Democracy Building and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia  book cover
1st Edition

Democracy Building and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia

ISBN 9780415541176
Published February 23, 2012 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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Armine Ishkanian is a Lecturer at the London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Civil Society, Department of Social Policy and a Research Associate at the LSE Centre for the Study of Global Governance. Her research interests focus on civil society, democracy building, development, and gender. She has published widely on these topics in leading journals including Social Politics, Journal of International Development, and Central Asian Survey.


"Ishkanian skillfully crafts an analytical narrative of the emergence of civil society and democracy in Armenia.  A native speaking of Armenian, she excels at obtaining interviews and local insight.  Theoretically sophisticated, she brings to bear a variety of concepts and approaches, underlining the uneven development of civil society and stressing the unequal distribution of its benefits (especially to women).  She is exceptionally astute when discussing the contributions such as United States Agency for International Development...Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Lower-division undergraduate through research collections." - CHOICE, Apr. 2009 Vol. 46 No. 08