Dr. Eric Davtyan's Lecture
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Dr. Erik Davtyan Presents on Foreign Policy Learning and Military Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — On April 12, Dr. Erik Davtyan, assistant professor at Yerevan State University and Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland, delivered a compelling lecture titled “Lessons That Lead to War: Foreign Policy Learning and Military Escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict” at the American University of Armenia.

Drawing on his recent article published in the journal Problems of Post-Communism, Dr. Davtyan delved into the nuances of Azerbaijan’s decision to initiate a large-scale war in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. His analysis centered on the concept of foreign policy learning, elucidating the lessons Azerbaijan learned from the reactions of key regional players in the South Caucasus spanning from the mid-2000s to the July 2020 border crisis.

During the lecture, Dr. Davtyan argued that the consistent unresponsiveness of the international community emboldened Azerbaijan to proceed with its war preparations. He highlighted Azerbaijan’s perception of regional powers’ stance as either incapable or unwilling to intervene, thereby fostering an environment conducive to escalating conflict. 

Dr. Davtyan was a guest of AUA Assistant Professor Dr. Naira Sahakyan’s Armenian History class. “Dr. Davtyan’s research is profoundly enlightening,” stated Dr. Sahakyan.  “That is why I invited him to deliver a talk. His exploration of foreign policy learning in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict not only shed light on the complexities of the region’s dynamics, but also underscored the crucial role of international responses in shaping the course of conflicts. Witnessing the engagement of my students during the lecture, it was evident that they gained a deeper understanding of that particular page of Armenian history. This experience undoubtedly stressed the importance of informed analysis in addressing such challenges.”

The event attracted a diverse audience comprising AUA students and faculty, who actively engaged in a question and answer session following Dr. Davtyan’s presentation, enriching the discourse with insightful inquiries and perspectives.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.