Author: Alvard Sargsyan
The Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a long-lasting ethnic conflict in the South Caucasus. Currently, the negotiation process is frozen and violations of the ceasefire agreement come from both sides. The borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and between Azerbaijan and the unrecognized republic of Nagorno Karabakh remain closed. Also, there is a lack of communication between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The importance of the publication of International Alert research titled “An analysis of grassroots views on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict” is immense, because it is reflecting the current situation in the region and the way people see the conflict resolution. In all three societies, the conflict became a normal part of daily lives and all societies are ready to pay a big price for it. People are not ready for compromise and for many of them, the only solution is war and military actions. The respective authorities sometimes use the enemy image to cover their ineffective policy or corruption. The trust in the negotiation process held by the OSCE Minsk Group remains low but there is also a potential for peace and dialogue.
Alvard Sargsyan is a PhD student of Political Science at the Yerevan State University. Her doctoral research topic is “The role of water resources on ethno-political conflict; Nagorno Karabakh conflict case.” Currently, she is working at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Artsakh. She is also a freelancer in the Berghof Foundation’s project “Memory and History as a Basis for Dialogue in Karabakh and Azerbaijan”
This Policy Paper is based on the research “An analysis of grassroots views on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.” It was implemented in the framework of the project of “Envisioning Peace” which is one of the projects of the International Alert. The aim of the research is to hear the opinions of ordinary people whose voice is often ignored regarding the conflict. The study was conducted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno Karabakh. The research uses qualitative methods based on in-depth semi-structured interviews from different social groups. The analysis was published based on this research. A team of young researchers from Karabakh was involved in the project, including the author of this paper. This research is unique in its sense because, for the first time, it was focused on the common people’s vision about the conflict.
Image source: WikimediaCommons | Ilgar Jafarov (CC BY-SA 4.0)