Baku State University
Civil Law Department
Mushfig Tahirov is a Law professor at Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan. In 2003-2004 Mr. Tahirov was a visiting scholar at The George Washington University. His visit was made possible by the Junior Faculty Development Program. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. His mentor at GWU was Professor Todd Peterson.
During the May-June period of 2004 Mr. Tahirov worked as an intern at The Harvard University Black Sea Security Program. His supervisor there was Sergei Konoplyov.
In 2002 Mr. Tahirov became a candidate for the Ph.D. at Baku State University (BSU). He is currently working on his research called "The State as a Subject of Civil-Legal Relations." At the university he teaches classes in Civil Law, Comparative Civil Law and Roman Private Law. He received his Master's degree in 1993 from Baku State University.
Mr. Tahirov's career and life paths are somewhat unusual. He began working as a construction worker at one of Baku's construction companies. At the time it was a necessity for him. He had to travel everyday before sunrise to the construction sites in the outskirts of Baku. The job did not last long. Four months later he quit the poor paying and demanding job and went to work at the Baku State Theatre.
Mr. Tahirov as a young man was quite impressionable and was fascinated to work with famous Azerbaijani actors and actresses behind stage. He wasn't an actor. He was one of the backstage crew assistants. Nevertheless he became accustomed and grew to like the theatre life. It is no surprise that he soon realized he wanted to act on the stage. Hamlet was one of the characters Mr. Tahirov passionately wanted to play. However, very soon he became disenchanted with the artists' life when it occurred to him how dependent actors were in Azerbaijan. As he himself put it, "Actors are dependent on everything that surrounds them. In a way they are a very pitiful people. They depend on the will of the director, on the will of the theatre director, and a few sponsors. Low salaries make it hard to support families."
In 1988, while still a theatre crew member, he decided to enter Law School in Baku. The acting troop was traveling around the country, and one day he had to leave them to take entry exams in the capital. Several days later he came back and his supervisor asked him, "Did you pass?" Young Mushfig replied, "Yes, I did!" To which the supervisor said, "Good, otherwise I would have fired you." This was the moment Mr. Tahirov's law career began.
After his graduation in 1993 Mr. Tahirov went on to work in the Ministry of Defense as an Officer in the Law Department. A year after he started service, an armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out. Mr. Tahirov was called on duty to serve in the Army. During that conflict he was badly wounded and had to spend two months in the hospital. "That was a lucky wound!" - he laughs now. After that he was commissioned back home. In 1995, still working at the Ministry of Defense, he was invited to teach at the Baku Army and Navy Institute. Mr. Tahirov taught there for nearly two years, and in 1997 he returned to the Ministry of Defense as an Officer in the Law Department. For his service Mr. Tahirov was awarded the status of Army Captain; the official title in Azerbaijan is the Captain of Justice.
In 1998 Mushfig married Gunai and now has two small boys named Javid and Nijat. Mr. Tahirov has plenty of other interests aside from law. For one thing, as a teenager he used to write lyrical poems. He composed them in the Azerbaijani language. Hopefully they will appear here very soon in their original language and in English translation.
Research interests: National Security, Military History. Among his favorite books are Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince and Carl von Clausewitz's On War.