There are three points to compare

(1) Staunch rivalries (and territorial disputes) in the region

(2) Region marred by conflict

(3) Alliance ties to outside powers
But the tensions between the two states did not disappear and suddenly reappear between 1994 (the first war b/w them) and now. The simmering possibility of military conflict is what makes them "rivals"
Turning to the Balkans, a rivalry existed between Serbia and Austria-Hungary well before 1914. In Thompson's rivalry data, he codes them as rivals since 1903
The two countries had disputes over a host of issues, from trade to, most notably, the status of Bosnia
They also had a number of military disputes between one another during that time (data from the Militarized Interstate Dispute data, )
Of course, we know that this rivalry came to a head in the summer of 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
One could broaden out a bit and see that the Caucasus are reflective of current instability within the "former Soviet Union"
The persistence of these conflicts, and the fact that there have been conflicts and crises unfolding in the post-Soviet space since the end of the Cold War, raises questions about the "peacefulness" of the Cold War's end
Turning to the Balkans, keep in mind that the July crisis of 1914 followed a series of conflicts in the region.

Most notably, there were two wars in the region, in 1912...
... and in 1913
The conflict potential of the region was so great that Bismarck remarked (or is claimed to have remarked) “One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans."
Third, the countries in the region, notably the staunch rivals, have allies outside/bordering the region.
This is where things become REALLY complicated, as we're talking about a variety of actors with ties (some formal) in the region: Turkey, Iran, Russia, even potentially @NATO.

To simplify things, let's focus on Russia.
Russia, at least so far, has made clear that its alliance obligations do not require it to intervene...
...and this applies more broadly to the post-Soviet space
This is in contrast to 1914, when Russia seemed very keen to support its ally, Serbia.
Which speaks to a broader theory of mine
In sum, the prospect of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict spiraling into a larger regional or major power war seems this time.

But the same might have been said of the Balkans in 1911, 1912, or 1913 😬

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