Presentation of the First Armenian Edition of the Book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” By Gene Sharp Was Held


On September 26, 2015 the presentation of the first Armenian edition of the famous book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” by professor Gene Sharp was held in the framework of the “Civil Consciousness” NGO’s Third Congress.

Throughout its existence over 3 years “Civil Consciousness” NGO has remained true to its principles and has been doing everything in order to fulfill its objectives for the sake of the development of the Republic of Armenia, which is possible only through democratization. That is true, that for reaching a consolidated democracy in our country there are still a number of problematic issues to be overcome, but it is not impossible at all. In this regard, the civil society plays the key role, which needs further development and strengthening in the Republic of Armenia. It is true, that in recent years there has been seen some positive changes in the field of civil society, but, unfortunately, almost all the civic movements which were organized in our country were not able to secure the desired results, because of the lack of professional approach as well as the absence of knowledge of how to organize a nonviolent struggle.

“Civil Consciousness” NGO has built tight cooperation relationships with The Albert Einstein Institution working in the United States of America and, as a result, the NGO members for the first time took up translating into Armenian the famous book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” by professor Gene Sharp. The book has been translated into more than 45 languages and from now on it is available in Armenian.

The book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” aims at developing common understanding about the potential of nonviolent struggle in acute conflicts. In this book nonviolent ways of struggle have been subjected to a vocational analysis, which are necessary for a well-organized struggle. Knowledge of nonviolent struggle, particularly of how to act and organize enables people to participate in the forming of their life as well as the society.

The term “nonviolent struggle”, unfortunately, has become a matter of misperceptions, as the individuals actively involved in organizing the civil society erroneously interpret the notion of it and try to enforce it. In fact, thanks to this book in a number of states the citizens were able to succeed by getting rid of the authoritarian regimes, but solely eliminating the evil is not enough. There is need to hold firm in the achievements and cultivate them by establishing democratic institutions and serving them for the sake of the development of the state.

What is written in the book will certainly help people realize the importance of being a citizen and finally turn from a resident to a citizen and have that important civil consciousness and demonstrate that consciousness in a proper way deeply realizing its value, thus contributing to the ultimate formation and development of the civil society in the Republic of Armenia.

And, last but not least, we would like to thank “the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office”, whose financial support made it possible to finally publish this book.

 Lusine Arakelyan