Der «Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD)» als monatliche Internet-Publikation wird gemeinsam herausgegeben vom Caucasus Research Resource Center / Forschungszentrum für Osteuropäische Studien der Universität Bremen, dem Center for Security Studies (CSS) der ETH Zürich, dem Center for Eastern European Studies (CEES) an der Universität Zürich und der deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropäische Studien (DGO). Der «Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD)» analysiert die politische, wirtschaftliche und gesellschaftliche Situation in den drei südkaukasischen Staaten Aserbajdschan, Armenien und Georgien hinsichtlich der internationalen und der Sicherheitsdimension der Entwicklung dieser Region. Der CAD wird editiert von Lusine Badalyan, Bruno De Cordier, Farid Guliyev, Diana Lezhava, Lili Di Puppo, Jeronim Perović, Abel Polese, Licínia Simão, Tinatin Zurabishvili. Der CAD Korrespondenz-Editor ist Heiko Pleines und der Layout-Editor ist Matthias Neumann.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on Public Opinion in Georgia: New Caucasus Barometer Results. Firstly, David Sichinava discusses the evolution of people’s attitudes towards conflict resolution in Georgia. Secondly, Rati Shubladze and Tamar Khoshtaria analyze trends and inconsistencies in popular support for democracy in Georgia. Thirdly, Dustin Gilbreath tackles the trajectory of trust in the most trusted institution in the country, the Orthodox Church of Georgia.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on the structural challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has made visible in all three South Caucasus states. Firstly, Ia Eradze states that the sober reaction to the pandemic by Prime Minister Gakharia and the handing over of key decisions to epidemiologists was viewed positively by the country’s population. Secondly, Armen Grigoryan shows that the post-revolutionary government in Armenia was hit by the pandemic in a difficult phase of its reform policy. Thirdly, Bahruz Samadov posits that, while Azerbaijan was hit not only by the pandemic but also by the temporary collapse of oil prices under 20 US-Dollars per Barrel, its leadership decided to use this crisis as an opportunity to silence independent voices from opposition parties, journalists and bloggers.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on the interplay between informal and formal institutions in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Firstly, regarding Armenia, Nona Shahnazarian looks at the deep-seated cultural roots of clientelism in post-Soviet societies and discusses the efforts by the government of Prime Minister Pashinyan to eradicate the power of oligarchs that persists to date. Secondly, Farid Guliyev looks at how formal institutions in Azerbaijan are largely a façade, although one that is used by the ruling elite to package ex ante informal power arrangements and thus maintain autocratic rule. Thirdly, Levan Kakhishvili examines the shift from the presidential to parliamentary system and electoral system reform in Georgia, and shows how formal and informal institutions complement each other in arguably most advanced reformer in the Caucasus region.
The topic of this issue is pension reform. Firstly, Gayane Shakhmuradyan argues that despite the continued public disapproval of the mandatory funded scheme, the Armenian pension system is now more sustainable and robust, and economic inefficiencies are being overcome. Secondly, Alexandra Aroshvili and Tornike Chivadze point out that the privatization of the Georgian pension scheme cannot adequately meet the needs of current and future pensioners. Their main criticism is that there is neither a basic pension nor any redistribution mechanism, which leads to injustice between the generations. Thirdly, Gubad Ibadoghlu provides an overview of the current state of the pension system in Azerbaijan. He believes that the current pension system in Azerbaijan is not sustainable in the long run and should be reformed. In particular, the social security principle should be strengthened, and non-insurance benefits by the state should be reduced.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on the changing geopolitics of energy infrastructure in the Caspian Sea region. Firstly, Farid Guliyev discusses how recent developments in global energy markets are likely to have a negative impact on Caspian energy projects. Secondly, Marco Siddi discusses Iran’s possible contribution to the Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) and the EU’s energy supply in the face of geopolitical challenges such as US foreign policy and sanctions. Thirdly, Tracey German explains Georgia’s role as an energy transit state and energy hub. Finally, Agha Bayramov analyses the capacity and prospects of trans-Caspian gas deliveries to Europe and the ecological impediments that stand in its way.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest discusses the impact of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the South Caucasus. In the first contribution to this special issue, Mariam Zabakhidze, Irakli Gabriadze, Rezo Beradze and Giorgi Khishtovani provide a concise overview of how relations between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and China have advanced against the background of the BRI. Secondly, Evelina Gambino examines the development of transit infrastructure in Georgia and its relevance to the entire region. Thirdly, Susanne Fehlings focuses on people-to-people contacts between Georgian and Chinese individuals in light of their governments’ BRI cooperation.
This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on industrial policy in the South Caucasus. The first three articles provide case studies on Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia (by Yana Zabanova, Kenan Aslanli, and Tamar Jugheli, respectively), giving a systematic overview of the periodization, strategy, objectives - including chosen priority sectors - and instruments of the respective industrial policy in each country. In the fourth article, Christian Timm provides a comparative perspective on industrial development in the South Caucasus.
This edition considers the current state of the relationships between Russia and the three countries of the South Caucasus. Firstly, Alexander Iskandaryan examines the impact of the Velvet Revolution on Armenia’s relationships with Russia and the West. Secondly, Murad Ismayilov argues that both macro- and micro-level developments are leading the Azerbaijani elite to shift their focus away from the West and more towards an emerging strategic accord with Moscow. Thirdly, Michael Cecire assesses Georgia’s efforts to externally balance Russia, noting that while these efforts have failed to win security guarantees or attenuate Russian power, they have contributed to conditions that allow Georgia to enjoy unexpectedly high levels of autonomy.