Armenia’s democratic awakening?

As recently as a few months ago, conventional wisdom held that the Armenian people were indifferent to democracy and would not effectively resist the attempt by Serzh Sargysan, the country’s longtime strongman ruler, to expand his powers. But the conventional wisdom was wrong. To the surprise of many, including democracy experts in Armenia, Sargysan’s power grab was resisted by a robust nonviolent protest movement. Protesters forced him to step down, and a new prime minister—who embraces the democratic principles of openness, transparency, and accountability—has taken leadership of the country. At a time when open society seems under threat all over the world, Armenia’s democratic awakening stands as a rebuke to authoritarians everywhere.