Interview with Fellow Magda Arsenyan

Name: Magda Arsenyan

Country: Armenia

Degree: MA in Public Adminis­tration

Academic disci­pline: Political Science

Specia­li­sation: Political Processes and Insti­tu­tions

Topic of the doctoral thesis: Precon­di­tions for the Estab­lishment of Parlia­mentary Culture in Armenia

How would you explain the topic of your disser­tation to a non-expert in the field? Talking to a non-expert, I would bring up a synonym of “parlia­mentary culture” – namely the “nationwide dialogue” between state and society. We all have our own role in the estab­lishment and further develo­pment of that constructive dialogue. Parlia­mentary culture reflects not only the behaviour of political actors, but also the mentality of civil society. It illus­trates the ability of state and society to listen to each other and the political will to achieve a compromise.

I am writing a doctoral thesis because my topic is directly linked to the political processes that are taking place in Armenia at the moment. As a result of the referendum on consti­tu­tional reforms in 2015, the Republic of Armenia is moving from a semi-presi­dential to a parlia­mentary system of government. This new stage in the history of Armenia brings different challenges. The scien­tific innovation of the topic lies in resear­ching an unpre­ce­dented trans­for­mation process: the estab­lishment of a parlia­mentary culture. Society has to perceive the parliament not only as a legis­lative body, but as a supreme state, legal and political institute. The parlia­mentary culture reflects the political consciousness of the state. The formation of the parlia­mentary culture should be an oppor­tunity to balance public supply and demand as well as the legal and social policy conducted by the state. In conse­quence, a dialogue between state and society has to be estab­lished based not on conti­nuing internal political conflicts, but rather on mutual trust, under­standing and compromise.

What are your expec­ta­tions from the EUCACIS programme? I expect to gain a lot of knowledge and to get the oppor­tunity to cooperate with highly qualified professors, with whose support I will become an expert in my field of specia­li­sation.

In ten years, I see myself as an official repre­sen­tative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.

If I was not doing a PhD right now, I would choose the business sector and establish a company which would organise different kinds of events in Armenia and abroad. That would offer an oppor­tunity to be part of different cultures, bring new acquain­tances and also a new mentality. One would get the chance to create a cultural movement in everyday life.