Top left to right: Prof. Jirair Libaridian, Prof. Anna Ohanyan, Prof. Jenny Paturyan Bottom left to righ: Prof. Asbed Kotchikian, Prof. Armine Ishkhanian

As part of its Zoom Series Lecture series, the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) is organizing a Zoom Panel titled “Transition Tremors: Armenia Two Years after the Velvet Revolution.” Co-sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues, the Zoom Panel will take place at 12:00pm ET (9:00am Pacific) on Saturday, August 22.

In 2018, a democratic breakthrough via mass-scale nonviolent disobedience campaign led by Nikol Pashinyan, brought down Armenia’s soft-authoritarian system headed by then President-turned-Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan. Since then, the country continues to face challenges to consolidate its still fragile democracy. The task of the current government to transition to a full-fledged democracy has been hampered by various factors, including the still persistent of the ancien régime, unreformed judiciary, weak political party system, spread of misinformation and fake news. The most recent global health crisis brought on by Covid-19 pandemic further complicated reform initiatives. In an attempt to take stock of gains and challenges towards democratic consolidation, this panel will contextualize Armenia’s domestic politics over the past two years, doing so in a global comparative context. The discussion is geared towards identifying some of the key issues/challenges that the post-Velvet government faces.

The panel, moderated by Prof. Jirair Libaridian (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor-retired) will feature Prof. Anna Ohanyan (Stonehill College) who is going to talk about “Velvet is not a Color: Armenia’s Democratic Transition in a Global Context”; Prof. Jenny Paturyan (American University of Armenia) will discuss “State Capacity Building & Institutions: Changing Role of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches in Armenia Since 2018”; Prof. Asbed Kotchikian (Bentley College) will discuss “The Reconfiguration of the Political Landscape in Armenia and the Ensuing Challenges”; and Prof. Armine Ishkhanian (London School of Economics and Political Science) will talk about “Changing Role of Civil Society in Post-Velvet Revolution Armenia.”

“This is a very timely panel that will critically assess the political and socio-economic developments in Armenia since the Velvet Revolution. The panelists are among the most important scholars of contemporary Armenian affairs. This will be a unique opportunity to listen to them. I highly encourage everyone to participate in the Zoom Panel,” said Prof. Bedross Der Matossian, President of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS).

To Register for the Zoom Panel please visit:

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