns that have largely
neglected for a long period and perceived as insignificant. Put it in other words, it is a development
model basing on diversity, functions and structures of natural systems of the Earth upon which
natural species are dependent. It is necessary to protect biodiversity and constant protection of natural
resources.
Constant development is an extremely multifarious and controversial problem that has been
subject to numerous philosophical, political, ecological, sociological, economic investigations over
the last half century when it gained theoretical status. Principal polyphonism of meaning,
concentration of all the aspects of real threats under a single prism, and also its fundamentally historic
significance has turned it into the key theoretical concern of our recent history. Concepts of
sustainable development meet objective requirements of our contemporary life that may have decisive
influence upon the future of humanity and also Azerbaijan playing vital part in ascertaining state
priorities, socio-economic development strategy.
The new strategy of developing civilization has already defined positions of the world public.
This position presupposes joining efforts around ensuring survivability of civilization, sustainable
development and protection of biodiversity; because otherwise, without addressing environmental
concerns, all the achievements of our civilization will be under threat. Obviously, there is a necessity
to profoundly change developmental model of our civilization and even lifestyle of every person.
It is not possible to outline contours of sustainable development strategy basing on traditional
universal notions, values, and thinking patterns. It requires shaping up new scientific approaches and
outlook meeting modern realities. In general, terms, sustainable development strategy is to be directed
to achieve harmony between human beings in one part and society and nature in the other. This helps
to define development as socio- natural development strategy.
Transition into sustainable development is a very complex matter anticipating further survival
of the human race, while protecting biodiversity, i.e., biosphere and civilization.
Sustainable development concept is unambiguously social-oriented. It is directed to secure
socio-cultural stability. Alongside with the common consumption increase, the inequality, observed in
the consumption, which has reached the extreme level, makes the existing problem more obvious. For
this reason the concept of development without increase also occupies the agenda (2).
It is clear that both long-term international and national development strategies may rely on the
involvement of the traditional, historically proven ethnic and local knowledge, alongside with most
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modern technologies. This direction is one of the priorities of UNESCO at present and serves for the
use of the local recoverable natural resources in the name of sustainable development. However, as
already shown, the efficiency of this direction can be higher only then when the application of
knowledge can make integrity with the most modern technologies. Such integrity is considered the
optimum solution of the forthcoming problems of sustainable development (8). Making success in both
directions implies the increase of competitiveness in high technological spheres, revolutionary changes
in the sphere of human capital quality increase and transfer of innovative factors to the main source of
economic development. It is important to benefit from innovative development means of scientific and
educational institutions of state, private sector, civil society and modern planning and management
principles, organization of the mutual actions to solve these problems.
At the same time, the acceptance of sustainable development idea as a priority by the world
community and its confirmation in the agenda of the UNO and in the other documentation assign new
tasks to the governments for the economic development, social development and ecological protection,
which comprise the basis of sustainable development. The criteria of richness are not the material
resources in the new postindustrial (noosfer) society, but they are the human communities living in
harmony with the environment in the first place. Now the ecology is accepted as a unique system
formed of natural, economic, social, cultural, legal components and that of political components
managing them. Transition to the sustainable development is an evolutionary process and one of the
main mechanisms for its realization is the formation and development of the human potential for
planning and managing the future processes. At present the more topical issue of discussion is the
formation of a new society on the basis of ecological principles and the urgency of the civilization to
transit to a new stage. Though the concept of the ecological civilization (ecocivil) developed in the
80’s of the last century, the principles comprising its basis and the urgent actions in this direction are
already in the process of application in a certain number of countries (2). Simultaneously the formation
of knowledge and skills in this direction is included in the curriculum of secondary and higher schools.
As already, known, sustainable human development was included in the secondary school curriculum
in Azerbaijan in 2001 for the first time in the world. However, on a global scale this process started 4
years later – in 2005 based on special document of the UNO and YUNESKO (5). The Headquarters of
the UNO disseminated the information about the first steps and initiatives of Azerbaijan in this
direction in global networks.
While dealing with the human development, first, one must pay attention to all specific
peculiarities of the human potential. As is obvious from the first schematics given in figure 1, the
human potential possesses a certain number of system peculiarities. As a rule, “external factors”,
characteristics of the prevailing environment acquires serious importance. Presence of hidden
peculiarities is also typical for human potential. Simultaneously inborn skills of each individual,
individual talent influencing his individual development, special skills may also refer to hidden
potential. Simultaneously peculiarities typical for human potential establish the human development
opportunities for short-range perspectives and for distant future. This is also related to the strategic
peculiarity of human potential.

