PSIA Seminar: Armenia’s “Stateness Issue” and Its Post-War Democratization

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 25, the Political Science and International Affairs program (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a seminar about Armenia’s current political state and its post-war democratization. The talk addressed the country’s resistance to change on the political stage and its tendency to attain some elements of authoritarian consolidation.

The lecturer, Sos Avetisyan, spoke about the reasons for Armenia’s current political state. He cited various explanations, including the ability of the regime to use its coercive apparatus to suppress the opposition, the inability of external dimensions to encourage democratization, and the patrimonial nature of the system. According to Mr. Avetisyan, despite significant opposition challenges, incumbent regimes have endured. He pointed out that there are also those who would argue that the government has instrumentalized the protracted conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh to remain in power. However, to date, there has not been a thorough inquiry into the complex relationship between the long-term conflict and the regime’s endurance.

Sos Avetisyan holds MPhil degree in Russian and East European Studies from St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. He was awarded a Luys scholarship, as well as Harry Shuckman Scholarship for Eurasian Studies from St. Antony’s College 2015-2016 and Armenian Studies Scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. In 2013, he also graduated of the Regional Master Program in Human Rights and Democratization from the Yerevan State University. His research interests include Post-Communist Transitions, Comparative Democratization, Ethnic Conflicts, and Diaspora Politics.

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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