"Remove all the bars": the struggle of Artsakh

João Jesus, April 25, 2022.

Social Sciences – Political Sciences

Abstract: The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 created instability in its former territory. Nagorno-Karabakh Region [NKR], a region long disputed between Armenians and Azerbaijanis –even though internationally recognized as Azeri territory– took the opportunity to organize a referendum regarding its independence. The majority voted yes, and so did the people in Nagorno –also known as the Republic of Artsakh– which declared its independence. There were three possible outcomes: further integration of the territory with Azerbaijan, the annexation of the area to Armenian territory, and, lastly, recognition of the NKR’s independence. This article intends to explore the following: the issues of self-determination, the positioning of international actors and treaties, and the legitimacy of its independence. The essay attempts to evaluate the aforementioned through an analysis that comprises International Law, Political Science, History, and Psychology. The conclusion drawn is that the region’s independence should be recognized since the inhabitants have been victims of war during the last decades, which has ultimately hindered their development and well-being. Furthermore, international treaties and conventions are in accordance with this thesis. Lastly, an understanding of the causes that originated the claim for independence could be an explanation and constitute an argument in itself.

Keywords. — Artsakh, legitimacy, self-determination, independence.

Disclaimer: The views, information and opinions in the written publications are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect those shared by the Eutopia Student Think Tank (EUSTT) nor the EUTOPIA Alliance.



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Joao Jesus

João Jesus

João Jesus is a former Economics student at the University of Lisbon. Currently pursuing a Bachelor on Social Sciences at the VUB (Brussels). His main interests are inequality, social divisions and social stratification along with international conflicts and their consequences.