Specification of pecularity of human
potential

Systemacy

External
dependence

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Nontransperancy

Presence of
strategy

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Chart 1. Factors influencing human potential formation
Today the human potential development issue must be accepted as a state assignment directed
to modernization of the social sectors – education, health, culture, science. While stating the state
assignment, one implies the mutual work of both governmental and non-governmental organizations
representing the civil society and that of the private business in the frame of the national programs. In
the stage of extreme globalization and expansion of human opportunities, human potential means the
selection of complicated, record targets, readiness for the mobility forms, thinking of the geocultural
and geopolitical coordinates, creative approach to one’s perspectives. The main task of the social
policy for human development is formation of modern human infrastructure in the frame of innovative
projects and that of the national, regional development strategies. In the meantime, the main task of
private sector is to establish its activity with social responsibility and to prefer this status to profit.
This, in its turn, brings into agenda the issue of formation of human potential, able to manage private
sector with new innovative principles.
While sorting out the above-mentioned issues, it must be taken into account by all means that the
formation of human potential depends on a certain number of parameters. Among these parameters,
the importance of culture and intercultural communications, including information, multi-aspect
awareness should be stressed.

Human potential
Security

Economic
independence

Upbringing

Science

Knowledge

Information
Health

Education

İnstitutional service

Ownership skills

Culture and art

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Chart 2. The importance of multi-aspect awareness in formation of human potential
Therefore, transition into sustainable development, development of human being, changes in
relationships between society and nature all have to be realized on a global scale, in a setting where
nations and states are jointly involved. To do this, human mode of thinking has to change structurally
in the first place. Here, change of the essence of culture acts as a primary condition.
Many people of thought consider the culture as key criteria in developing human beings and
civilizations and a humanistic direction. People from different culture have traditionally viewed "to be
or not to be" issues of human civilization in terms of goals, desires, and possibilities. Experience
shaping up based on analysis of various cultural and social traditions and synthesis of ethnic
background in order to decipher sustainable development codes of human race.
Culture is considered as a system of genetically transferred faith, formal rules and informal
norms of the society. According to prominent economist Douglass North the roots of any development
have to be found in interrelationships between human faith systems and norms and rules. Human being
becomes conscious of the environment and tries to control it this way and strives to eliminate
uncertainty relating to his existence in the world. Thus existential intentionality of human beings, their
imaginations and believes are key to understanding changes, development and human evolution
processes.
It may be concluded from above points that culture may and must become a key factor of
sustainable development and development of human potential. One factor causes no doubt that
development by and in itself is not possible without considering culture factor and therefore politics
must stand at the base of state's development strategy in any region, while globally, different cultures
have to be integrated. Given that culture, society and the development strategy of the world in general
have deterministic basis and outlines developmental boundaries, ethnic groups, intercultural
integration, and dialogue. As one of the effective means of intercultural communication dialogue is a
type of communication directed to understanding between nations, civilizations, cultures and discovery
of constant forms and values of human life and activity. Solution of any issue arising out of
sustainable development goals may be possible by virtue of universality of cultural life and "exchange
of ideas" globally. Currently, international economic and cultural ties increasingly expand. The thesis
of full isolation of rich nations has lost its significance; exchange of values has intensified and so the
world is on the eve of formation of a new civilization. Priority and strategic goal in transformation to
this innovative stage of human race is to provide a single socio-cultural space due to integration of
diverse cultures and world outlooks. Achievement of this goal depends largely on discovery of
universal values, integration of general approaches by bearers of different religions and cultures, joint
activity aiming to address a number of complex humanitarian, social, cultural-ethical and economic
problems. Sustainable development also requires that people of the world and nations in the broadest
sense of this word join their efforts voluntarily and consciously and aim at one target. And this may
become reality if intercultural ties are analyzed, joining stable tools are developed to settle problems
and in a word, successful implementation of multicultural strategy of human development.
In the broadest sense of the term, culture has to be understood as a means establishing harmony
with environment. By saying environment it is meant constant utilization of natural environment and
