As a new independent Republic of Armenia is established among the ruins of the Soviet Union, Armenians are rethinking their history—the processes by which they arrived at statehood in a small part of their historic homeland, and the definitions they might give to boundaries of their nation. Both a victim and a beneficiary of rival empires, Armenia experienced a complex evolution as a divided or an erased polity with a widespread diaspora.
Ronald Grigor Suny traces the cultural and social transformations and interventions that created a new sense of Armenian nationality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Perceptions of antiquity and uniqueness combined in the popular imagination with the experiences of dispersion, genocide, and regeneration to forge an Armenian nation in Transcaucasia. Suny shows that while the limits of Armenia at times excluded the diaspora, now, at a time of state renewal, the boundaries have been expanded to include Armenians who live beyond the borders of the republic.