INTRODUCTION                                                               

With the support of Open Society Foundations- Armenia, the “Public Agenda” NGO carried out work in three directions within the framework of the “Public Expertise of the Nation-Army Concept”

  • Study of the political purposes of the concept, comparative analysis of the model of the Nation- army Concept or the Mass armies in other countries, as well as comparative analysis of their political prerequisites
  • expert analysis of the concept
  • Study of attitude towards the concept in a particular target group, among students;

The materials in this handbook are included in this same sequence as the three stages of the work carried out.

The first direction of the study was aimed at publicly interpreting the concept and  describing  the long-term domestic political goals. In order to eliminate the “pan-national” smokescreen of these goals and to decipher the real aspirations of the government, we have tried to analyze a number of issues related to the concept. In particular, why does the government fetishize the  military  component of security, at the expense of political-diplomatic aspect, which are  the  challenges  that  threaten  our country’s security and whether they are taken

into account in the proposed concept, whether the unprecedented growth of the police force and the trend toward the creation of a police state are part of the concept, whether military-patriotic propaganda campaign would lead to militarization of public opinion, whether the role of education and science will be diminished, and so on.

The concept of nation-army in other countries or models of mass army, as well as their political preconditions, have also become a subject of study within the scope of the first direction. Particular attention was paid to the experience of Israel and Switzerland.

For this segment of our study we have used international organizations’ reports on Armenia, Israel and Switzerland, social media publications, as well as economic and other indicators.

Within the framework of the second direction, expert  analysis  of  the  “Nation-army”   concept has been implemented with  the  participation  of  15 experts. The choice of experts was based  on their standing in the society, professionalism and unequivocal  interest  in  the  topic  discussed.   The

study was conducted by using the Delphi method,

in three stages. Experts have had the opportunity to 3            

get acquainted with each other’s opinions in the first

 

two stages. Sociologist Lusine Karamyan analyzed the results of the expert survey.

Within the framework of the third direction, the perceptions of the “Nation-army” concept among students were studied using the method of focus groups with qualitative interviews. The research objectives were:

  • to analyze the concept within the framework of the issues identified by the program,
  • to identify the concerns of the target group,
  • to voice proposals for a possible reform of the concept that would serve the public

There were ten Focus Groups with students from ten of Armenia’s higher education institutions. Focus groups research was conducted in collaboration with Spring PR company.

The handbook presents a  summary  of  the three directions of study, which essentially should be viewed in their entirety. During the project implementation, studies in three directions have “fed” each other, so the reader may encounter reciprocal references in this manual. The purpose  of the interconnection is to summarize the entire project and make it more understandable to the public in its entirety.

The “Public Agenda” NGO’s team thanks all its partners and hopes that the project will contribute to the formation of a public agenda on the topic through stakeholder discussions.

 

GEGHAM BAGHDASARYAN

President of “Public Agenda” NGO

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