Since the independence of Armenia in 1991, the question of whether and how to include the Armenian Genocide on the state’s foreign policy agenda has become the most important issue of controversy between the republic and the global Armenian diaspora. International recognition of the genocide and demands for reparations have been central to diaspora activism and have defined what experts conceptualize as “identity politics.” The Armenian state, however, has been reluctant to include the issue on its political agenda. Eager to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey and open their shared border—closed since 1993—for trade and economic development, Yerevan has insisted on “relations without preconditions” with Ankara. There is, therefore, a clear gap between the state reasoning and diaspora activism. This paper looks at identity politics and state reasoning through the lenses of international relations theory to examine the divide between the two parties and how it might be bridged. It employs Yossi Shain’s framework of diaspora politics to study the relationship between the Armenian diaspora and state concerning the question of the genocide. It argues that an area of convergence followed the failure of the Armenian-Turkish agreement of 2009, which is evidence of an ongoing social construction of identity geopolitics toward a bridging of the gap.


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pp. 193-207
Launched on MUSE
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