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The Uses and Abuses of History: Genocide and the Making of the Karabakh Conflict

Published in Europe-Asia Studies. 2018, vol. 70, no. 6, p. 884-903
Abstract Did the 1915 genocide of the Ottoman Armenians play a role in the genesis of the Karabakh war? In the early phase of the con ict, many Armenian activists and politicians drew parallels between the evolving struggles of the present and the traumatic events of 1915. This essay explores the ways in which Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey have referred to the events of 1915 to formulate their policies towards the con ict. The essay argues that the largely suppressed past trauma was present in the mass psychology of the con icting parties, although in radically different ways, and that it shaped developing events. After depoliticising genocide commemorations in the early years of its independence, Armenia has recently witnessed an increase in references to the genocide in political discourse. The same also applies, somewhat paradoxically, to Azerbaijan, which has developed its own state-sponsored discourse of genocide, vehemently denying that the genocide took place while portraying Azerbaijan as a victim of genocide itself. This exchange of roles clearly needs further explanation.
Keywords HistoriographyTurkeyArmeniaAzerbaijanethnic conflictgenocidenationalismdenialCaucasus.
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CHETERIAN, Vicken. The Uses and Abuses of History: Genocide and the Making of the Karabakh Conflict. In: Europe-Asia Studies, 2018, vol. 70, n° 6, p. 884-903. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:112595

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Deposited on : 2019-01-08

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