Azerbaijan's much-vaunted government reforms have appeared to gather pace in recent months. Last autumn's government reshuffle saw veteran apparatchiks replaced by young, often Western-educated officials. Notably, the influential presidential chief-of-staff Ramiz Mehdiyev was demoted, officially justified by references to the urge "to speed up the ongoing economic reform" (see, here and here).
President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stressed the importance of making essential changes to both the political system and an economy that remains heavily reliant on oil and gas.
But it's not just a question of removing the old guard to open up the path to reform.
Setting aside the Azerbaijani leadership's genuine willingness to make ambitious changes, the country may face a fundamental problem when it comes to devising, let alone implementing, successful policy.
Its education system is just not good enough.