2012/2013 Fellowship Program fellows
Anna Malkhasyan’s research will explore the relationship between online social networks and social capital formation processes. Using a web survey of Facebook users and a series of qualitative interviews, Anna will try to understand what role Facebook has in amassing social capital and how Facebook users engage more people in their actions and promote their initiatives. Her hypothesis is that a positive relationship exists between certain forms of online social network uses and the formation of bridging and bonding social capitals. The expected results will equip government, NGO representatives, social political technologists, and PR specialists with the proper tools and recommendations to use online social networks to improve social capital formation processes.
The Nagorno Karabakh Conflict: War Rhetoric of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia
The subject of the research is the unresolved conflict over Nagorno Karabakh and the official rhetoric about the possibility of a new war. Within the theoretical framework of constructivism and by using content analysis, the author discusses the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents’ visions regarding the conflict, as expressed in their public statements, specifically the dynamics, character, geography and intensity of their war rhetoric. Through the findings presented in this paper, the author reveals conceptualized elements of bias speech, stereotypes, cases of hate speech and offensive language, as well as references to war from 2009 to 2011. The project pegs the tone of each speaker to general public opinion relating to the war over Nagorno Karabakh from its inception to the present.
Full paper upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arusyak Aleksanyan is researching the factors that influence democracy in Armenia. In particular, she seeks to understand what political, social, economic, and educational developments, if an, precondition democracy or if democracy preconditions these factors. Her hypothesis is that each country’s democracy is formed from the specific national, cultural, and traditional conditions that are unique to that country. The methodology will include quantitative (correlation and regression analyses) and qualitative (comparative analysis and logical method) tactics. She anticipates that the results will give insightful recommendations to improve democracy in Armenia and that this project can be used to analyze the democracies in other European countries.
Karine Markosyan’s research will focus on female sex workers in Armenia in order to understand the potential risks of a future HIV epidemic in the country. Although Armenia has a relatively low rate of HIV (0.1%), sex workers are a high-risk population for this virus. In particular, she will evaluate how frequently and consistently Armenian female sex workers refuse to provide unprotected sex to their male clients and the demographic, psychological, and behavioral predictors behind their refusal to engage in unprotected sex. She will use data from a study done in 2010 that interviewed 120 sex workers over the age of 18. Karine plans to publish her finalized report in a peer-reviewed journal and also disseminate it to relevant parties in Armenia.
Lusine Saghumyan will use her research to try to understand the causes for homosexual-related stigmas in Armenia by testing the justification ideology. Using document analysis and focus groups as her methodology, she will test her hypothesis that the main cause of such stigmas among Armenian youth is based on national, cultural, and religious attributes. She hopes that the findings from her research will be spread to NGOs working in the field who can reach the Armenian public and work against such negative sentiments.
Mariam Matevosyan is researching the relationship between trust and economic growth in the South Caucasus. Her research question explores how trust in core democratic institutions and economic growth relate and whether the level of interpersonal trust and the level of trust in core democratic institutions relate in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. She will use an extensive literature review of secondary sources and CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer in her methodology. Her hypothesis is that in Armenia and Georgia, economic growth positively relates to the level of public trust in core democratic institutions.
Tatevik Zohrabyan will address two principal topics in her research: the socio-economic determinants of female labor force participation in the South Caucasus and the factors that impact females’ perception that men are more entitled to employment when jobs are scarce. Her hypothesis is that variables such as age, level of education, marital status, geographic location, and household size and income impact these two topics. She will use both the logit and ordered logit models in this study and anticipates that the results will be used by interested government and non-government bodies who seek to promote equal opportunities and utilize available labor resources efficiently.
Vanuhi Mnatsakanyan and Ruzanna Gabrielyan are exploring Armenia’s system of setting the minimum optimal wage level. More specifically, their research question is whether the system must change and, if so, why and how to go about this. A minimum wage is important to alleviate poverty and support the labor market. Their methodology will include qualitative and quantitative econometric analysis as well as data collection. They anticipate that their results will serve as an analytical source for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and other organizations.
