LION Conference Agenda

The Local Roots of Global Peace:

Junior Voices on Global Security Studies Annual International Conference


Sponsored by: Stonehill College (USA), Eurasia Partnership Foundation (Armenia) & Eurasia International Univ. (Armenia)
Conference Venue: Eurasia International University
24/2 Azatutyun Ave., Yerevan, Armenia; +37410 (29 90 88), (24 94 38), (29 90 77)
Email:   Web:
Registration Deadline: June 12th.                                                                         

*The conference is free and open to public.(Space is limited)

Conference Theme

The emergence of a multipolar world politics is promising for many. The “rise of the rest” is expanding the agency of developing countries, potentially leading to more inclusive systems of global governance. Optimists claim that increased multipolarity will create more open economies and political systems and a deeper and more integrated liberal rules-based order. More circumspect observers worry that the power competition between the West and the rest, heightened in recent years, will increase divisions in conflict regions, creating fresh openings for proxy wars. Whether in the Middle East, the South Caucasus, or the Western Balkans in the EU’s backyard, unsettled regional security orders have shown a propensity to become global security threats. Multipolarity in world politics has caused ongoing conflicts to become protracted and intractable. This poses a major challenge to the international community: global conflict management systems are under stress, outcomes from liberal peacebuilding and authoritarian conflict management strategies have been mixed at best, and meaningful discourse and debate on the quality and nature of future peace is still in its infancy.  

While states, large and small, remain central to strategic global security, people power and social movements around the world will increasingly shape the contours and the content of a multipolar world order. The prospects of the liberal principles of human rights, free markets, and open political systems in this context are highly contingent on the ability and the willingness of the people to support them. Armenia’s Velvet Revolution in 2018, realized through the strategic deployment of nonviolent civil disobedience and people power was a reaffirmation of the kind of social change that can emerge from the bottom-up, rather than dictated by distant centers of global power. 

The purpose of this conference is to understand the shifting impact of world (dis)order on human security. What are the challenges for human security within a multipolar world order? What is the role of people power in keeping states open and peaceful and economies trading with ease? What is the longer history of this transformation? How have art, literature, music, religion, and historiography played a role in shaping perceptions over time? What are the prospects for stronger and deeper diplomacy in conflict regions? How do we address the global flows of refugees and migrants? Women’s empowerment is central in people power movements. How do women apply their agency and voice towards a more prosperous and peaceful world? How significant is gender in shaping political power?  How has religion played a role in shaping perspectives and relationships, local and global? In a context of shifting structures of world power, what is the future for human security? How well are the structures of a multipolar world order equipped to address such crises as climate change, ethnic cleansing, or human trafficking? 



Friday, June 21st

9:00 - 10:00

Registration – Student Hall

10:00 - 11:00

Welcoming Remarks & Keynote Address – Conference Hall

10:00 – Welcome - Anna Ohanyan, Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Stonehill College, USA

10:10 – Keynote speaker (to be confirmed) –

10:50 – Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, Executive Director, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Armenia

10:55 – Mariam Jilavyan, Eurasia International University

11:00 - 11:30

Coffee and Media Break - Conference Hall

11:30 - 1:00

Plenary Session - Conference Hall

Bucking the Trend: Armenia’s Velvet Revolution in the Global Context of Democratic Declines, Roundtable

This panel examines the forces that are driving world-wide declines in democracy, which some observes place at the levels of 1930s. This roundtable will attempt to shed light on how Armenia’s Velvet Revolution developed in an unhospitable geopolitical terrain and at a time when democratic institutions, from Western Europe to Latin America, are under stress. We will then focus on the organizational and political identity of Armenia’s Velvet. Questions still linger: just how revolutionary was it? How does it compare to the color revolutions, if at all, and to the Arab Spring in the Middle East? What should we make of the most recent mass-scale protests in Algeria and Sudan, like Armenia’s Velvet, were driven by complex social forces? Are there lessons to be learned from other democratic transitions in consolidating the gains from the democratic opening created by the Velvet Revolution?  Are there similar lessons to be learned from social and political change in Georgia?

The panel will draw on a forthcoming volume edited by Laurence Broers and Anna Ohanyan, entitled Armenia’s Velvet Revolution: Challenging Competitive Authoritarianism in a Multipolar World (forthcoming with I.B. Taurus, 2020).

Chair  Irakli Kakabadze, Gandhi Foundation, Georgia


Dr. Anna Ohanyan, Stonehill College-USA “Velvet Is Not A Color”

Richard Giragosian, Regional Studies Center, Armenia

Dr. Jenny Paturyan, American University of Armenia, "Bubbling from Below: The Civic Fabric of the Velvet Revolution”

Arsen Kharatyan, Georgia – “How to Build a Democratic Transition & What to Do When you Arrive?”

