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The Political Economy of Human Rights in Armenia: Authoritarianism and Democracy in a Former Soviet Republic

The Political Economy of Human Rights in Armenia: Authoritarianism and Democracy in a Former Soviet Republic
Simon Payaslian

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Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has experienced a reversal from democratization to a Soviet-style authoritarian regime and has been accused of repressive approaches to human rights. Here, Simon Payaslian juxtaposes a masterful survey of the history of the Armenian people from the nineteenth century through the first republic (1918-21) and Sovietization to the present, with the evolution of international human rights standards, and argues that a statist and authoritarian political culture has impeded political liberalization and institutionalization of human rights principles. Highlighting the clash between sovereignty on one side and human rights and democracy on the other, this comprehensive and in-depth analysis is essential for all those interested in human rights, democratization, political repression and the former Soviet republics.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables
Chapter 1: An Overview
Chapter 2: The History of Armenia and the Evolution of International Human Rights
Chapter 3: Political Rights under Authoritarian Rule
Chapter 4: Respect for Civil Liberties and the Integrity of the Person
Chapter 5: Social and Economic Rights
Chapter 6: The Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
Appendix I

Author Info

Simon Payaslian is the Charles K. and Elisabeth M. Kenosian Professor in Modern Armenian History and Literature at Boston University. He is the author of 'The History of Armenia: From the Origins to the Present' (2007) and 'United States Policy toward the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide' (2005).


The Political Economy of Human Rights in Armenia confronts two-closely related research questions: why has democracy failed to effectively consolidate in Post-Soviet Armenia and why has Armenia failed to uphold human rights despite the government’s formal domestic and international commitments to do so. Simon Payaslian’s theoretical framework is grounded in an eclectic interdisciplinary approach that draws on the theoretical works of scholars working on human rights, democratization, political culture, and modernization from a variety of disciplines including political science and political economy, history and sociology. This book sheds light on what would be required, difficult though it may be, to consolidate democracy in Armenia, and will be important reading for scholars and senior undergraduates interested in human rights, democratization, modern American politics and history.
– Professor Maureen S. Hiebert, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

The Political Economy of Human Rights in Armenia is an objective and admirable piece of work, wide in its scope and detailed in its analysis, dealing with a difficult topic in a fair, honest and balanced way. As far as I know, this is the first serious study of the topic, a topic which needs elucidating both to serve the interests of the academic world as well as perhaps to shake up thinking in Armenia… a comprehensive and lucid book.
– Dennis R. Papazian, Founding Director of the Armenian Research Centre at the University of Michigan-Dearborn

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Tauris Academic Studies
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of Historical Studies

ISBN: 9781848858114
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2011
Number of Pages: 440
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: Illustrations, maps

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