Eduard Nagdalyan
Editor-in-Chief, “Business Express” weekly, Yerevan 

The special merit of this work is the discussion of the project of Armenia’s future. The fact is that in the Armenian society, unfortunately, there is no discussion at all about the desired future. The Armenian people are mostly focused on the past – on the heroes of the past, on the former greatness, on the historical lands, on the historical memory, on their own uniqueness, etc.

In the meantime, a huge layer of mythology has been created, in which we endlessly boil, we argue, we all the time prove something to someone, present historical arguments, take offense when the world thinks differently and does not agree with our truth. That phantom pain and phantom anxieties greatly hinder the formation of the vision of the future, the desired future of Armenia. It makes everything even worse, when sometimes it seems that the Armenians aren’t interested in the future at all. We are the main champions of the historical justice on Earth. At the same time note: historical justice does not exist. But this “small” circumstance does not diminish our enthusiasm... I compare Armenia with the driver of the car, who constantly looks in the rearview mirror. You won’t go far that way. Thus, the emergence of any works and any attempts aimed at reorienting the public attention of the Armenians, the expert community to the future, to the scenarios of the desired future, is extremely important. 

Based on the above mentioned, I do not consider it appropriate to have a large historical excursion made in this paper, especially since the public does not perceive Ruben Vardanyan as a historian. In addition, there is a concern that the army of historians and pseudo-historians will join and again turn their attention to the discussion of the past, burying the essence of the book. 

The authors’ thesis about the individualism of the Armenians, which interferes with internal compromise, is a key characteristic that is still relevant. It is for this reason that the Armenians have always been successful at the individual level and always failed at the state, corporate level – up to our days. In my opinion, it is the ineffectiveness of the struggle of Armenians for sovereignty, the lack of interest in genuine sovereignty that explain the long absence of statehood among Armenians, as well as the current state of the Armenian statehood.  

The five stages that characterize the evolution of attitudes towards Genocide are set out most correctly and objectively. The section on the evolution of the attitude of the diaspora Armenians towards Armenia, about the diaspora’s fading interest in Armenia is very well written. Absolutely precise. But I would suggest strengthening the relevance of this chapter by adding a section on the responsibility of the Diaspora elite for non-interference in the process of degradation of Armenia. It is especially about the responsibility of the elite, who could not but understand what was happening with the country, how it was being robbed and raped. Could the world elite of the Armenian diaspora, possessing colossal financial and administrative resources, stop the process of degradation of the Armenian state? Definitely could. But did not. Alas, the Armenian statehood turned out to be less important for the Diaspora elite than the recognition of the Genocide.

Therefore, I am skeptical about the statement that “for seven centuries Armenians lived with the dream of Ankakh Hayastan (Independent Armenia)”. The reality proves the opposite. It is worth thinking over and analyzing. 

The scenarios of Armenia’s development listed in the paper strangely for me ignore the existence of the Karabakh conflict. Moreover, in the Singapore scenario, the transformation of Armenia into a “regional economic center” is considered. I also remember the plans to turn Armenia into a regional financial, medical and other centers. Alas, these are all illusions. Especially in the case of the financial center. A country that has a military conflict with a neighbor, cannot be a financial center by definition. This is nonsense. Thus, the word “regional” is not about Armenia. 

I fully agree with the authors that the ideal model of the desired future is the hub: the prosperous Armenia as the Diaspora’s place of power and a network nation relying on digital technologies to overcome disunity and preserve its identity. Thus, the authors have formulated a goal to strive to by way of laying brick after brick. But I consider it extremely important that the progress towards this desired future is based on the principles of realpolitik, on the attitude towards politics as an art of the possible, and not the desired one. This is an important condition for the success of a country project. Definitely, the hub model cannot be implemented in the ideology of the besieged fortress. Otherwise, it can be implemented in a truncated form, when Russia continues to cover our security, and we accept all the risks emanating from it. 

The “periphery state” model has already been firmly established in Armenia, and a full-fledged transfer of Armenia to another model is impossible without eliminating the reasons why this model has taken root. New approaches, new policies and non-limited mindset are required for success. 

In general, I believe that the collective responsibility of the authorities of Armenia and the elite of the diaspora for the country success through the development of specific institutional forms of this interaction is a necessary condition for bringing the country out of the crisis. 


We invite you to engage in a dialogue

Your name
Your surname
Your email
We look forward to receiving your feedback and recommendations
Thank you, your message has been sent!
Read the {bookname}
Please fill out the form below to start reading
Your name
Your surname
Your email
Your data has already been sent

Thank you for completing our registration form.

We’ve sent you a link to verify that the email address is correct. Please follow the link to sign up to our website and download the document requested