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The EU vs. Russia in the foreign policy discourse of Armenia: the fragility of normative power or the power of Russian coercion?

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  • Aram TERZYAN

    () (Yerevan State University, Armenia)

Abstract

Constructivist-driven conventional wisdom posits that ideas and beliefs are pivotal to shaping foreign policy trajectories. Thus, the explanatory power ascribed to material forces falls back on ideas and cultural practices (Wendt, 1999). Whereas the case of Armenia, characterized by the co-existence of European foreign policy identity with Russia-led foreign policy preferences suggests that identity and beliefs may well be outweighed by material forces. This paper seeks to explain the evolution of how the European Union (EU) and Russia have been conceptualised within the foreign policy discourse of Armenia. The study relies on the critical discourse analysis of relevant speeches and statements of Armenia’s foreign policy-makers and, particularly, on those of the President. It scrutinizes the core notions and discursive structures, employed in the Armenian foreign policy discourse for justifying the choice of the Russia-led path. It suggests that Armenia’s deviation from the identity driven path towards the EU has been broadly justified in terms of the country’s economic and, particularly, security needs, which prompted to treat Russia as an indispensable ally. Yet, a closer scrutiny of external constraints indicates that Russian coercive policy left little room for Armenia to achieve a Russian-European balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Aram TERZYAN, 2017. "The EU vs. Russia in the foreign policy discourse of Armenia: the fragility of normative power or the power of Russian coercion?," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 8, pages 185-203, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jes:journl:y:2017:v:8:p:185-203
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    File URL: http://ejes.uaic.ro/articles/EJES2017_0802_TER.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aram TERZYAN, 2016. "The evolution of the European Union’s conception in the foreign policy discourse of Armenia: implications for U-turn and the path beyond the Association Agreement," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 7, pages 165-184, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Irina Busygina & Mikhail Filippov, 2018. "Russia And The Eurasian Economic Union: Conflicting Incentives For An Institutional Compromise," HSE Working papers WP BRP 31/IR/2018, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. John H.S. ABERG & Aram TERZYAN, 2018. "Structure or agency? Explaining Armenia’s foreign policy evolution," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 9, pages 151-172, June.
    3. Aram TERZYAN, 2019. "The Aftermath of the "Velvet Revolution": Armenia Between Domestic Change and Foreign Policy Continuity," Eastern European Journal for Regional Studies (EEJRS), Center for Studies in European Integration (CSEI), Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (ASEM), vol. 5(2), pages 24-43, December.
    4. Aram TERZYAN, 2018. "The anatomy of Russia’s grip on Armenia: bound to persist?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 10(2), pages 234-250, August.
    5. Aram TERZYAN, 2020. "Change or continuity? Exploring post-revolution state - building in Ukraine and Armenia," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 12(1), pages 20-41, May.
    6. Aram TERZYAN, 2020. "Structure - Agency Problem in Foreign Policy Analysis of Post-Soviet States: The Cases of Armenia and Ukraine," Eastern European Journal for Regional Studies (EEJRS), Center for Studies in European Integration (CSEI), Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (ASEM), vol. 6(1), pages 44-68, June.
    7. Aram TERZYAN, 2019. "Russian policy, Russian Armenians and Armenia: ethnic minority or political leverage?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 11(2), pages 124-142, July.

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