The Regional Studies Center (RSC) is an independent think tank engaged in a wide range of strategic analysis and research, developing policy initiatives aimed at bolstering political and economic reform and conflict resolution in the broader South Caucasus region.
As a leading think tank based in Armenia, the RSC strives to elevate the level of political discourse and deepen civic activism while broadening engagement in the public policy process. One of our core longer-term goals is to serve as a catalyst for reform and sustainable development by contributing to the formulation of public policy through innovative research and objective analysis.
Our research and project activities consist of five main program areas:
(1) Regional analysis of political, economic and security issues in the South Caucasus, but also including Iran, Russia and Turkey;
(2) National security and defense reform;
(3) Democratization and good governance;
(4) Economics and sustainable development;
(5) Educating and empowering youth as an “agent of change.”
Since our founding in 2012, the RSC has also offered a regular series of certificate-based professional development training courses, analytical briefings and interactive “focus groups,” and convenes simulation exercises focused on diplomatic negotiations and “war gaming” models.
Regional Studies Center (RSC)
60 Aram Street, #53, 3rd floor
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (+374) 11 70 99 69
In the fifth article for the “RSC Guest Analysis” publication series, entitled “An Assessment of Proposed Constitutional Changes in Nagorno-Karabakh,” RSC Resident Fellow Alvard Sarsgyan presents a unique assessment of the proposed changes to the Karabakh constitution. Under the terms of the latest version of the set of constitutional amendments, the proposals would effectively endow the Karabakh president with vast powers, and would abolish the post of prime minister. If adopted, the constitutional changes would be the exact reverse of the Armenian model, which adopted its own set of constitutional reforms in December 2015 that usher in a new parliamentary form of governance.
In a special analysis for BNE Intellinews, Carmen Valache cited RSC staff on the July hostage standoff in Armenia and on recent developments regarding Nagorno-Karabakh. The article, entitled, “Peace a distant prospect as Nagorno-Karabakh prepares to celebrate independence anniversary,” first cites RSC Analyst Haykak Arshamyan on the July incident, in which a group of three dozen gunmen seized a police station in Yerevan.
In an extended interview with the “Tert.am” electronic news agency, Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian assessed the current status of the peace process over Nagorno-Karabakh. In light of the new context of a degree of “diplomatic urgency” in the wake of the April fighting, which marked the most serious military clashes since the implementation of the 1994 ceasefire, Giragosian noted that “looking at the recent meeting between the Armenian and Russian presidents, there was neither positive progress, not serious surrender, despite many informed comments and opinions. Clearly, the real challenge to the Karabakh conflict stems from the imperative to return to ‘back to basics’ diplomacy, focusing not on peace talks over resolving the Karabakh conflict, but rather, more limited to diplomatic engagement to restore calm, regain control and rebuild an effective ceasefire.”
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service on 10 August, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the new level of Russian military cooperation with Azerbaijan. He highlighted the fact that the Kremlin has been making the transition to a new level of military-technical cooperation between Azerbaijan and simple sale of arms. “This new development shows that the issue is no longer of Russia being the number one supplier of arms to Azerbaijan, rather, we are dealing with a more serious problem than the supply of arms. Now the danger and threats are greater because we are dealing with a new level of Russia-Azerbaijan military cooperation,” Giragosian stated.
In the fourth article for the “RSC Guest Analysis” publication series, entitled “Russian-Turkish rapprochement: Implications for Armenia,” RSC Resident Fellow Alvard Sarsgyan presents an analysis of the recent summit meeting of the Russian and Turkish presidents, representing a new stage in bilateral relations and an apparent end to the conflict between Moscow and Ankara that was sparked by the November 2015 Turkish shoot down of a Russian military jet. A native of Karabakh, Ms. Sargsyan is a graduate student studying International Relations at Yerevan State University and started a six-month Resident Fellowship with the RSC on 1 August 2016.