Identity and Antagonism in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

  • Abstract:

    In over 20 years of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there has been no significant progress towards peace. It has been argued that there is now no incentive for leaders to agree to a compromise because citizens are unwilling to accept one. In this context, the way in which citizens conceive of themselves and the ‘enemy’ has real implications on the outcome of the conflict. This paper examines the assumptions and qualities attached to Azerbaijan and the future of Nagorno Karabakh in the newspaper Respublika Armenia during four crucial periods for the conflict in the last decade. Respublika Armenia represents a moderate, state-sanctioned discourse within Armenian media. The findings show an entrenching of distrust towards Azerbaijan and consistently rigid notions about the future of Nagorno-Karabakh in publicly accepted Armenian discourse. In fact, there is some indication that not only the discourse but the realities of the conflict are worse now than they were ten years ago. This leads into a wider discussion about anti-Azeri sentiment as a part of modern Armenian identity.