The Challenge of Statehood: Armenian Political Thinking Since Independence
This is a timely book on politics in Armenia and its Diaspora since Armenia’s independence. The volume analyzes how conflicting interpretations of history have nurtured competing policies and influenced the future of Armenia and of its relations with its neighbors. The author challenges ideologized views of war and diplomacy, of the Genocide and the politics of its recognition, and of national unity and political legitimization. He explores the Nagorno Karabagh conflict, the difficult relations with Turkey, and the relationship between Homeland and Diaspora. The author argues that the resignation of President Levon Ter-Petrossian in 1998 constituted a watershed in the ongoing battle between pragmatic and ideological concepts of independence, statehood, and nationhood.
Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Armenian political landscape since the rise of the movement and the position of political actors regarding the major issues confronting Armenia during the decade. Chapter 2 discusses the resignation of President Levon Ter-Petrossian as an event significant for understanding the relationship between the problem of Karabagh and the choices that must be made between the two kinds of answers, pragmatism and national ideologies. Chapter 3 details the position of political parties and leaders on the resolution of the conflict and the role the conflict is assigned in their political program and worldview. Chapter 4 covers the important themes of Genocide recognition, unity, and political legitimacy and their significance for a strategy to achieve a higher vision or maximalist program. Chapter 5 analyzes Diasporan realities and the ability of the Diaspora to perform the role it is assigned by maximalists. The last chapter argues against maximalism and in favor of normalcy.