Irritational Technologies of Crowd Management (on the example of Armenian "Velvet Revolution")


  • Yuliana Melkumyan Yerevan State University
  • Lilit Vardanyan Yerevan State University


“velvet revolution”, crowd, irritational technologies, social infection, social imitation, inspiration


Revolution is a fundamental transformation of the socio-economic and political system of society. Since 1989, the concept of "velvet revolution" is used in scientific discourse. The term "velvet revolution" stresses the non-violent methods of revolutionary activities. As a rule, these methods include public speaking, demonstrations, processions, rallies, and other mass actions. The effectiveness of revolutionary action is in direct ratio to the number of participants. Therefore, the implementation of the revolution requires the participation of a large number of people. The main goal of the organizers
of revolutionary actions is to stimulate the interest in revolutionary actions and motivate the participation of as many people as possible. A large number of people is usually called a crowd. Crowd management requires skills and detailed toolkits for managing mass communications. This article analyzes irritational technologies of crowd control that create noise in the system and providе an acceptable deviation from the norm, which at the same time does not imply a violation of the law. Irritations are successful due to a rhythmically repeating and dynamically developing sequence of actions. Irritational technologies intensify the processes of social infection, social imitation, and inspiration in the crowd. A vivid example of irritational technologies is the “velvet revolution” that took place in Armenia in 2018 and was called “nonviolent”, “without shocks”, “white”, “revolution of love and solidarity”. The proficient use of irritational technologies ensured the participation of a large number of people in acts of civil disobedience. This article presents the periodization of revolutionary actions, identifies the irritational technologies used at each stage of the "velvet revolution", justifies the irritational nature of targeting, goals, actions, verbal communications, messages, slogans, and audio signals used during the revolution.

Author Biographies

Yuliana Melkumyan, Yerevan State University

PhD, Associate Professor of the Chair of Social Work and Social Technologies of YSU. Address: 0025, Yerevan, 1 Alex Manoogian, Email:

Lilit Vardanyan, Yerevan State University

MA in Public Relations of YSU. Email:




How to Cite

Melkumyan, Yuliana, and Lilit Vardanyan. 2020. “Irritational Technologies of Crowd Management (on the Example of Armenian ‘Velvet Revolution’)”. Bulletin of Yerevan University D: International Relations and Political Sciences 11 (3 (33):46-62.



Political science