Security Sector Reforms

Security Sector Reform – Centre of Excellence in Southern Caucasus

Leading organization: Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA), Slovakia

Partner organization 1: Institute of International Relations, Czech Republic

Partner organization 2: Polish Institute of International Affairs, Poland

Partner organization 3: National University of Public Service, Faculty of Military Science, Hungary

Partner organization 4: Center for Strategic Analysis  SPECTRUM, Armenia


Basic goals:

The project is based on 3 key pillars: stabilization, cooperation and transition and focusing on 3 interlinked factors:

– Institutional capabilities-building of participating countries in the field of security sector reform (SSR) by build-up a regional virtual Centre of Excellence as a central coordination institute in the field of SSR

– Use and adapt Central European experiences in the of Security Sector Reform

– Enhance cooperation and networks

Policy Papers “In-Depth Analysis”


The Center’s analytical bulletin “In-Depth Analysis”

This project was launched in March 2005.  In each issue of our bulletin you will find in-depth analysis and professional commentary by the Center’s highly qualified experts and leading invited researchers on the most important and vital security problems in the South Caucasus and beyond.  Each policy paper contains one or two analytical contributions devoted to an urgent topic impacting developments in the broader Black Sea – Caspian Sea region and upon its state entities. The tables of contents of previous issues are available at the Center’s website:

No less than eight issues are published within one year time in hard copy.  Each can also be received in PDF format via e-mail.  Maps, graphics, and tables, if needed, supplement the issues.  This publication is bi-lingual (English and Russian). For more detailed information please contact: Diana Ananyan by e-mail:

Regional Security Issues: 2015

The volume will include chapters written by famous Armenian and foreign scholars and political commentators on the more urgent trends and developments in regard to security issues in the South Caucasus and beyond.

The Conflict Potential of the South Caucasus


The South Caucasus has been characterized as one of the most vulnerable regions of the post-Soviet space since early 1990s. The security deficit can be presented as a sinusoid, which reached its latest peak in August 2008, when the military actions on the Georgian territory, actually between Russia and Georgia, followed by the drastic change in the configuration of the security structure in the South Caucasus and reflected not only on the role and importance of each regional and non-regional actors, but also provoked a growth of the conflicting potential of the entire region.

The first part of the research project analyzed the open and latent conflicts in the South Caucasus and the outcomes of August 2008 war. The second part will be dedicated to the analysis of the possible ways of minimization of the conflict potential and prevention of the transformation the latent conflicts into the open ones.

The Center expresses its gratefulness to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and to the Embassy of Federal Republic of  Germany in Armenia for their support of this project.

See publication here

The Image of the Enemy


More than twenty years have passed since the beginning of the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh. Throughout this period, Armenians and Azerbaijanis have learned to live without direct contact. A wall of estrangement has been erected that will be difficult to overcome. Deeply anchored in both societies, the ‘image of the enemy’ has become an objective and palpable category. Indeed, the level of reciprocal alienation is intensifying. And neither party is prepared to offer concession.

The fragile balance in the area of the conflict can be upset at any time, as can the even more fragile peace. Both governmental authorities and the mass media must be held responsible for the recent intensification of negative attitudes and the targeted cultivation of the image of the enemy.

A long period of reconciliation will be required to surmount the image of the enemy in each of these antagonistic societies. Intensive and continuous labor will be necessary. Above all, more accurate and positive information about the counterpart must be increased inside Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh, and Azerbaijan. The creation of an atmosphere of trust and tolerance constitutes the overarching prerequisite for the establishment of a good neighbour relationship.

Proposing the research project “The image of the enemy: background and the mechanisms for its overcoming on the example of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” the partners – Center for Strategic Analysis “Spectrum,” Yerevan, Armenia, and the Institute of Peace and Democracy, Baku, Azerbaijan, had the following goals:

– To analyze the emergence of the “image of the enemy” in the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies against the backdrop of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict;

– To understand the mechanisms of maintenance and utilization of the “image of the enemy”;

– To propose the mechanisms aimed at minimization of the negative perception of each other by the peoples of Armenia and Azerbaijan;

– To enhance the level of tolerance in both societies.


The implementation of the project became possible with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict – In Search Of The Way Out


Description of the Project

1. Brief summary

The collapse of the Soviet Union has invoked resumption of old and emergence of new ethno-political conflicts on the entire post-Soviet area. The Nagorno-Karabakh problem, having its own history, is one of the most difficult-to-resolve and complicated bloody conflicts of the last decade with two newly independent states Azerbaijan and Armenia involved.

