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Vadim Romashov: Everyday peace in Armenian-Azerbaijani rural communities demonstrates how to live together with differences

Tampere University
LocationKalevantie 4, Tampere
City Centre Campus, Main building, auditorium D11; also via remote connection.
13.8.2022 12.00–16.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
Vadim Romashov.
After a wave of ethno-nationalist violence in Armenia and Azerbaijan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the only rural communities, mainly made up of Armenians and Azerbaijanis, to remain in the South Caucasus – and perhaps throughout the world – are a few villages in the municipality of Marneuli, Georgia. These communities are often presented in media reports as a model of peaceful co-existence for the future relations between wider Armenian and Azerbaijani societies. However, communal co-existence is not an easy task and requires certain competences of living together with differences, reveals M. Soc. Sc. Vadim Romashov’s ethnographic research on these rural communities.

In his doctoral dissertation Vadim Romashov provides a detailed ethnographic interpretation of the narratives and practices of co-existence of Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the villages of Tsopi and Khojorni in the Georgian-Armenian border region. He discusses how and why group members of rural communities live together when, in the prevailing ethno-nationalist narratives, their group differences are represented as incompatible and opposing. In his study, Romashov develops original conceptualizations of violence and everyday peace based on concrete examples of communal practices of co-existence he observed during three research visits over a total period of six months between 2016 and 2018. The dissertation is rich of exciting ethnographic experiences and stories.

“My study is at the intersection of peace research and social anthropology as I studied the everyday co-existence of the groups whose wider ethnic identity has been built in a nationalist antagonistic framework and that have direct or indirect experiences of continuous or recent intergroup violence,” Romashov remarks.

The dissertation contributes to various topical debates in peace research and peace-building. Particularly, it elaborates the concept of communal everyday peace which leads to the author’s proposition to replace present-day peace-building with peace-supporting that would focus on creating and recreating infrastructure for local communities to maintain and develop their practices and narratives of living together with differences. Eventually, Romashov argues for forming and supporting a translocal network of communal everyday peace-s as a response to the hegemonic liberal paradigm of peace-building.

The doctoral dissertation of Master of Social Sciences Vadim Romashov in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies titled Living Together with Difference: Narratives and Practices of Co-existence in Armenian-Azerbaijani Rural Communities in Georgia will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tampere University at 12 o’clock on Saturday 13 August 2022 in the auditorium D11 of the Main Building, address: Kalevantie 4, Tampere. The Opponent will be Associate Professor Susan H. Allen from George Mason University. The Custos will be Docent Élise Féron from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The event can be followed via remote connection.

The dissertation is available online at

Photograph: Arpi Bekaryan