The Roots of Armenia’s Democratisation After the 2018 Velvet Revolution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter argues that 1) Armenia has substantially democratised since the 2018 Velvet Revolution, and 2) this democratisation is (at least partially) due to the 2018 Velvet Revolution presenting itself as a case of civil disobedience. Some scholars and intellectuals have downgraded the significance of Armenia’s democratic transition or even rejected the observation that Armenia has democratised since 2018. This chapter demonstrates that Armenia was a semi-authoritarian country before 2018, and became a democracy (though not a consolidated democracy) after 2018, despite the challenges of Covid-19, the 44-Day Karabagh (Artsakh) War in 2020, and the pressure from outside authoritarian regimes and internal authoritarian tendencies. The chapter uses various reports and analyses to show that after 2018 there was progress in elections and media freedom to a sufficient extent to characterise Armenia as a (weak) democracy. In addition, in light of the main theories of civil disobedience, the chapter argues that the 2018 protests might be considered acts of civil disobedience that democratised Armenia by exercising constituent power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArmenia after 2018
Subtitle of host publicationSocial and Political Transformations
EditorsV. Gevorgyan, Y. Antonyan
PublisherPeter Lang, International Academic Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9783034348065, 9783034348072
ISBN (Print)9783034345866
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameInterdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe


  • Velvet Revolution
  • democratisation
  • civil disobedience
  • constituent power
  • elections
  • media freedom
  • democracy indices


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