natural resources. Historically, cultures shape up in a way that they take into account local features
ensuring accumulation of local knowledge and their transfer to future generations. This aspect of
culture is vital integral part of intercultural dialogue. It builds mutual confidence between different
cultural on one side ensuring exchange of ideas on the other, it being one of the crucial condition
ensuring constant development. So, exchange of ethnic and local knowledge belonging to different
culture is becoming a crucial element in intercultural ties.
Located in the "junction point" of two civilizations, Europe and Asia for over centuries both
geographically and culturally, Azerbaijan also pursues a political course basing on realization of these
truths. Our country's accomplishments in this area as a country playing a lead role in intercultural
dialogue calls even greater attention now.
The new paradigm of human development makes the new transition from “living standards” to
“living quality” necessary. In reality, the state and the society can increase the quality of human
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potential which directly depends on socioeconomic development of the countries in modern situation
only by increasing the living quality and by changing the requirements and conditions related to
personal human quality. As known from the schematics above, the concept of human potential is the
product of postindustrial stage, that of the stage where information society, based on the information
and innovative technologies is in the development peak. Here the main resource of development is
human capital and the leading and motivating factor of production is community.
It is noteworthy that sustainable development is one of the key priorities of Azerbaijan
republic and development in this direction may only be achieved via development of human potential.
Valuing formation of human potential as part of democratic values, Azerbaijan government pursues
strategic course directed to innovative modernization of education, health and sport. As President Mr.
Ilham Aliyev said, turning "black gold" into human capital isn't just a motto. It is reality: "Our goal is
to build ties between general level of science and national development and ensure harmony between
science, higher education and economy. By virtue of these works, the US 2010 human development
report called Azerbaijan the most rapidly developing country for its human potential in the years
2005-2010. (Interview by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to special issue of journal titled “The
Business Year”). As you may see the political course outlined by the President of Azerbaijan
Republic and assessed as one of the key components of Azerbaijan's success formula has no
alternative. Success of all the projects and programs anticipated for this goal is related to realization
of creative national concept made up of creative persons.
So, the problem of human potential has gained in urgency as the task of modernizing the
country came to the foreground. It is not a secret to anybody that President of Azerbaijan is following
the strategic political course oriented to the establishment of social state based on knowledge and
innovations. Human potential problem became very topical after the modernization of the country
acquired priority. President Ilham Aliyev, who identified the transition from “oil gold to human gold”
as a priority target in a due time, demonstrated his will in his practical activities to reach this goal. In
his speech at the conclusion of Davos World Economic Forum held in Baku in April, 2013, the head of
the state once again stressed the importance of human potential: “we are aware that natural resources
are not everlasting and they will end by time. For this reason the conversion of black gold to human
gold is not simply a slogan. This is reality. We do not only prepare for the stage after oil and gas era, though it will take place at least after 100 years,- at the same time we are using the oil and gas
revenues for the development of non-energy sector, for human capital and for education. The young
generation profits from this. Today the youth who got good education in Azerbaijan and abroad, are
making serious business in our country and contribute to the sustainable development of Azerbaijan
(1). It is irrefutable reality that economic progress only paves the way for human development in that
case when it does not only ensure the increase of income per capita, but also allows to maintain the
state expenses for the social sphere in the satisfactory level and is followed by the fair distribution of
resources in economy. Over the last years the overall quality of human potential of Azerbaijani
population has considerably changed. This is the result of the proper and systematic approach of the
President of Azerbaijan to development resources of human potential. The resource approach,
described in the schematics below, brought Azerbaijan up to the leading status in the sphere of
management of human potential development according to the reports and ratings of the influential
international organizations. It must be mentioned that the factors and priorities detailed in the
schematics, consider not only the economic traits of existence of people, but also psychological and
especially cultural, spiritual, behavioral traits. This is the obvious representation of strategical line
realized in the country to be of social orientation. Simultaneously the mentioned point comprises the
bottom line of “Azerbaijan 2020: Vision to the future” prepared according to the decree of Mr. Ilham
Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, dating November 29, 2011.

