Lilit Galstian, PhD
Publicist, former deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia 

First of all, thank you for initiating a discussion-analysis so important from the point of view of the prospects for the development of Armenia.

First of all, thank you for initiating a discussion-analysis so important from the point of view of the prospects for the development of Armenia. The idea is especially important against the background, on the one hand, of almost no such concepts in our national discourse, an analysis of our national agendas, and on the other, the “storms” taking place in the global context. The central question is the correct juxtaposition of these two vectors (national and global), the ability to assess the risks and results, and choose the right path. I agree with you that several prerequisites are needed to get out of this “storm” as winners.  

You emphasize that you deliberately distance yourself from the political field. And I understand you. However, I want to assure you that the quality of the country and the political climate are decisive for choosing a development model or country vector. It is necessary to objectively consider this factor – at least not to lose sight of it. The adoption of a long-term and in a good way ambitious plan and its implementation require a conscious will and determination of the political elites.  

And not only political. The position of the business, cultural and academic elite is just as important. It is crucial that they also agree to talk about the problem in the same vein and take responsibility for reassessing the paradigm of the nation state. We have a lot to do in strengthening national and state identity. Unfortunately, the current level of development of the state and public institutions can also be included in the list of obstacles, but this does not mean we should not dream, plan ahead and move forward.  

Now Armenia is in the process of searching, as well as building of a national state. Let us hope the option that assumes the greatest upheavals is not chosen, otherwise it could jeopardize solidarity, unity of the community or the sense of security. These obstacles are destructive prerequisites that can weaken the nation-wide vision of the future, the social contract or the consensus around it.  

On this path, education (formal and informal) remains one of the most important tools. Investments in education, although paying off slowly, are always justified. You know this and act accordingly. The introduction of any development model requires constantly improving competitive knowledge and skills.  

The issue of Artsakh is not raised in this work, but this is the aspect that is present at all levels. At the same time, Artsakh is not a verdict, although it carries a serious resource for uncertainty. Artsakh should not only be a source of national pride and responsibilities. People should be assured that Artsakh is not an obstacle, that it is possible and necessary to develop also in the name of Artsakh. We do have resources for development. And Artsakh is part of our future, of the chosen model.  

It is a clear fact that we are not making good use of the potential of the Diaspora. It is also obvious that for the Armenians of the Diaspora, the motherland, and not the state of Armenia, is a great source of inspiration. This is a purely emotional approach, the capitalization of which is weak. We need to ensure that among the Diaspora Armenians a sense of belonging to the Republic of Armenia grows.  

This process is interconnected with the presence of an attractive, competitive state, it serves as a resource and component of national security and is among political values and beliefs... At present, we are allegedly in a pause mode.  

In the matter of model selection, it seems that the choice is not objectively large, and you offer the most acceptable option. This, of course, does not mean that, based on the requirements of the time, temporary hybrid solutions cannot be found.  

However, the first thing you need is a quality state, effective governance, political power that can lead the nation to consensus, responsible elites... I believe in individuals, in their talent and talentism: a lot can be changed with this. It is vital to start a search among global Armenians or to contribute to the formation of them – individuals to act. You modestly did not include your name on this list... 

In the future, I am convinced that these peculiar oases will join each other and give a result. 


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