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This is a 3000 year history of one of Europe's most fascinating and important peoples. Situated on the south-east coast of the Black Sea, Armenia has been a pivotal point between the forces of the east and of the west over most of its long history. That history has thus been very largely one of conquest by rival empires. In the classical period Armenia was conquered successively by the Persians, Seleucids and the Greeks (under Alexander). The flourishing of an independent and powerful Armenian society in the last three centuries before Christ was dissipated by successive invasions of Romans, Parthians and Persians.The conversion of Armenia to Christianity in AD 301 was the prelude to conquests first by Byzantium and then by the Arabs. The dissipation of Armenian culture continued through many centuries of subjugation under the Ottoman Empire and more recently as part of the Soviet Empire. Perhaps not surprisingly emigration from their troubled homeland has been a popular option among Armenians for at least the last 1,500 years. Armenian culture, as the author shows, has survived in enclaves throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The book closes with a consideration of Armenia's first experience of independence after a gap of 1000 years. Redgate's vivid, analytical narrative is illustrated with numerous photographs and maps.
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Imagining Armenia: Orientalism, ambiguity and intervention, 1879-1925 examines how Armenia and Armenians were portrayed in Britain at a decisive moment in modern history, when diplomats, scholars and humanitarians (here termed Armenophiles) engaged with the past, present and future of Armenia.
Joanne Laycock draws on social and cultural theory in order to examine the relationship between representations of Armenia and the political and humanitarian responses to atrocity, genocide and the refugee crisis. This book illustrates how British observers represented the ‘in-between’ position of Armenians and considers the early development of atrocity narratives which related acts of violence and oppression by the Ottomans. It goes on to examine responses to the massacres of the Armenians during the First World War, showing how established images of Armenians were transformed in the wake of this crisis. Laycock then turns to the post-war period when attempts were made to define and establish an independent Armenian nation state in the midst of international efforts to provide for the relief and resettlement of Armenian refugees. The book ends with the long-term implications that British and international ‘abandonment’ of the Armenians had for their subsequent place in public memory.
|How NGOs React
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How NGOs React: Globalization and Education Reform in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia
* Critical retrospective on the first decades of the transition from planned to free-market economy in Central Asia
* Contributions from both Eastern and Western scholars
* Includes both theoretical NGO research and practical examples taken from experience
During the important, early years of transition for the post-socialist countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Mongolia, the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundation was arguably the largest and most influential network in the region. How NGOs React follows the Soros Foundation's educational reform programs there and raises larger questions about the role of NGOs in a centralist government, relationships NGOs have with international donors and development banks, and how projects are adopted and interpreted in different contexts.
Case studies (authored by former or current educational experts of the Soros Network based in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) look at the impact of capacity-building programs, the professional development of teachers, school administrators, government officials, textbook authors, publishers, teacher educators, and university lecturers, among others. Soros's particular focus on capacity-building and how this strategy was adopted across a wide area reveals much that will instruct NGOs working in international education policy. The unique combination of perspectives from Western as well as Eastern scholars based in the region makes this collection an essential retrospective on key processes involved in the transformation of closed societies into open and free ones.
|The Captive and the Gift
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The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus
The Caucasus region of Eurasia, wedged in between the Black and Caspian Seas, encompasses the modern territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as the troubled republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. A site of invasion, conquest, and resistance since the onset of historical record, it has earned a reputation for fearsome violence and isolated mountain redoubts closed to outsiders. Over extended efforts to control the Caucasus area, Russians have long mythologized stories of their countrymen taken captive by bands of mountain brigands.
In The Captive and the Gift, the anthropologist Bruce Grant explores the long relationship between Russia and the Caucasus and the means by which sovereignty has been exercised in this contested area. Taking his lead from Aleksandr Pushkin's 1822 poem "Prisoner of the Caucasus," Grant explores the extraordinary resonances of the themes of violence, captivity, and empire in the Caucasus through mythology, poetry, short stories, ballet, opera, and film.
Grant argues that while the recurring Russian captivity narrative reflected a wide range of political positions, it most often and compellingly suggested a vision of Caucasus peoples as thankless, lawless subjects of empire who were unwilling to acknowledge and accept the gifts of civilization and protection extended by Russian leaders. Drawing on years of field and archival research, Grant moves beyond myth and mass culture to suggest how real-life Caucasus practices of exchange, by contrast, aimed to control and diminish rather than unleash and increase violence.
The result is a historical anthropology of sovereign forms that underscores how enduring popular narratives and close readings of ritual practices can shed light on the management of pluralism in long-fraught world areas.
Transport route, energy source, and symbol of identity, the Dnipro cuts a broad swathe across Ukraine’s national consciousness.
Katerina Liskova is not afraid to ask probing questions about the often surprising official attitudes toward sex in Czechoslovakia.
'Russia without Putin' is more than a slogan. It’s an analytical claim. From openDemocracy.
A new book explores how conspiracy thinking migrated from the margins of Russia’s public sphere to the very core of the country’s political discourse. From openDemocracy.
Miroslav Miskovic’s life has played out like a soap opera. But his autobiography reads like a self-help manual – and a condemnation of Serbian politics.
A new book focuses on Tajik society’s turn to Islam as a means of coping with disorder. From openDemocracy.
Wake up! A postmodern Thoreau urges his fast-growing fan club.
Goran Vojnovic is compelled to write on ‘how unbearably easily politics reaches into the intimacy of the family, how it tears it apart.’