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PSIA Seminar: Modernization of Cities in the Post-Soviet Space

YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 4, the Political Sciences and International Affairs Department (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a seminar about the modernization of cities in the post-soviet space. The seminar was led by AUA Armenian History Instructor Narek Mkrtchyan.

The aim of this seminar was to provide a comprehensive explanation for the reasons behind governments’ decisions to relocate and build new capital cities. The process of capital building is not a mere phenomenon of urbanization; rather it is a process of “text inventing” for nation-building projects. To emphasize identical implications behind city constructions, the seminar addressed the urbanization practices of Soviet Yerevan and Post-Soviet Astana.

The seminar also provided a brief historical analysis of relocation of capitals from Moscow to St. Petersburg, and from Istanbul to Ankara. Capital reconstruction in Soviet Armenia in the 1920s can be characterized as a process that met the requirements and was somewhat typical of “torn countries” or countries aiming to create a new identity. The central conceptual premise of the presentation was to identify theoretical concepts of a “torn country” and the redefinition of civilizational 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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