Harvard University panel to look at ‘Velvet Revolution’ in Armenia

Harvard University panel to look at ‘Velvet Revolution’ in Armenia

PanARMENIAN.Net - A panel discussion titled “Armenia’s Velvet Revolution After 6 Months: Beyond the Headlines”, will take place at Harvard University, Fong Auditorium on September 27, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator reports.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Lisa Gulesserian, lecturer on Armenian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, and will feature a panel including Anush Hambaryan (Harvard Kennedy School, Master in Public Policy Candidate), Harout Manougian (Harvard Kennedy School, Master in Public Administration Candidate), and Dr. Anna Ohanyan (Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Stonehill College).

The event is organized by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) / Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues, with the co-sponsorship of AGBU-YP Boston, Electoral Reform Society (a student organization of the Harvard Kennedy School) and the Harvard Armenian Students Association.

Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, though the result of years of pent-up anger and frustration, unfolded in spring 2018 with dizzying speed. One moment it appeared that Serzh Sargsyan and the Republican Party would continue their grip on power and all that goes with power in an Armenia dominated by oligarchs; then, practically before anyone knew what had happened, the Armenian people asserted their will, and, incredibly, without violence, power passed from Sargsyan to the people’s choice, Nikol Pashinyan. At a time when many democracies are drifting towards authoritarianism, Armenia stood as a bright exception.

Almost six months later, inevitably, the realities of governing, of addressing the problems of the past and of the future, and building the new Armenia, have created challenges. In this panel discussion, we will attempt to move beyond the headlines to discuss some key fundamental issues including systemic and structural changes that must take place to strengthen Armenia’s democracy; changes to Armenia’s electoral code; the complexities of Armenia’s foreign relations; efforts to combat institutionalized corruption; addressing gender inequality; and more.

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