2010/2011 Fellowship Program fellows
Anna Minasyan is undertaking a research project entitled "The Relation between Millennium Challenge Account Aid and Control of Corruption in Armenia". This research will address whether funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which provides aid to countries that perform well on their governance indicators, is large enough for Armenia to improve its control of corruption. The research will be done by taking date from: a) the Worldwide Governance Indicators (by the World Bank), which is taken from survey and polls among country specialists and b) the CRRC Date Initiative on Corruption Perception in Armenia, which is a data collection done through surveying the civilian population and relying on their perception of corruption. The research hypothesis states that the incentive of receiving MCC aid has a positive impact on corruption indicators in Armenia. The research methodology used will be to perform a difference-in-difference (DD) comparative analysis and a regression analysis. Results of the two analyses will be compared.
Meri Yeranosyan’s research project is entitled "Religious tolerance and the dominant Armenian Apostolic Church in desecularizing Armenia: the case of Shatin village". This research will ask the question why, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, the town of Shatin has experienced such a high level of religious tolerance while the rest of the country has dealt with widespread religious discrimination. The answer posited is that the fear of loosening social bonds and of alienation among the older population, in combination with the youth’s respect for their elders, is responsible for the level of religious tolerance in Shatin.
Nelli Gasparyan is initiating a project entitled "Poverty and Growth Dynamics in Armenia". This project will address the dynamics of poverty in Armenia and its causes. This research will examine poverty over time and across regions. Furthermore, it will assess the underlying causes of, and the government’s social programs aimed at combating poverty. The research hypothesis presented is that different groups and regions of Armenia are disparately affected by economic growth and by social programs implemented by the government and international organizations.
Vilen Khachatryan’s research project is entitled ‘Post-Crisis Developments in Armenia’, and will examine developments in Armenia’s economy since the economic crisis. The research will attempt to answer the following: a) what were the root causes and other factors contributing to the decline of the Armenian economy; b) could greater regional economic integration have helped to avoid this decline; c) could post-crisis developments cause a debt crisis in Armenia? The hypothesis is that: a) flawed sectoral diversification and great external dependence led to the economic crisis; b) the crisis would not have been so great had there been greater regional integration; c) the post-crisis developments will not cause a debt crisis.
Tamara Tsaturyan’s research project is entitled "Personality and leisure choices in Armenia". This research addresses people’s motivations to choose certain types of leisure activities over others that are more popular in ad campaigns. This analysis will be used to determine the relationship between the self-actualizing type of leisure and personality. Specifically, the research seeks to determine the kind of people that become involved in self-actualizing leisure activities, how they become involved and what benefits do they receive from participation in such activities. The proposed answer is that self-actualizing leisure activities in Armenia are driven more by personal characteristics than by cultural and social patterns and trends. This study will provide important insight into the health, well-being, level of happiness and satisfaction with life of the society and, therefore, may serve as a guide to constructing better policies on cultural and youth affairs and on healthcare.
2009/2010 Fellowship Program fellows
What is the role of Armenian NGOs in developing social capital
Adoption of modern practices and methods in agriculture: Drivers versus Challenges and Limitations
2008/2009 Fellowship Program fellows
Orientation of Armenia’s Schoolchildren of Upper Grades Towards Higher Education: A Study of Motives and Values Using the Case of Yerevan
Domestically Issued Public Debt as a Sustainable Alternative Instrument for Debt Managers to Meet the Needs of Public Budget Deficit in Countries of South Caucasus in the Medium to Long Run
The Role of International Donor Support in Promoting Civic Advocacy in Post Soviet Armenia
Corporate Culture as Basis for Economic Democracy
Comparative Mathematical Models of Ethno Cultural Processes in South Caucasus Societies
Killer Seat Belts, Feminine Drivers and Tinted Windows: Pitfalls on the Way of Enforcement of Seat Belt Rules in Armenia
The Number and Reintegration of Armenian Migrants Returned to Homeland from the United States of America: 1991-2008
2007 Fellowship Program fellows
2006 Fellowship Program fellows
2005 Fellowship Program fellows and their research topics
Mr. Bagrat Harutyunyan
Corruption and Reforms in Armenia’s Education System (full text paper) | Article 1 | Article 2