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PSIA Assistant Professor Dr. Jenny Paturyan Delivers a Talk in Iceland

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland – On November 9, 2018, Dr. Jenny Paturyan, Assistant Professor of the Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program at the American University of Armenia (AUA), delivered a seminar titled “Armenia’s Velvet Revolution: a New Reality or a Deja Vu?” at the University of Iceland. The seminar was hosted by the Institute of International Affairs and moderated by Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, Associate Professor in International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iceland.

Dr. Paturyan briefly presented the events of Spring 2018 widely known as the “Velvet Revolution.” She described the situation as unique in many ways but also as reminiscent of the early 1990s, when Armenia regained its independence from the Soviet Union. During the seminar, Dr. Paturyan, drew parallels between the “Velvet Revolution” and the “Karabakh Movement” highlighting both positive and negative aspects. Among the positive aspects she mentioned the widespread public participation, enthusiasm and the shared dream of creating a better Armenia. Some of the negative aspects she cited are the icon-turned leader, very small and weak opposition, sparse criticism and little tolerance towards criticism. “I’m worried about this,” said Dr. Paturyan. “We know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is essential that governments seek out and receive constructive criticism.”

One of the questions that interested the audience was the question whether or not this was a revolution. Dr. Paturyan suggested waiting for at least half a year to see how the government performs. “If they do not function largely as the previous government, in reference to corruption and monopolistic power, we could call it a revolution.”

The AUA PSIA program equips students with advanced analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and communication skills through the study of political science and international affairs, emphasizing local and global perspectives and practical applications of theory. The program aims to provide world-class research and teaching, through which graduates can best contribute to the development of the nation.