PSIA Seminar: Armenian Volunteer Fighters in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: From One War to the Next

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YEREVAN, Armenia— On February 22, the Political Science & International Affairs program (PSIA) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a seminar, during which Dr. Taline Papazian discussed the role of volunteer fighters during the ‘Four-Day War’ of April in Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to the speaker, the short but brutal bout of hostilities in April 2016, on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, was yet another more manifestation of the unstable situation – ‘neither war nor peace’ – that has reigned in Karabakh since the ceasefire in 1994. Throughout the seminar, Dr. Papazian questioned the notion of volunteering against the backdrop of a 25 year-old unresolved conflict. In her remarks, the speaker presented a thorough exploration of representations and motivations of volunteers from Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Dr. Papazian’s primary aim was to shed some light on the features of this particular societal response (volunteering) in a situation of political and militarily non-resolved conflict.

Dr. Taline Papazian, a fellow at the Institute of Armenian Studies, University of Southern California, received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris in 2011. Her Ph.D. offered a reassessment of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as state-building in Armenia in the late-Soviet and post-Soviet periods. She has been an adjunct lecturer at the Sciences Po Paris in Political Science, International Relations, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies, and European studies. She has worked on comparative politics and armed conflicts in the South-Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia), as well as in Israel. Her most recent publications include L’Arménie à l’épreuve du feu. Forger l’Etat à travers la guerre (Karthala, 2016.)

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 US-style education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.