At present, the conflict is in its «no war, no peace» phase. The cease-fire, which was established in May 1994, is preserved by the conflicting parties up to now, but the negotiating process with the participation of the international mediators does not bring desired outcomes. The internal situation in both independent republics and Nagorno Karabakh, due to lack of progress in the peace process, is quite complicated, as long as the problems, caused by the conflict, are touching upon all sections of the populations concerned, impeding development of a civil society and democratic freedoms in the mentioned three state entities. All this endangers the regional security and stability as well, preventing from developing regional economic cooperation and integration.

Understanding that the resolution of the conflict may only be based on the adoption of a comprehensive, exclusively political decision with inevitable reciprocal compromise of all conflicting parties, and also taking into account that even in case of the elaboration of some settlement model on the level of governmental structures, both Armenian and Azerbaijani societies are still not ready to perceive and accept a compromise, we – The Center for Strategic Analysis «Spectrum» (Yerevan, Armenia) and the Humanitarian Information Agency «Sanya» (Baku, Azerbaijan) find it necessary to make our mutual contribution to the preparation of the public opinion in both Azerbaijan and Armenia to the inevitability of acceptance of a compromise settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, thus promoting creation of appropriate atmosphere in our societies.

In this project we are proceeding from the necessity of an objective analysis of the level of readiness of our societies for a mutual compromise and the need of preparing the public opinion just for this way of the conflict resolution.

2. Objectives
Determination of the level of readiness of both societies to a mutual compromise.
Determination of those sections of societies, who are more (less) ready for a compromise.
Elaboration of recommendations, allowing to increase the level of tolerance in the Azerbaijan and Armenian societies.

3. Main target groups
The Karabakh war veterans;
Residents of the borderline regions;
Young people (students, young men under conscription, young specialists);

Programme of activities
The Project will be implemented by means of a series of seminars for mentioned target groups simultaneously in Azerbaijan and Armenia. At each of seminars only representatives one target group will be present. As the main speakers will be invited the experts, competent in the problems of the given target group, as well as the representatives of international organizations. The presence of a psychologist is also planned at the seminars.
Each seminar will be accompanied by a blitz-polling.

The schedule of the project’s implementation:

June – July, 2003 – practical preparation for the Project:
Notification via mass media about the intended implementation of such project
Choice and completion of the target groups.

June 24, 2003 – 1st seminar «The Role of Mass Media in the Coverage of the Conflict»
The points of discussion were:
The role of mass media in the elimination of the image of enemy and in the development of a dialogue between the conflicting parties;
The journalist ethics and responsibility for the formation of the negative image of peoples and propaganda of nationalism;
The Mass Media as an instrument of creating the public opinion and the search for constructive ways for the settlement of conflicts.
Key note speakers in Yerevan were: Mr. Avet Demuryan, researcher of SPECTRUM and Vice-President of the Yerevan Press Club (The title of his lecture was «The Role of Mass Media in covering the Nagorno Karabakh conflict: the prospects of settlement») and Dr. Alexander Iskandarian, Pro-rector of the Caucasus Media Institute, who spoke about «The Role of the NGO’s in the search of the compromise resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict».

25 July, 2003 – 2nd seminar: «The Women of the Caucasus for Peace and their Role in Overcoming the Consequences of the Conflict»
The points of discussion were:
The consequences of the conflict;
Social problems, including migration, poverty, unemployment;
Problems of disabled people, orphan children, refugees;
Unacceptability of the resumption of war;
Substantiation of the role of women during the peace process of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
Key note speakers in Yerevan were: Dr. Hasmik Gevorgian, Ass. Prof. of the Faculty of Sociology of the Yerevan State University. The title of her lecture was «Woman in the transitional society». The second speaker was Mrs. Jemma Hasratian, Head of the Association of the Women with University Education (her lecture’s title was «Consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the role of women’s organizations in peace-building».

August 26, 2003 – 3rd seminar: «The Refugees as an Integral Part of Society»
The points to discuss were:
The legal, social, cultural and psychological problems of the refugees and displaced persons and settlers;
The issues of integration and migration.
The key note speakers in Yerevan were: Dr. Hranush Kharatian, Head of the Armenian Center for Ethnological Studies and the Refugees’ Forum, who presented «The Karabakh problem and refugees». Mrs. Larissa Alaverdian, Head of the Foundation Against Violation of Law, spoke about «The concept of the state policy on the refugees».

