The Reason magazine has an article that looks at the Third World dictatorships. It's an easy read and shows that Serj Sargsian or the ruling regime in Armenia are not really unique.
[...] The most common misunderstanding centers on the fact that all governments, even dictatorships, need some form of legitimacy to justify their rule to their own people. Otherwise they must revert to brute force, which is both expensive and corrupting to the police and army, who then abuse their respective powers and cause growing public resentment and anger. But while force and fear are temporarily effective, they are not enough for the longer term. A foreign threat thus helps dictators, as it is used to justify their despotic rule. Economic blockades can actually reinforce dictators' power and indeed even make their cohorts richer as they profit from the consequent smuggling and black markets. In the eyes and minds of the conquered, American soldiers certainly do not have "legitimacy," as we have repeatedly learned. [...]