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The Great Game in West AsiaIran, Turkey and the South Caucasus$
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Mehran Kamrava

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190673604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190673604.001.0001

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The Armenian Imperative

The Armenian Imperative

Confronting and Containing Oligarchs

(p.205) 9 The Armenian Imperative
The Great Game in West Asia

Richard Giragosian

Oxford University Press

As an informative case study, the oligarchy in Armenia pose a challenge to institutional capacity and political will, given their position as an entrenched obstacle to developing viable democratic institutions and building a sound market-based, rule-governed economy. Moreover, the emergence of so-called “oligarchs” in Armenia, through the formation of several commodity-based cartels, stands as a pressing problem threatening the next stage of economic reform, and may seriously undermine the sustainable development of the country. Armenia was hobbled by an especially unique post-Soviet experience, marked by the onset of independence during a state of war with neighboring Azerbaijan, and having to recover from a serious earthquake. Yet, there are several common traits and legacies among the former Soviet states in the South Caucasus that help to explain the emergence of oligarchs, or a business-political elite region-wide.

Keywords:   Armenian oligarchy, Armenian cartels, Armenia, Azerbaijan Armenia war, Post-Soviet states, Armenian independence

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