WELCOMING ADDRESS AT THE “LAZAREV CLUB” OPENEING CEREMONY IN ARMENIA
Yerevan, 30 November, 2018
Professor Hayk S. Kotanjian, The Honorary President, Political Science Association of Armenia; Doctor of Political Science (Strategic Security Studies, RF); LTG (R); Member, Academic-Expert Council, CSTO; Counterterrorism Fellow (National Defense University, US); Academic Consultant, First US-RF Reset Strategic Dialogue, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2010)
Dear colleagues and friends!
Allow me to welcome the participants of the first meeting of the “Lazarev Club”, named after the Lazarev family, famous in Russia and Armenia, who made a tremendous contribution to strengthening the Armenian-Russian friendship. The choice of the name for the club undoubtedly obliges to follow suit of this noble family, whose representatives glorified it with their noble loyalty to their new Homeland – Russia, as well as with immense targeted donations for education and charity support of their Armenian compatriots.
It’s worth mentioning, that this platform of informal dialogue between respected representatives of the Armenian and Russian public is named after the founders of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow, which became the forerunner of Russia's leading academic and educational centers for study, as well as training of academic and diplomatic personnel – highly skilled experts in the countries and peoples of the East.
As follows from the address of the Club founders, it is meant to become a constructive platform for civil societies of Armenia and Russia, designated to promote at various levels the further development of cultural, economic and scientific ties between our two friendly nations.
The continuing globalization processes in the modern world, one of the priority directions of which is the development and all-out employment of information-communication technologies and computer digitalization, leads to the time compression and multi-layered transformation of space, the interpenetration of real and virtual worlds. Thus, previous habitual and smoothed down techniques of interaction and collaboration among peoples and states, the individual and the society, can no longer provide for the expected outcomes and the required efficiency.
Globalization, along with the positive dynamics, involves elements posing threats to the national identity. At the same time a number of scholars believe that in parallel with globalization there does take place localization of globalization processes. This approach and the policy corresponding to it were elaborated by Japanese economists and entrepreneurs under the motto: "Think globally, act locally". As a result, this very process was coined with the term “glocalization”, which is a synthesis of terms "globalization" and "localization". As successful examples of glocal management of development of peoples and states in the context of globalization, we can bring Singapore, Israel and a number of other modern states along with Japan.
Hence, glocalization is the process of policy-making in optimal integration of globalization processes into local terms, aimed at providing for the development of the given state, the nation, in compliance with the global progress provided that the local (national) identity be preserved.
I would like to draw your attention to some of our glocalization projects which have recently been elaborated by the members of the Political Science Association of Armenia pursuant to the regional and national development, as well as regional and national security.
One of these projects is targeted at bringing to life the new alternative corridor on the accomplishment of the Belt and Road Initiative, in which Armenia acts as a state-hub, performing backbone node role upon the contractual-legal basis simultaneously collaborating both with the Eurasian Economic Union, and the European Union. Specific focus was brought on the relatively tolerant attitude of the US towards the Armenian-Iranian economic collaboration in terms of Republic of Armenia’s blockade by its eastern and western neighbor states.
The objective of this very geo-economic and geostrategic elaboration is the glocalizational integration of China-Iran sea transit though the multi-modal transport corridor “Persian Gulf-Black Sea” launching the new alternative route from China to Europe across the territory of Iran in the context of China’s global Belt and Road Initiative.
The given elaboration was implemented ought to multi-stage joint discussions in the process of the cross-visits by Armenian and Chinese strategic analysts to Armenia and China. Throughout the elaboration of this glocalization project, it was reviewed by the members of our Association with the Chinese and Iranian colleagues at the international academic conferences in Xi'an, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tehran.
The above-mentioned project was also reviewed by our scholars in the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of our state.
Given the complication of the situation around Iran, the above mentioned project, if being supported, may attach a new strategic caliber to the Armenia’s geopolitical role in the region, and raise the EU’s bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Iran and China to a new level with Armenia's participation.
In the end, it should be noted that the above-mentioned glocalization project has been reported to the PRC Central Committee, chaired by President Xi.
Another glocalization project was elaborated by our young members of Association, conducting research in the sphere of transforming the traditional security thinking, specific to the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, into the cybersecurity thinking, targeted at the bridging between the management of the development of cyberspace technological resources with the regional and national security policy.
The methodological bases for the preparation of suchlike non-trivial project were acquired by our young colleagues in the meantime of the US-Russia reset, which gave us an opportunity to employ our advantage within the balanced academic-expert collaboration with the leading state think tanks, the centers of excellence both in the allied Russia, and partner USA.
Speaking of the dynamics of the development of US-RF relations, it is worthwhile that at the dawn of the “reset” between them in 2010, I was entrusted to be the consultant at the first “US-Russia Strategic Dialogue” at the Harvard J.F. Kennedy School of Government. It gave me an opportunity to track with interest the further dynamics of those relations throughout all the following years.
Taking into account that in the recent years the US and Russia have waged a cyber war on technological level, we paid special interest to the collaboration in common interests on the level comparatively distant from technological confrontation. Accurately synchronizing watches with our colleagues from Moscow and Washington, our young PhDs’ team, together with me, took specialized methodological fellowships in the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, as well as at the College of Information and Cyberspace, NDU, US. At the end of the reset we managed to take a fellowship in the Harvard Program "CYBERSECURITY: INTERSECTION OF POLICY AND TECHNOLOGY”. In parallel, we performed an academic-expert synchronization of watches with our colleagues from the MGIMO and the Russian Association of Political Science. The continuous productive collaboration of colleagues with such advanced Armenian companies in the sphere of digital technologies, as Synopsis and Unicomp, should be specifically highlighted.
As a result, a center was established within Armenian Institute for National Strategic Studies, the sister institution of the above-mentioned Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the US NDU INSS. The young research fellows of the Armenian center elaborated 6 products devoted to the glocal adaptation of the methodology of digitalization of the political-security thinking in Armenia and the practice of cyber resources development management. The professional quality of all these research products was reviewed in the world leading think tank centers of excellence.
The final outcome of the given portfolio of glocalization projects is the Project of Implementing the System of Chief Information Officers in the Republic of Armenia.
Since the South Caucasus region is part of the Greater Middle East, characterized by high turbulence of political and military-political processes, the aggravation of conflicts on ethnic and religious ground, then in terms of the unsettled Karabakh conflict and the uncontrolled buildup of the offensive arsenal by Azerbaijan, the resumption of Azerbaijani military aggression against the legitimate Republic of Artsakh established by the legal referendum (See: Закон СССР “О порядке решения вопросов, связанных с выходом союзной республики из СССР”, Верховный Совет СССР от 3 апреля 1990 г. N 1409-I) could turn into a tragedy for the Armenian people, - a new Genocide.
Based on these assumptions, the Political Science Association of Armenia, taking into account the limited human and material resources, considers their optimal mobilization and competent use of advanced international methods and technologies to be a strategic priority. In this aspect, the use of resource-saving productive digital technologies based on high national intellectual potential and the organization of an effective process of professional education in relevant specialties is put in the forefront.
Allow me to once again welcome the establishment of the “Lazarev Club” as a public platform for a fruitful dialogue and constructive promotion of cooperation between our glorious fraternal nations.