The RSC BLOG offers a new series of informal publications on various issues of relevance, in both English and Armenian.
Unlike our peer-reviewed publications, RSC Blog entries are shorter, less academic and more opinion-oriented, aimed at offering a “rapid response” analytical assessment of timely events and developments.
1 April 2015
During the dark days of severe energy crisis in Armenia in the 1990s, an anecdote spread throughout the Armenian public:
-Did you hear that the Minister of Energy has now asked to be called the Minister of the Navy?
-No! Why? Armenia doesn’t have a navy!
-Yes, but Armenia doesn’t have energy either!
ARMENIAN POLITICS IN THE WAKE OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE “PROSPEROUS ARMENIA PARTY”
Dr. Mikayel Zolyan
17 March 2015
The effective destruction of Armenia’s second largest party, the Prosperous Armenia party, was probably the most important development’s in Armenia’s political landscape for quite some time. [i]
Even though it went largely went unnoticed by the outside world, this event, especially within the larger geopolitical context of Armenia’s turn towards the Eurasian integration project, may be watershed: it may become the beginning of an authoritarian turn in Armenia’s politics.
Dr. Haykak Arshamyan
6 March 2015
A series of rapid events took place in Armenia in January and February 2015, including the casualties involving more than 20 Armenian soldiers on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border; the violent attack on the members of the “Founding Parliament” movement on the Armenia-Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) border by the police and special forces of NKR; the brutal and ulterior murder of the Avetisyan’s family by a Russian soldier serving in the Russian Federation military base in Gyumri; a new wave of attacks on civic activists and political figures; and a start of small and medium businesses’ protests against the new tax policy.
by Richard Giragosian
3 April 2013
For the Turkish government, the month of April has always been a particularly tense period for anyone raising the “Armenian issue,” as the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide each April has usually heightened Turkish paranoia. This month, April 2013, is no exception, and has even surpassed expectations as the long-awaited launch of new flights between Van and the Armenian capital Yerevan were unexpectedly canceled.
23 February 2013
Post-Election Armenia: many analysts, including me, under-estimated the severity of discontent and unfairly under-appreciated the appeal of opposition candidate Raffi Hovannisian, who has now emerged as a potential “agent of change” in Armenia.
As much of the opposition is now standing behind Hovhannisian, they are more significantly uniting against the government. But it also affirms the weakness of the main opposition parties for failing to unite before the election.
With the official election results are challenged by many, more importantly, the current political struggle is less about the specific results, and more about the general opposition to the current government. In this way, the campaign is only continuing, even beyond the election itself.
The opposition to Sarkisian is only growing, with both a more dynamic scale and an expanding scope, but there is also a general, and perhaps dangerous, lack of clear or coherent strategy behind this new-found momentum of opposition to the government. And in order to succeed, there must be a strategic articulation of more concrete demands and more precise political goals.Given the broader situation and underling discontent, the situation may be moving toward a more heated and intense conflict, similar to 2008, which was never fully resolved and certainly never sincerely addressed.
It is simply too early to say at this point how things will develop, however, but also depends as much on the Armenian government’s reaction, or over-reaction, to this mounting crisis. Nevertheless, the Armenian people are demanding more of a choice and more of a voice in politics. And there is an opportunity inherent in this crisis, to force open the closed political and economic systems. Armenia’s “oligarchs” should begin packing their bags now, and buy one-way tickets to Dubai……
New, updated and in-depth analysis to come shortly……