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Armenia

Bunce, Valerie J. ; Wolchik, Sharon L., Postcommunist Ambiguities, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 20, no. 3 (July), 2009, pp. 93-107

Discusses why since 1996 some authoritarian rulers have been ousted but in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus opposition failed (in two successive elections in each case).

Bunce, Valerie J. ; Wolchik, Sharon L., Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Post-Communist Countries, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 364

Discusses electoral defeats of authoritarian leaders from 1998 to 2005 (Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan), but also unsuccessful movements in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Analyses local and international actors and draws comparisons with other parts of the world.

Cooper, Marc, Armenia's Revolution: A Flickering Light in a Darkening Europe, The Nation, 2018

Cooper celebrates this under-reported 'velvet revolution' that 'boiled up from the streets' and was not influenced by outside forces. He notes that although there had been limited protests in the previous decade on specific economic, environmental or gender issues, no one expected a major political revolt. 

See also: Avedissian, Karina, 'A real revolution? Protest leader Armen Grigoryan on what's happening in Armenia', Open Democracy, 30 April 2018. 

Feldman, Daniel ; Alibašić, Haris, The Remarkable 2018 "Velvet Revolution": Armenia's Experiment Against Government Corruption, Public Integrity, Vol. 21, no. 4, 2019, pp. 420-432

Feldman attended a conference on anti-corruption organized by the new government in 2018 with judges, prosecutors and investigators. The focus of the article is an examination of how far the nature of the rebellion (and its wider context) might be expected to promote a more democratic government committed to end corruption. After making comparisons with other countries, they provisionally conclude that the prospects for a transition to a government respecting the rule of law are positive.

Grigoryan, Armen, "Armenia First”: Behind the rise of Armenia’s alt-right scene, 2019

Grigoryan argues that a ‘kleptocratic regime’ has been ousted by the revolution, but a more radical conservative agenda is being promoted in this new context.

Grigoryan, Armen, Armenia's Path to Democratization by Recursive Mass Protests, Caucasus Survey, Vol. 7, no. 2, 2019, pp. 157-175

The article compares the 2018 revolution with earlier unsuccessful political protests in Armenia since 2003-4, to try to determine what made success possible. Grigoryan also makes comparisons with some other examples of regime change, and considers the implications of the nature of the 2018 revolution for post-revolutionary politics and society.

Hoellerbauer, Simon, Armenia and the Velvet Revolution: The Merits and Flaws of a Protest-based Civil Society, Foreign Policy Research institute, Geopolitics, 2019

The author argues that comparison with the 'Colour Revolutions' are misleading since these were promoted by civil society organizations and opposition parties and focused on regime distortion of elections. Success in Armenia did demonstrate the power of civil society, but relied on 'grassroots organizing via social media' rather than on official NGOs, which are widely distrusted. The 2018 revolution drew on experience of earlier protests focused on limited issues. Hoellerbauer also speculates about future prospects for democracy under Pashinyan without a strong civil society to hold him accountable, and in the light of Armenia's dependence on Russia and the problem of the 'frozen conflict' over Nagorno- Karabakh.

Ishkanian, Armine, Democracy Building in Post-Soviet Armenia, London, Routledge, 2008, pp. 206

Critical assessment of western support for civil society groups, noting that it can create a backlash and needs to be considered in the historical, social and cultural context of the country involved. Also makes comparisons with other post-Soviet states.

Lanskoy, Miriam ; Suthers, Elspeth, Armenia's Velvet Revolution, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 30, no. 2, 2019, pp. 85-99

The authors, both from the National Endowment for Democracy, note that political revolution in other post-Soviet states have been followed by 'back sliding'. But they note how Armenia differs from Georgia and Ukraine. After exploring the background and context of the 2018 revolution, they conclude with a relatively optimistic assessment of the prospects for the Pashinyan government after the December 2018 election.