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Human potential development resources

Demographic
resources

Social resources

Reduction of child
death

Struggle against AIDS,
virus infections,
tuberclosis, malaria and
other deseases, their
monitoring

Economic resourses

Quality of
education and
increase of
accessibility

Reduction of
poverty

Provision of
ecological
sustainability

Provition of gender
equality and
improvement of
status of women

Cultural-valuable
orientations

Participation in
economic
cooperation

Population
concentration
Civil society,
educational activity
of NGO’s

Struggle against
harmful habits

Elimination of
inequality and
unemployment

Social household,
charity, etc.

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Chart 3. Human potential development resources
Progress and development in the direction of improving the indicators for human potential
development resources is positively welcomed not only inside the country, but also in the world and is
accepted as the representation of economic strength and socio-political image of Azerbaijan. For
instance, over the last years, real results were achieved in demographic recourses, in reduction of
mother and child death, in struggle against AIDS and other dangerous diseases, in elimination of
harmful habits by way of educating. Baby death rate reduced at about three times from 1993 up today.
If 29 out of every thousand live-born children died before reaching one year in 1002-93, this figure
comprised 11 in 2011. Statistical analysis shows that real and expected life span is also increasing in
the last years after gaining independence. The traditional longevity existing in Azerbaijan and carriedout economic and socio-political reforms, socialized state policy paves the way for increase of average
life span. Real actions are taken in the struggle against AIDS and these types of diseases, a certain
number of projects are implemented. We must note that the activities of state authorities, alongside
with non-governmental organizations, especially that of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation are very
efficient and considerable. First of all the activities for improving education quality and for further
expansion of opportunities of people to get education, start of complex actions which will be realized
in the frame of National Strategy for development of Azerbaijani education, prepared according to the
decree of the President of Azerbaijan dating July 11, 2001 draws special attention and it is intended for
maximum provision of expectations directed to human development. Over the last ten years the actions
related to poverty that’s one of the economic resources of human development brought to nice results.
Over ten years poverty reduced about 10 times – it reduced from 49 per cent down to 5,5 per cent. Of
course, this reports about successful economic reforms. In the meantime, it is almost possible to say
that great amount of serious unemployment problem was solved by opening 1 million and two hundred
new jobs (900 out of them are permanent jobs) in Azerbaijan. At present, the unemployment level is
around 5 per cent (6). Provision of gender equality, payment of special importance to cultural valuable orientations brought Azerbaijan to be evaluated as a social state and it prompts that social
policy will stay as priority in the following years, too (4).
CONCLUSION
It goes without saying that there is a lot to be done in this direction and main targets have
already been identified. In this case, the problem of increase of potential of creative groups that will be
the actors of modernization of the country, will become topical. Azerbaijan will have presented
successful and innovative human development model by overall realization of not only technical and
economic, but also social and socio-cultural modernization opportunities by means of motivating
people represented in other clusters of population to update their human capitals, by motivating
tendencies to get life-long education. The development of modern classifications (knowledge, ability,
skill, habits) in the education system is not the only way to success in private sector, but also
establishment of human potential capitalization infrastructure can be considered for this in state sector.
In short, transformation of natural and social resources into material values and well-being plus job,
innovations and intellectual achievements – this is the key to real human richness and development.
References:
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Human Development Report, UNDP, New York, 2012;
Report of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development//Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20–22
June 2012;
Wilkinson R. “The impact of inequality: how to make sick societies”Healthier. New York, NY: The
New Press. January 2005;
jscharfs@princeton.edu

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World Politics

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