LOS ANGELES – The USC Institute of Armenian Studies has selected 23 applicants from nine countries to participate in its 2019 research call, “From a Democratic Breakthrough to Challenges of Consolidation in Armenia.” The grants will provide an opportunity for scholars and practitioners from around the world to study the current challenges and developments surrounding Armenia, following its political transformation after the “velvet revolution.”

In the Spring of 2018, peaceful protests calling for the resignation of Armenia’s autocratic regime culminated in a democratic transition that lead to a series of reforms towards institution-building in the country.

In collaboration with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Institute will provide over $70,000 in funding to researchers studying in Armenia to examine the challenges the country faces as it, once again, attempts to establish a sustainable democracy and a developed economy.

“The Platform State: Technologies of Citizenship in Post-Revolutionary Armenia”; “Democratic Consolidation and Higher Education in Armenia”; “Pashinyan vs. the Karabakh Clan: Re-examining Patronal Relations Between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh”; “A Tale of Two Elections: Analyzing the Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer on Voter Turnout in Armenia”; and “Emerging Agricultural Clusters in Armenia” are just some of the topics that the researchers will tackle.

“Solid research and comparative analysis is imperative for the creation and reform of policies in any country and in any sector. The Institute is committed to contributing to the global expansion of data and research on Armenia and Armenians, as well as making these studies available as a comparative case for those examining post-Soviet political transitions, developing economies, diasporas, and new institutions,” says Salpi Ghazarian, director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.

This is the third year the Institute has funded large research projects. In 2015, the “Research Support on Nagorno Karabakh and the Region” program funded 14 international scholars, all of whom traveled to Karabakh for field work. In 2016, the Institute funded another 24 scholars to examine Armenia’s post-Soviet transition through various lenses, including social movements, economy, regionalism, cinema, and culture. The program, entitled “End of Transition: 25 Years After the Soviet Collapse,” culminated in two major conferences in Los Angeles and in Yerevan in 2017.