Armenia: Some Features of Internal (In)Stability

The April 2016 four-day “war” in the area of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, as well as the developments that followed, have unveiled a whole stratum of serious problems in “stable” Armenia, including ones relating to defense issues. The aftermath of these events will continue to strongly influence internal processes in all three state entities: Armenia, the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Azerbaijan. This article aims to analyze some long-term consequences of the 2-5 April 2016 events in terms of their influence on Armenian internal political and social developments. The political transformations ongoing currently in Armenia can be best described as a “palace  coup d’état”:  they have been initiated by a ruling elite which benefited from general population’s low levels of public participation and social mobilization. In the absence of a charismatic leader and strong leadership in general, a tangible programme of action, or unity among the different components of civil society, the ruling elite retains the capacity to influence the varying reconstitution of groups and to alleviate, through small-scale concessions, tensions in Armenian society.
KEYWORDS: Armenia, Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, national security, political transformation, civil society.

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