Babken Der Grigorian, Acting Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Armenia

1:00 – 2:30

Lunch - Student Hall

Luncheon Keynote Address –

Arevik Anapiosyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia

2:30 - 4:00



Strategic Security, Politics of Alliances and Wedging – Tempus Conference Hall

Session Chair: Lena Zaqaryan, The Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

Exponential Capacity of Power and its Impact on Military Alliance Dynamics, by Dr. Nikoloz Esitashvili, New Vision University, Georgia

South Caucasus: An Incubator of Instability or Cradle of Peace?, by Dr. Grigor Grigoryan, Yerevan State University, Armenia

Contradictory Interests of Turkey and Russia in South Caucasus in 2000-2008, by Nino Metreveli, Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Addressing the role of private military and security companies (PMSCs) involved by the UN in peacekeeping operation, by Dr. Maria Nebolsina, MGIMO University, Russia

Discussant: Richard Giragosian, Regional Studies Center, Armenia


Democratic Transitions and Political Identities in an Uncentered World - Viva Cell MTS Computer Room

Session Chair: Garine Palandjian, Arizona State University, USA

Spontaneous and Unorganized? Reconceptualizing Formal and Informal Activism in the Armenian Women’s Movement, Ani Der Grigorian, London School of Economics, Great Britain

The role of the youth in the Velvet revolution: a diasporan perspective, by Ms. Lena Krikorian, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria

2014 Ukraine Crisis – How it helped Ukraine to form and transform National identity, by Dachi Lepsveridze, Tbilisi State University, Georgia

America’s (False) Sense of Exceptionalism on the Global Stage, by Leondard Fields, Stonehill College, USA  

Discussant: Dr. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan, American University of Armenia

4:15 – 5:30

Plenary Session: Professional Development Roundtable - General Conference Hall

Pedagogy of Controversy

Session Chair: Dr. Anna Ohanyan, Stonehill College, USA

Isabella Sargsyan, Eurasia Partnership Foundation-Armenia

Dr. Todd Gernes, Stonehill College, USA

Dr. Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, Eurasia Partnership Foundation-Armenia

Teaching controversial topics is often promoted in higher education circles as enhancing critical thinking and student engagement—and in a wide variety of fields. The goal of this panel/discussion will be to explore the pedagogy of controversy, an approach to teaching that foregrounds culturally or politically challenging topics and harnesses the educative power of intellectual conflict. What is the relationship between controversy and critical thinking? How can we leverage controversy to further diversity and inclusion? There are significant challenges that come with teaching controversial topics: the myth of instructor neutrality; deeply engrained binary opposition that emerge during class discussion; the habit of structuring controversies around individual identities; and other issues that, unattended to, can become a hindrance to learning. Despite these challenges, the pedagogy of controversy promises to foster deep learning, moral reasoning, intercultural understanding, the critical yet civil exchange of ideas.



Saturday, June 22nd

9:15 - 10:00

Morning Coffee – Student Hall

9:00 - 11:00

Writing to Learn Across Disciplines – Conference Hall

“You really do write like you are running out of time” – Hamilton the Musical

Interactive workshop for educators (2 hours). Space is limited to twelve participants. Pre-registration (in addition to the conference registration) is required to attend the workshop. Please contact Mariam Jilavyan to register, at

This hands-on workshop for educators will focus on practical strategies for integrating writing into secondary- and college-level courses to foster student engagement, critical thinking, and integrative learning.  Topics covered in the workshop will include: active reading, the writing process, assignment design, low-stakes and high-stakes writing assignments, sequencing assignments within course syllabi, responding to student writing, and assessment and grading.  Participants will also be provided with a resource pack for further study and a thirty-minute individual consultation with a writing professional.  Participants are welcome to bring thirteen copies of a writing assignment (or an idea for one) and/or a course syllabus that you would like to work on at the conference.

This workshop is appropriate for professors or prospective professors who wish to integrate writing into their college-level courses.

About the workshop facilitator: Dr. Todd Gernes, Associate Professor of History and Writing Program Director at Stonehill College, has taught writing for more than thirty years and, during this time, has served as a writing program administrator, writing consultant, and Assistant Dean of General Education.




Rethinking and Recasting Regional Security - Tempus Conference Hall

Session Chair: Richard Giragosian, Regional Studies Center (RSC), Armenia

Georgian-Russian Bargain of 2008, by Shota Bekadze and Dr. Nikoloz Esitashvili, Istanbul University, Turkey/New Vision University, Georgia

Turkey’s Energy Politics in the South Caucasus, Shota Bekadze, Ankara University (or Istanbul University?)

