Joint seminar discussion "Mindsets in the South Caucasus: Conflicts, Victimhood, and the Velvet Revolution"

  • Datum: –17.00
  • Plats: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3 floor, IRES Library
  • Webbsida
  • Arrangör: Institutet för Rysslands- och Eurasienstudier (IRES)
  • Kontaktperson: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Telefon: 018 471 1630
  • Seminarium

IRES invites you to a joint seminar discussion where three scholars will discuss mindsets in the South Caucasus.

Rauf Garagozov: The Interplay of Narratives, Memory, Identity and Politics in Peace and Conflict in the Southern Caucasus". Conflicts in the Caucasus, especially between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno Karabakh, illustrate how political manipulations of national memory and symbols can contribute to the escalation of conflict between the former “Soviet brothers.” In this research I have identified two psychological constructs -“painful collective memory” and “competitive victimhood,” which are often employed by political forces who are not interested in peace and reconciliation in the region. 

Sofie Bedford: Victims of Double Standards: Double Victimhood and Changing Narratives in Azerbaijan’s Public Rhetoric The paper analyzes the use of the concept 'double standards' in the official rhetoric in Azerbaijan and its potential impact. It identifies the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’ and ‘criticism from the international community on human rights and democracy’ as the two main themes of this narrative. We find the rhetoric is primarily reactive, targeting domestic audiences used by the Azerbaijani leadership to boost domestic legitimacy and insulate itself from external criticism. The 'double standards' narrative is in this way reinforcing and expanding a ‘victim mindset’ as it introduces ‘international actors’ as an additional enemy which risks negatively impact conflict developments as well as the political situation in the country.

Li Bennich-Björkman: Towards Changing Mind-Set Among the Armenian Elite? The Velvet Revolution in April 2018 aimed at replacing Armenia´s post-Soviet political elite with a more dynamic and pluralist one. Drawing on an elite survey on conflict resolution, the most important questions facing the country, and social and gender equality done in spring 2017 and followed-up in spring 2019, this paper asks whether the much hoped for Velvet Revolution reflects in different mindsets among the Armenian elite(s).