Ayaz Rzayev is a PhD student at the School of International Studies, University of Trento. His research focuses on international security and conflict generally, and the politics of military alliances and defense pacts specifically. He received his M.A. in Interdisciplinary Research and Studies on Eastern Europe from the University of Bologna and his B.A. in International Relations from Baku State University. He has previously worked in a number of research roles in various think tanks and institutions, specializing on the issues of regional security in the South Caucasus. He has published extensively on conflict resolution and regional cooperation in the South Caucasus. He has also held teaching positions at Baku State University and Khazar University in Azerbaijan.