Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Grenzbereiche des Wachstums | On the edge of Growth

The Rhetoric of Growth and the Myth of Transition in Post Soviet Armenia

Angela Harutyunyan (National Association for Art Critics, Armenia and International University of Bremen, Germany)


Since the earliest years of its existence, the Soviet Union adopted a rhetoric of an industrial progress to be pursued by the labor of all Soviet men. Following these developments, heavy chemical and nuclear plants were constructed in Armenia regardless of geographical, cultural and local peculiarity. In contrast to the Soviet rhetoric of heavy industrial growth, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first government of the already independent country idealized the western neo-liberal market economy.

In this paper I will examine the limits of economic growth in Soviet and post-Soviet Armenia by looking at the official rhetoric of growth in a larger discourse of transition from a heavily industrialized economy to liberal market relations that was dominant in the first years of independence. Through this discussion I will argue that the idea of growth was manipulated to an ideological end of the communist regime' and still continues to be exploited by the new government. I will illustrate that the myth of post-Soviet transition has become a pillar and defense of status quo power relations through the legitimizing effects of the rhetoric of growth and development. That is, the rhetoric of the former Soviet regime' and its reliance on the ideological justification of socialist progress has been transferred to the institutions of the present regime` in a new form.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-13