PSIA Seminar: The Next Step in the Development of Armenian Civil Society

YEREVAN, Armenia— On April 12, the Political Science and International Affairs program (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a seminar led by Ms. Valentina Gevorgyan, which presented the results of research on Armenian civil society. The analyzed units were formal civil society organisations, meaning those legal entities registered in Armenia and informal activists, civic activist campaigns and initiatives.

The research stemmed from the premise that usually, formal and informal civil society actors establish and organize around shared ideas and commitment. The research considered the interaction, differences, and mutual perceptions of the two actors that aim to redefine Armenian civil society. Based on the primary qualitative data of expert interviews, analysis, and drawing on existing studies, the research identified possibilities and issues for formal and informal actors of Armenian civil society to consolidate their potential.

Valentina Gevorgyan is a political scientist with experience in contemporary social and political fields concerning Armenia. Her academic interests are in the fields of state relations and democratisation of Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Beginning in 2012,Ms. Gevorgyan has served as senior researcher of a four-year project on Armenian civil society supported by the Academic Swiss Caucasus Net. She has also served as a national expert for a study on public administration reform in EaP countries supported by the EU Commission. Valentina has published articles on civil society, volunteering and security. She has presented at a number of academic conferences in the region of the South Caucasus and Europe. Ms. Gevorgyan is a Fellow with the Civil Society Dialogue for Progress (EU Commission); Open Society Foundations Armenia, and a member of the UK Voluntary Sector Studies Network. Currently, she is a Research Associate at the AUA Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.