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About Vicken Cheterian

Vicken Cheterian is a journalist and political analyst. He teaches international relations at Webster University, Geneva, and lectures in the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva. His books include Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide (C Hurst, 2015), From Perestroika to Rainbow Revolutions: Reform and Revolution after Communism (C Hurst, 2013), and War and Peace in the Caucasus: Russia’s Troubled Frontier (C Hurst, 2009)

Articles by Vicken Cheterian

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Cambodia: justice after genocide

Khmer Rouge mass killings were followed by cynical geopolitics. By the time justice took the stand, was it also impossible?

Tuol Sleng: prison-museum of Cambodia's genocide

A visit to the Khmer Rouge's death chamber seeds reflection on past and present alike. 

Syria: is debate still possible?

The violence and polarisation of Syria's long war can induce paralysis of the mind. Only a polity based on law and justice can break the cycle.

Moscow, August 1991: a world-changing failure

25 years ago, an attempted takeover by communist hardliners led to the Soviet Union's collapse. The reverberations still continue.

A genocide century: Armenia's light, Turkey's denial

A hundred years after the Ottoman genocide, Armenia is turning the page on a dark century and looking outwards. When will Turkey?

United States policy in the Middle East: Catch-22

Washington's confused actions over Syria are a textbook case of strategic failure, says Vicken Cheterian.

The European Court of Human Rights violates my rights

The EHCR has upheld the right of the Turkish politician Dogu Perincek to deny the Armenian genocide. It's a bad decision with dangerous implications.

Young Turk, Arab spring: a parallel

The experience of the late-Ottoman revolt of 1908 is relevant to the cycle of uprising and violence in the region today. 

Armenia, memories of the land

A century after the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians, Vicken Cheterian goes in search of its living traces on the modern borderlands where Turkey, Syria and Lebanon meet.

European vs Arab revolutions: regimes, ideas, violence

Why did east-central Europe find a non-violent freedom path in 1989-91, while the Arab world failed to do so after 2011?

Armenian genocide, a century on

A hundred years after the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire, widening acceptance of the crime is shadowed by Ankara's continual evasion.

Charlie Hebdo and the blasphemy of censorship

The massacre in Paris spreads fear and reinforces the retreat from free expression in Europe. It also sharpens an unavoidable choice over legal and political order.

Turkey and the "Islamic State”

Turkey is notably reluctant to join a military campaign against ISIS. In fact, Ankara's ambiguity towards the radical Islamist group has deep political as well as historical roots.

Azerbaijan: a dual offensive

Azerbaijan’s strategy over the disputed, Armenian-held territory of Karabakh is also aimed at eliminating domestic opposition. But the country's rising troubles make this a self-defeating strategy.

Central African Republic: genocide in our time

The failure of the international community over events in the CAR reflects a wider retreat from its promises over human rights, says Vicken Cheterian.

Syria: Kessab's battle and Armenians' history

The takeover by anti-Damascus rebels of an Armenian village in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey, has triggered a propaganda war which focuses on the position of Syria's Armenians. This highlights core aspects of Armenians' experience since the 1915 genocide, says Vicken Cheterian.

Syria's Kurds, hopes and fears

The civil war in Syria has put great strains on the country's Kurdish population. The Syrian Kurds' most powerful politician, Saleh Muslim Mohammad, talks to Vicken Cheterian about their position and future.

Turkey’s "race codes" and the Ottoman legacy

The revelation that modern Turkey continues secretly to classify its citizens according to religious criteria reflects the weight of the Ottoman past. It also has implications for those in the middle east seeking a state based on equality before law, says Vicken Cheterian.

Syria's activists: politics of anger

The hopes of Syria's opposition for external support are turning into bitter suspicion of the west's real motives in refusing to intervene in the war, says Vicken Cheterian.

Syria: neo-anti-imperialism vs reality

Much leftist analysis of Syrian events is trapped by a dogmatic outlook that combines a warped view of geopolitics with inattention to local realities, says Vicken Cheterian.

Turkey and the Armenians: politics of history

A new generation's encounter with the Armenian genocide of 1915 is producing fresh understandings of Turkey's - and the middle east's - modern history, finds Vicken Cheterian.

Libya: oil, the state and the revolution

The surge of political expectation in post-revolution Libya contrasts with the lack of realistic assessments of the country's economic - and therefore democratic - prospects, finds Vicken Cheterian.

Tunisia: a year of all dangers

Tunisia is both the pioneer of the Arab spring and its greatest success so far. But even here the political and economic tests are acute, says Vicken Cheterian.

Armenia-Turkey: the end of rapprochement

A diplomatic process designed to normalise relations between Armenia and Turkey led to the signing of two protocols in 2009. Its failure is rooted in the miscalculations of both sides, says Vicken Cheterian.

Torture and the Arab system, old and new

The Arab awakening of 2011 raises hope of an end to the torture and other human-rights violations that have long been endemic in Arab states. But it will be a tough legacy to overcome, says Vicken Cheterian.

9/11, and the hijacked decade

The al-Qaida strategy of attacking the United States created its own form of blowback. But the triumph of militarisation after 9/11 exacted a deeper cost on the world, says Vicken Cheterian.

Egypt, the Nile and the revolution

The fate of Egypt across the centuries is indissolubly linked to the river which gives it life. Today, a range of problems - environmental, political, economic - threaten the provision and the quality of the Nile waters. They present another challenge for the young post-Mubarak order, says Vicken Cheterian 

Syria’s broken spring: a Damascus report

A seething revolt across much of Syria is being met with ferocious repression by the Ba’athist government’s security forces. But so far, the two cities where close to half of Syria’s population lives - Damascus and Aleppo - are relatively calm. In this evolving situation, what are the prospects for Syria’s regime and people? Vicken Cheterian reports and reflects.  

The Arab revolt and the colour revolutions

The fate of the popular insurgencies in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere in the early-mid 2000s could offer guidance or warning to the middle-east uprising of 2011 - and to western states, says Vicken Cheterian. 

The Arab crisis: food, energy, water, justice

Tunisia’s popular uprising is reverberating across the Arab world. But such movements face problems that go far wider than dictatorship to encompass the whole range of human security, says Vicken Cheterian.

The Armenia-Turkey protocols: a year on

The process of dialogue between neighbours locked in an enduring dispute over the events of 1915 is already in trouble. But in assessing what has gone wrong, Vicken Cheterian sees history still on the move.

Kyrgyzstan failing, and an arc of crisis

The violent descent of parts of Kyrgyzstan into communal conflict since the overthrow of its president in April 2010 leaves a security vacuum whose dangerous effects could be felt across central Asia, says Vicken Cheterian. 

Armenian genocide and Turkey: then and now

The destruction of the Ottoman Armenians began on 24 April 1915. Almost a century later the contemporary political relevance of the "great catastrophe" remains undiminished, says Vicken Cheterian.

Armenia-Turkey: genocide, blockade, diplomacy

A bad agreement cannot turn old adversaries into good neighbours, says Vicken Cheterian.
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