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New Politics- ElectricYerevan Challenges Governance.

June 2015 brought thousands of demonstrators to the streets of Yerevan following an electricity price hike proposal. The city center was gridlocked, flooded as it was with spontaneous protesters from every generation, and all walks of life, who all demanded accountability and transparency from both the electricity company and the government. #ElectricYerevan and its subsequent months will be the topic of discussion as the USC Institute of Armenian Studies welcomes young scholars Karena Avedissian and Babken DerGrigorian to its series of lunchtime talks at the USC Doheny Memorial Library (Room 240) on Wednesday, September 23, at 12 noon. Avedissian and DerGrigorian will be In Conversation with USC Annenberg’s Ev Boyle.


For Immediate Release
September 21, 2015
USC INSTITUTE OF ARMENIAN STUDIES
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, USA
Contact: Salpi Ghazarian, Director
Armenian@usc.edu
213.821.3943          
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                   
NEW POLITICS: #ELECTRICYEREVAN CHALLENGES GOVERNANCE
June 2015 brought thousands of demonstrators to the streets of Yerevan following an electricity price hike proposal. The city center was gridlocked, flooded as it was with spontaneous protesters from every generation, and all walks of life, who all demanded accountability and transparency from both the electricity company and the government.
#ElectricYerevan and its subsequent months will be the topic of discussion as the USC Institute of Armenian Studies welcomes young scholars Karena Avedissian and Babken DerGrigorian to its series of lunchtime talks at the USC Doheny Memorial Library (Room 240) on Wednesday, September 23, at 12 noon. Avedissian and DerGrigorian will be In Conversation with USC Annenberg’s Ev Boyle.
Karena Avedissian received her PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2015 for a thesis on social movements in the North Caucasus. Her research interests include the relationship between popular geopolitics and identity, human rights and security, and issues of governance, with a particular emphasis on Russia and Eurasia. She is based in Yerevan, Armenia.
Babken DerGrigorian is a post-graduate student and researcher in Political Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, focusing on economic growth and development in the Republic of Armenia. He has spent the last several years documenting and participating in various social movements in Armenia. Babken has extensive experience in election observation missions throughout the country. Previously, he was a field organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign in Florida. He is based in Yerevan, Armenia.
Ev Boyle is the Director of Special Projects at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy and the founding director of Civic Tech USC, a new initiative working at the intersection of technology, citizenship, and government. Previously, he was a co-founder of two award-winning tech start-ups in New York City, a producer of short documentaries for Current TV, and an investment analyst at the Democracy Alliance in Washington, DC. He holds a joint M.Sc./M.A. in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics.
Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, says, “The world was given a front seat to these very inclusive and broad-based spontaneous protests through the omnipresent hashtag #ElectricYerevan, fueled by a civil society that has matured and is publicly defending its interests. What began as a socioeconomic issue quickly transformed into a sociopolitical issue – how do elected officials interact with the public, how accountable are they, how transparent should they be when it comes to such wide-ranging policy issues? As Armenian society celebrates its 24th year in an independent republic, this movement has captured the eyes and ears of social scientists and others with interest in the Caucasus.” The event will be live streamed at http://tinyurl.com/electricyerevan so those who can’t attend can watch.
Lunch will be served. 
Directions and parking information:
Guests are advised to park in Parking Structure D, which is located at the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa (across from the Shrine). See attached map for the location of the event.
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About the Institute
Established in 2005, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies supports multidisciplinary scholarship to re-define, explore and study the complex issues that make up the contemporary Armenian experience – from post-Genocide to the developing Republic of Armenia to the evolving Diaspora. The institute encourages research, publications and public service, and benefits from communication technologies that link together the global academic and Armenian communities.

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For information:
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Mark Taper Hall of Humanities (THH 308)
Los Angeles, CA 90089-4355
213.821.3943
armenian@usc.edu

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