September 2003 – both partners of the project, i.e. Center for Strategic Analysis «SPECTRUM» and Humanitarian Analytical Agency «SANIYA» summed up the preliminary results by the conclusion of the three first seminars, analyzed the results of the blitz polling and singled out the most painful problems for each target groups.

October 15, 2003 – 4th seminar “No War, No Peace: the Prospects of Peaceful Coexistence of Neighbors” took place in town Idjevan, Tavush region of Armenia.
The main points of discussion were:
Unacceptability of resumption of the military actions;
Establishment of the economic cooperation of the border-line residents;
Joint resistance to natural disasters;
Cultural contacts.
The key note speakers in Idjevan were: LTC Shahen Mnatsakanian, lecturer of the V. Sargisyan Military Institute, Yerevan, and expert of the Center for Strategic Analysis «SPECTRUM», who presented a report «In search of the way out: rescue service as one of possible forms of cooperation» and Mr. Ashot Melyan, analyst of the Center for Strategic Analysis SPECTRUM, who made a presentation «The borderline zone: the peace and war line».
Dr. Gayane Novikova presented to the participants the current situation in the conflict resolution and prospects of the negotiating process. Mr. Avet Demurian spoke about the role of the Mass Media in the borderline regions.

December 5, 2003 – 5th seminar «The Youth Against the War»
Points for discussion:
The role of young people and youth organizations in the society and its contribution to the search of the ways for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict;
Development of relations between the young people of the conflicting parties in the field of education;
Culture as a means for rapprochement of positions and constructive resolution of problems and overcoming the image of enemy.
Mr. Mikael Hambarzumyan, lecturer at the Yerevan State University, spoke on «The role of youth in the peace process». Mr. Rouben Meloyan from the Caucasus Media Institute made a presentation «The society readiness to a compromise».

January 2004 – Summing up the interim results of the project

February 24, 2004 – 6th seminar «The conflict in the eyes of veterans»
Points to discuss:
The heavy consequences of the war;
Psychological rehabilitation of the participants of military actions;
International legal guarantees for peace and stability in the region;
The role of veterans in overcoming the consequences of the conflict.
The key note speakers in Yerevan were: Dr. Vladimir Mikaelyan, Ass. Prof. of the Department of Psychology, who presented «Socio-psychological situation of combatants», and Mr. Kniaz Hambarzumyan, the Karabakh war veteran. The title of his presentation was «The combatants are ready to reasonable compromises».

May 7, 2004 – the seventh seminar “Economic cooperation: a myth or reality?”
A range of questions, related with the problems of cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the conditions of the unresolved conflict, were discussed during the seminar. The economic situation in Armenia was assessed, taking into account the factor of its transport blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Key speakers were the Advisor of the President of the Armenian Chamber of Commerce Mr. Arayik Vardanyan, who delivered a report “Restoration of the economic ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” and Director of the Information Agency “Arminfo” Mr. Emmanuil Mkrtchyan, who touched the problem of the shadow economic ties between the two states in his report “Without war, without peace, without cooperation.”

In the following months the Center was processing the data of blitz-polls in the focus-groups and preparing the enlarged sociological survey with 500 respondents.
The polling was held in July 1-13. The analysis of its results and conclusion were prepared in September.

At the same time the work on editing and translation of the articles of Armenian and Azerbaijani key speakers has been begun.

“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – in the search of way out” book was presented on
March 9, 2005.



Accounting for State-Building, Stability and Violent Conflict: The Institutional Framework of Caucasian and Central Asian Transitional Societies

Since April 2003 the Center for Strategic Analysis SPECTRUM has been one of the partners within the framework of the СSCCA, which is implemented by the East-European Institute at the Free University Berlin (OEI-FU). Within the framework of this project Dr. Gayane Novikova, Founding Director of the SPECTRUM, delivered a series of lectures on “Internal and International Security: the Case of Armenia” at the OEI-FU in January-February, 2004. Detailed information about the project on


In January 2003 the Center for Strategic Analysis SPECTRUM is awarded with the Canadian International Development Agency’s support for purchasing equipment. Thanks to the CIDA support we have a PC, scanner, printer and risograph. Now the Center is able to publish its researches by itself.