This volume considers the challenges of democracy building in post-Soviet Armenia, and the role of civil society in that process.
It argues that, contrary to the expectations of Western aid donors, who promoted civil society on the assumption that democratization would follow from the establishment of civil society, democratic regimes have failed to materialize, and, moreover, a backlash has emerged in various post-Soviet states. Armine Ishkanian explores how far the growth of civil society depends on a country's historical, political and socio-cultural context; and how far foreign aid, often provided with conditions which encouraged the promotion of civil society, had an impact on democratization. Based on extensive original research, including fieldwork interviews with participants, Democracy Building and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia considers various democratization initiatives in recent years, and assesses how far the Armenian experience is similar to, or different from, the experiences of other post-Soviet states.
Introduction 1. Democracy, Civil Society and Power 2. Civil Society Participation in Elections 3. Civil Society and the Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign 4. Culture and Democracy Building 5. The Soviet Legacy and Democracy Building 6. The Voices of the Donors 7. Conclusion