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Lecture - Modernization of Cities in the Post-Soviet Space, AUA

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October 04, 2016, 16:30 - October 04, 2016, 18:00

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Modernization of Cities in the Post-Soviet Space

The aim of this seminar is to provide a comprehensive explanation for the reasons behind governments’ decisions to relocate and build new capital cities. The process of capital building is not a mere phenomenon of urbanization; rather it is a process of “text inventing” for nation-building projects. To emphasize identical implications behind city constructions, the seminar will address urbanization practices of Soviet Yerevan and Post-Soviet Astana. However, to verify the validity and generality of the proposed argument, the seminar will also briefly provide historical analysis of relocation of capitals from Moscow to St. Petersburg, and from Istanbul to Ankara.

Capital reconstruction in Soviet Armenia in the 1920s might be characterized as a process that met the requirements and was somewhat typical of “torn countries” or countries aiming to create a new identity. The central conceptual premise of the presentation is theoretical concepts of a ”torn country” and the redefinition of civilizational identity. American political scientist Samuel Huntington in his work “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” coined the terms “civilizational identity” and “torn country”. Samuel Huntington’s concept of a “torn country” is an essential, analytical tool that made it possible to bring up the recent example of capital relocation in Kazakhstan by comparing it with other cases from different periods of history, in an attempt to show the role of the city in the process of redefinition of the national identity in modern times.

Thus, one of the reasons that capitals have been relocated and new capitals have been built throughout history is because there has been a need to initiate processes of identity transformation in the long run.

Language of the event: English

About the speakers: 

Narek Mkrtchyan
Armenian History Instructor
American University of Armenia

Organizer

Political Science & International Affairs

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