Energy Security, by Anahit Pashayan, independent researcher

The Iranian Factor in South Caucasus: Prospects of Cooperation and Possible Threats, by Ani Hovasapyan, Yerevan State University, Armenia

Preliminary Title: Taiwan as a De Facto State, by Ian MacLeod, Stonehill College, USA

Discussant: Dr. Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, EFP, Armenia and Irakli Kakabadze, Georgia



Armed Conflicts in the South Caucasus - Viva Cell MTS Computer Room

Session Chair: Isabella Sargsyan, EPF

Italy’s Position and Impact on Nagorno-Karabakh Issue, by Ms. Mariam Frangulyan, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Italy

Nagorno Karabakh Conflict Revisited, by Ms. Lena Krikorian, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria

Institutional Frailty as Leverage in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, by Ms. Kathryn Butterworth, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA

On Violation of Some Fundamental Principles of International Law in Georgia, by Natia Gotsiridze, Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Enduring Rivalry and Conflict Transformation: the Case of Nagorno Karabakh, by Narek Sukiasyan, Yerevan State University

Discussant: Kathryn Butterworth, UMass Boston 


Broadening Security Studies - Library

Session Chair: Dr. Nikoloz Esitashvili, Tbilisi State University, Georgia

The nexus of networked crime and armed conflict, Hovhannes Bardakchyan, Russian-Armenian University, Armenia

Gumuz-Oromo Conflicts and Peacebuilding Endeavors: The Case of Belodjiganfoy and Sasiga Districts, Western Ethiopia, by Dejene Memosa, Wollega University, Ethiopia

Corruption and Violence, by David Trombly, Stonehill College, USA

Addressing the Syrian Refugee Crisis, by Nicole Buchanan, Stonehill College, USA

Discussant: Arsen Kharatyan, Aliq Media, Georgia




Plenary Session: Professional Development Roundtable  - General Conference Hall

Public Scholarship and Policy Writing: From Blog Post to Washington Post

Policy relevance of social sciences and humanities has been a challenge for many academic communities around the world. While the reasons driving the gap between the academia and the policy world differ from country to country, the gap between the two can be detrimental in regions that are grappling with complex social, economic, and political problems. Many academics in the United States have been calling for “bridging the gap” between the academia and the policy world. Reevaluating public scholarship and the public purpose of social science is an important step in that direction. In the short term, learning how to communicate with the broader public and sharpening the skills necessary to engage in public discourse are essential to the ultimate goal of a more policy-relevant scholarship.

This roundtable focuses on practical ways to translate academic research into policy-oriented writing, touching on genre, structure, level of detail, audience, and tone. In particular, the speakers will share lessons learned in writing for blogposts, journals, newspapers, and even college classrooms in South Caucasus, the United States, and Europe. Writing for specific outlets will be covered.

Babken Der Grigorian, Acting Minister of Diaspora Affairs

Richard Giragosian, Regional Studies Center, Armenia

Arsen Kharatyan, Aliq Media, Georgia

Todd Gernes, Stonehill College, USA

Moderators: Anna Ohanyan, Stonehill College, USA 


LUNCH - Student Hall

Luncheon Keynote Address – Dr. Todd Gernes, Associate Professor of History and Writing Program Director, Stonehill College, USA

In Ethel Franklin’ Betts’ striking 1918 poster for Near East Relief, a beautiful Armenian girl, arms extended beyond the poster’s inner frame beseechingly toward the viewer, seems to plead with her eyes and vulnerability for sympathy and support. The message, a product of a sophisticated American fundraising campaign, was direct and effective. This illustrated talk explores the complex story behind the image.




Broadening Security Studies - Tempus Conference Hall

Session Chair: Vazgen Karapetyan, EPF

Women’s agency and rights, past and present, by Darlington Tshuma, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Redefine the Protected Groups of the Crime of Genocide with the Theory of Identification, Ran Cao, Durham University, Great Britain

The Education in Syrian Refugee Children in Host Countries, by Hillary Ferreira, Stonehill College, USA

Gender-Inclusive Societies Lead to Longer Lasting Peace, by Hannah Prasad, Stonehill College, USA

Discussant: Dr. Nikoloz Esitashvili, New Vision University, Georgia


International Organizations and Non-State Actors in Global Security - Viva Cell MTS Computer Room

Session Chair: Todd Gernes

The End of the Beginning: A Study of the Arab Spring, by Dr. Ali Muhammad Bhat, Islamic Research Academy, India

Russia's Foreign and Security Policy Approach towards the Host Countries of the Arab Revolutions in the Islamic world after 2010, by Saman Kamdar, Iran

The United Nations, A Worthwhile Organization, by Jack Herndon, Stonehill College, USA

Globalization and Human Trafficking in Iran, by Glendy Alvarez, Stonehill College, USA

Discussant: Isabella Sargsyan, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Armenia




Networking Reception

Բարի ճանապարհ – Bon Voyage!

Our time together was brief, but let’s stay connected!

Join us for a networking reception and farewell, with light refreshments and conversation.