Consolidating Diaspora and Developing Armenia: A Mutual Road Ahead

Department: Armenian Studies

Date and Time: April 11, 2018 | 6:00 PM-7:30 PM

Event Location: Humanities Gateway 1010

Event Details

Featuring:  Dr. Irina Ghaplanyan

Diaspora’s engagement in the life of the Republic of Armenia has been on the political agendas of all the three administrations since the country’s independence in 1991. It has been included in the National Security Strategy, a state level Concept on Armenia-Diaspora Partnership Development has been produced, and a Ministry of Diaspora formed. Yet, the government of Armenia has largely fallen behind the goals set out in the concept, the statutes of the Ministry and the National Security Strategy. Equally challenging has been the Diaspora’s path towards building a meaningful relationship with the state. The Diaspora has often been accused by politicians in Yerevan of a lack of a clear and unified vision towards Armenia (disputably assuming that there should be one such vision). At the same time, Diasporic communities around the world have themselves been hurt by the lack of constructive leadership and often outdated governance of the existing Diaspora organizations. More importantly, recent developments both in Armenia and the Diaspora have also revealed that the existing formalized platforms or networks (both in Armenia and the Diaspora) are neither sufficient nor "up to date" to ensure proper engagement of both parties concerned. Is it possible to develop a meaningful and sustainable relationship between the two entities? Have the previous and existing seemingly intractable challenges proven otherwise? Who should or could be the driving factor in a more constructive relationship-development and/or engagement? These and other questions will be discussed during the talk.

Dr. Irina Ghaplanyan is a political analyst with a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Cambridge. Her main areas of expertise are political leadership, states in transition, conflict resolution and security studies, as well as gender and diaspora studies. Her previous education includes a Masters Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of London and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of Malta. Dr. Ghaplanyan has worked in a number of international organizations, think tanks, and universities around the world, including UNDP, Georgetown University, Eurasia Foundation, American University of Armenia, and many others. She has also been a catalyst for change in the field of sustainable business and social entrepreneurship in Armenia. Dr. Ghaplanyan was noted for her work in this field and in 2015 was awarded as one of the top social venture entrepreneurs by the Global Good Fund Leadership program in Washington DC. Dr. Ghaplanyan has a number of academic and media publications, among which the most recent is a Routlege Series book on Russian and Eastern European Studies titled Post-Soviet Armenia: The New National Elite and the New National Narrative.

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