Ideological aspects of Karabakh conflict
For a quarter of a century of an open confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan for the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions, the images of the conflict have gone beyond the concepts of "inter-ethnic" or "interstate." At the core of the conflict is a virtual world view that goes beyond the natural, everyday life conception. The basis of the political mobilization of the ethnos is not moral laws or norms of the international law, but peculiar ideologized schemes meeting the needs of the existence of the modern doctrine of Armenian security.
To understand the ideological maintenance of the conflict, it is necessary to understand that Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijani in Nagorno-Karabakh is not a classic war for natural resources or the territories vital for existence. In the course of the conflict, Armenia has lost more than gained. The features of deindustrialization have emerged In the economy, due to which the subsistence farming largely dominates in the private sector. The expenses of the Armenian side to support the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh have increased many times over the past two decades. It is impossible to talk about any reimbursement of expenses by investors, since the occupation has not brought any actual profit, and therefore, there is no economic justification for the aggression as well. Moreover, as a result of the occupation, the international community represented by the UN defines Armenia as an aggressor party, and this allows official Baku to raise the issue of imposing sanctions policy on Yerevan and self-proclaimed Karabakh up to the imposition of an embargo on the supply of weapons or dual-use technologies at any time.
The Karabakh war is not a civil war or a war for self-determination since the goal of Armenian separatism is deeper economic penetration into Armenia and neighboring republics. The declared isolation of the occupied territories is an exclusively political screen since even separatists consider the existence of two Armenian republics inappropriate. It is no secret that if recognized, Nagornо-Karabakh will be integrated into Armenia. There is a risk of the spread of separatist tendencies in the countries of traditional residence of the Armenian diaspora (Georgia, Abkhazia). The Armenian separatism seeks to mobilize ethnic potential in the interests of acquiring geopolitical significance outside the South Caucasus. This concerns Ukraine, Russia, and Syria, since, during the civil war, refugees of Armenian origin were given an opportunity to live in the occupied Nagornо-Karabakh.
The systematic idealization of the Karabakh war over time acquired the importance of the Armenian International forces consolidation. Most of Armenians live outside their own state, therefore the ideologists of Armenian nationalism see the convergence of the diaspora as one of their primary tasks. At the end of the 1980s, it was the Armenian separatism in Nagorno-Karabakh that was used as a unifying factor for a predominantly dispersed ethnic group. The Armenian diaspora can be divided into western and eastern. The descendants of Armenian émigrés in the USA, France, Belgium, Italy, who left the South Caucasus and Asia Minor during different periods of history, belong to the western diaspora. The descendants of Armenians entrenched in the South Caucasus region, as well as in Iran, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and until recently in Azerbaijan, are considered the eastern diaspora.
The 1555 Peace Treaty between Turkey and Persia is considered by Armenian historians hinting to a cultural break as the year of the division of Armenia into western and eastern. In the West, Armenians failed to consolidate into single political structures, limiting themselves to lobbying their interests in individual states, but the majority of Eastern Armenians were united within the framework of the Soviet state. During the Soviet times, the Soviet Armenians and their congeners from other countries were divided by an iron curtain, the existence of which suggested an ideological split. For many years, Armenians in the Soviet Union lived in accordance with completely different moral values and social orientations than their fellow countryman abroad. Taking into account the fact that the number of the diaspora traditionally exceeds the number of autochthonous population of the modern Republic of Armenia, Armenian nationalism has chosen armed aggression as the motivational basis for uniting the diaspora on the eve and after the collapse of the USSR.
The current sluggish state of conflict is beneficial for the Armenian leadership since it serves to support the idea of a peculiar national abode of the Armenian people in the context of global transformations. With the growing number of migrants in the EU countries, the Armenian nationalism fears the clashes between Christian and Muslim cultures possible in the foreseeable future, since the traditional political influence and the associated financial capabilities of the diaspora in the West may suffer significantly. The Armenian authorities never refuse the diaspora’s direct financial investments, which means that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be maintained as long as possible.