By Armine Ishkanian
This quantity considers the demanding situations of democracy development in post-Soviet Armenia, and the function of civil society in that procedure. It argues that, opposite to the expectancies of Western reduction donors, who promoted civil society at the assumption that democratization may persist with from the institution of civil society, democratic regimes have did not materialize, and, furthermore, a backlash has emerged in a variety of post-Soviet states. Armine Ishkanian explores how a long way the expansion of civil society is dependent upon a country's ancient, political and socio-cultural context; and the way a ways international reduction, frequently supplied with stipulations which inspired the promoting of civil society, had an influence on democratization. in response to vast unique examine, together with fieldwork interviews with contributors, Democracy construction and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia considers numerous democratization projects in recent times, and assesses how a long way the Armenian event is the same to, or various from, the studies of alternative post-Soviet states.
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Extra resources for Democracy Building in Post-Soviet Armenia (Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe)
While western donors’ approach did lead to extraordinary growth in the number of NGOs that were engaged in lobbying or advocacy work, it did not generate broad based participation or public debate. Subsequently groups such as nationalist organizations and activist groups, which did not replicate these practices and discourses, were ignored or marginalized by donors and soon came to view themselves as real civil society, in contrast to the donor created and supported NGOs. Throughout the post-socialist countries, there are consistently low levels of organizational membership (Howard 2003: 2), participation (Celichowski 2004: 77) and growing cynicism towards the concept of civil society (Hann 2004: 47).
As people gathered day after day for the demonstrations, there was an almost revolutionary feeling in the air. The authorities began closing roads into the city to prevent the arrival of demonstrators from villages and towns neighbouring Yerevan. Stories about arrests, searches and the stopping of cars and buses from entering Yerevan began circulating throughout the city, and the more the authorities tried to control the situation by arresting or referring to demonstrators as ‘drunks’ (harpetzoghner), ‘vagabonds’ (bomzher) or ‘hooligans’ (khuliganner), by seizing cameras from journalists and by preventing people from coming to Yerevan, the more people became eager to join the demonstrations.
This position is reflected in the fact that, since the early 1990s, more money has been spent on civil society assistance than on any other sectors of USAID democracy assistance2 (Finkel et al. 2006: 33). 29 million) (Finkel et al. 2006: 33–4). US-funded civil society assistance has largely been directed at NGOs, because the USAID position in the early 1990s was to provide vigorous support for local NGOs, which would ‘be a critical element of civil society strengthening’ (US Agency for International Development 1999: v).