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May 3, 2013

ACNIS Considers the Role of History-making Democratization and Civilian Resistance Movements: Serbian Experience

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today, 3 May 2013, held a roundtable discussion focused on the analysis of history-making nonviolent struggles that enabled ordinary people to defy oppressive rulers through nonviolent power rather than by force of arms. The ideas lying at the root of the civilian-based nonviolent movements and the companion documentary film series illustrating the Serbian experience on how nonviolent actions can be the cutting edge of a strategy to undermine and replace a seemingly intractable dictatorial regime were the overriding themes of the discussion.

ACNIS director of research Manvel Sargsian welcomed the audience with opening remarks and underscored the important role of civilian resistance movements the world over.“ The instrument for bringing this about is a self-organized movement, which has the power to trigger sequences of collective action based on a unified frame for common goals- both short-term and long-term. Without it, a movement cannot enlist the participation of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, who will avoid the risks associated with violent resistance,” concluded Manvel Sargsyan.

The presentation featured a lively exchange of viewpoints among the participant youth activists who analyzed the political and social circumstances  conducive to a student-led resistance movement that succeeded in mobilizing the support from pro-democratic groups and a unified political opposition to defeat president Slobodan Milosevich. None of these circumstances would have mattered, the participants summed up the discussion, if there had not been indigenous civilian resistance applying extreme pressure on these regimes’ institutions and backers.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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