Third World Quarterly
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Publication on Armenia’s Foreign Service and Diplomacy

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The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan, associate professor and chair of AUA’s Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program, together with Anna Drnoian (MPSIA ’14) has recently published an article in the Third World Quarterly, a leading journal of scholarship and policy in the field of international studies. 

The research, “Problems of Foreign Service and Diplomacy in the Post-Soviet Context: The Case of Armenia, examines the institutional features of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Armenia before the recent constitutional amendments. It particularly looks at MFA’s effectiveness in policy planning and formulation, its relation to the presidential administration, recruitment strategies, and promotion prospects of the diplomatic staff. The study argues that for the past decade the impact of the MFA on foreign policy decisions has been limited, whereas the evaluation of recruitment and career promotion policies reveals several significant systemic deficiencies. Research in this field on post-Soviet states has mainly focused on diverse foreign policy and geopolitical problems and attention to institutional considerations are sparse. The present research addresses that gap. 

The research findings point to a set of structural and procedural limitations in conducting effective foreign policy in ‘a century of globalized diplomacy’. Armenia needs to adopt paradigmatic changes in the rapidly changing global diplomatic environment. The research shows that transitioning to democratic statehood and the realization of institutional change require innovative forms of governance in which newly adopted organizational and institutional models would prevail. Moreover, the continuous strengthening of accountability and transparency of public institutions would also visibly decrease the inertia and political conformity in the foreign service boosting institutional modernization and innovation.

The Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program of the American University of Armenia (AUA) 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 provides world-class teaching and research, producing graduates who can best contribute to the development of the nation.