Armenia on the Horizon of Europe: External Democratizations Effects of European Organizations in a Post-Soviet State

Babayan, Anahit

The aim of Anahit Babayan’s PhD thesis is to investigate the achievements and challenges of European organizations as external factors in promoting democracy-oriented reforms and democratic institution building in Armenia. After the collapse of the Soviet-style socialist systems, the historic turning point of 1989 created arenas of globalization in relation to its critical junctures. Being a postsocialist state, Armenia is identified as a post-transition country and yet not an entirely consolidated democracy, which is still fluctuating between authoritarian political traditions, ethnic conflicts and attempts at democratization. Several European organizations – such as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe (CoE), and European Union with the Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) – have already been actively engaged in the process of democracy transition in Armenia for years. There have been many achievements so far, such as constitutional and electoral reforms, however challenges still persist. Accordingly, the present project will scrutinize the achievements and challenges of European organizations in Armenia. An important question in this thesis is whether reforms and recommendations made by European organizations are accepted only pro forma, or whether they convey real implementations for democratic structures. By comparing the activities, recommendations and projects implemented by these organizations, this thesis explains where their projects overlap or hinder each other, as well as analyses where they show an interlocking or interblocking nature or where unintended side effects occur. With exploring the possibilities and limits of external democratization, this project applies a theoretical and empirical analysis of the phenomenon of critical junctures of globalization. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation Research Training Group (GK 1261): “Critical Junctures of Globalization” and will be continued in 2011. It is supervised by Stefan Troebst.