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PSIA Students Debate Characteristics of Armenian National Identity with Officers from Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute

YEREVAN, Armenia – On April 20, 2015, graduate students of the American University of Armenia (AUA) Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program held a debate on the topic of ‘Armenian national identity’ with officers in training at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Institute. The event was part of a series of PSIA seminars that are held every Monday at 3:30 PM. 

Participants discussed the many different factors that have strengthening and weakening effects on the Armenian national identity, among them freedom of information and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Modern communication tools were viewed as both negative and positive aspects influencing the national identity of Armenia. The participants reflected on how the flow of information has resulted in threats to national security, the Armenian Church, and other components of national identity. Conversely, technology has also made it easier to propagate the rich heritage of the Armenian culture, and to reinforce the bridge between Armenia and the Diaspora.

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The continuing outward migration from Armenia was also considered to be a threat to the Armenian identity. Although the participants affirmed that the Karabakh War has played a key role in strengthening the Armenian identity, it also has had adverse effects on the development of Armenian economic and social programs. The debate concluded with an assertion that the Armenian army is one of the most important institutions for preserving and maintaining the Armenian national identity.

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.

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