Armenia’s Velvet Revolution After Six Months: Beyond the Headlines

Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Lisa Gulesserian
Lecturer on Armenian, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Harvard University


Anush Hambaryan (Harvard Kennedy School, Master in Public Policy Candidate)
Harout S. Manougian (Harvard Kennedy School, Master in Public Administration Candidate)

Dr. Anna Ohanyan (Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Stonehill College)

Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, though the result of years of pent-up anger and frustration, unfolded in spring 2018 with dizzying speed. One moment it appeared that Serzh Sargsyan and the Republican Party would continue their grip on power and all that goes with power in an Armenia dominated by oligarchs; then, practically before anyone knew what had happened, the Armenian people asserted their will, and, incredibly, without violence, power passed from Sargsyan to the people’s choice, Nikol Pashinyan. At a time when many democracies are drifting towards authoritarianism, Armenia stood as a bright exception.

Almost six months later, inevitably, the realities of governing, of addressing the problems of the past and of the future, and building the new Armenia, have created challenges. In this panel discussion, we will attempt to move beyond the headlines to discuss some key fundamental issues including systemic and structural changes that must take place to strengthen Armenia’s democracy; changes to Armenia’s electoral code; the complexities of Armenia’s foreign relations; efforts to combat institutionalized corruption; addressing gender inequality; and more.
Free and open to the public. Reception and refreshments immediately following the program and question-and-answer session.


Please note this event takes place in the Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall in Harvard Yard (Mass Avenue entrance near Widener Library) and begins promptly at 7:30 pm.

AGBU Young Professionals of Boston
Electoral Reform Society, Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Armenian Student Association
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research – NAASR /
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Lecture Series on Contemporary Armenian Topics



Sep 27 2018


7:30 pm

More Info



Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall, Harvard University
1279 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138


(617) 489-1610