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Center for Eastern European Studies

Caucasus Analytical Digest

CAD cover

Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD) is a monthly online magazine published jointly by the Caucasus Research Resource Center/Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich, the Center for Eastern European Studies (CEES) at the University of Zurich, and the German Association for East European Studies (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde, DGO). CAD analyzes the political, economic and societal situation in the three Southern Caucasus states of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia in terms of the international and security dimensions of the region’s development. CAD is edited by Lusine Badalyan, Bruno De Cordier, Farid Guliyev, Diana Lezhava, Lili Di Puppo, Jeronim Perović, Abel Polese, Licínia Simão and Tinatin Zurabishvili. The correspondence editor is Heiko Pleines, and the layout editor is Matthias Neumann.

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Current issues

No. 131: Informality and Informal Practices in the Time of COVID-​19: The Case of Georgia (January 2023)

The topic of this issue is Informality and Informal Practices in the Time of COVID-​19: The Case of Georgia. Firstly, Irakli Korkia addresses corruption by analyzing 1) simplified state procurement procedures related to the healthcare sector and quarantine zones and 2) the vaccine deployment process; secondly, Rhiannon Segar discusses how informal forms of social capital have impacted the dissemination of information during the pandemic in the Georgian-​Armenian and Georgian-​Azerbaijani ethnic minority communities; thirdly, Tamar Tolordava underlines the importance of institutions (formal and informal) to help citizens learn about and internalize the new rules and restrictions important to defeating the pandemic.

No. 130: Impact of the Russia-​Ukraine War on Black Sea Geopolitics (November 2022)

The topic of this issue is “Impact of the Russia-​Ukraine War on Black Sea Geopolitics”. Maksym Khylko and Hanna Shelest provide a view of Black Sea security from Ukraine; Armen Grigoryan explores the impact of the Russia-​Ukraine war on Armenia; Anar Valiyev, Ahmad Alili and Fidan Namazova discuss the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for Azerbaijan’s balancing foreign policy; finally, Bidzina Lebanidze and Salome Kandelaki unpack the Georgian views of the changing Black Sea security dynamics after the Russia-​Ukraine war.

No. 129: Perspectives on Europe (September 2022)

This issue analyzes national and nationalist perspectives on Europe and the self-​positioning strategies of the South Caucasian states from historical and/or contemporary perspectives. Narek Sukiasyan’s case study on Armenia investigates the official discourse on Europe at the level of the heads of state since independence and public narratives interpreting the role of the EU; Najmin Kamilsoy and Anna Zamejc’s case study on Azerbaijan analyzes the growing disillusionment of civil society with the EU as a normative power; Nino Gozalishvili provides insights into how the European idea has been used in the mobilization strategies of far-​right political groups in Georgia.

No. 128: Aftermath of the 2020 Karabakh War: New Geopolitical Reality in the South Caucasus (July 2022)

The topic of this issue is “Aftermath of the 2020 Karabakh War: New Geopolitical Reality in the South Caucasus”. Eka Javakhishvili explores the conflicting preferences of South Caucasian states (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) and some broader regional actors (Turkey, Russia, Iran) concerning the “3+3” platform, a postwar initiative for regional cooperation. Tatia Chikhladze articulates the prospects for the latest attempt at rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia. Akif Musayev, Khatai Aliyev, Shabnam Maharramova, and Mirvari Gazanfarli describe the resettlement potential of internally displaced people in Azerbaijan’s postwar territories based on data from a survey that was conducted by an independent agency.

No. 127: Ambitious Agenda – Limited Substance? Critical Examinations of the EU’s Resilience Turn in the South Caucasus (May 2022)

The topic of this multidisciplinary issue is “Ambitious Agenda – Limited Substance? Critical Examinations of the EU’s Resilience Turn in the South Caucasus”. Veronika Pfeilschifter explores EU resilience building in the area of post-​authoritarian transitional justice in Armenia. Diana Forker and Natia Botkoveli examine the impact of languages on community and individual resilience in minority communities of Georgia. Tiffany G. Williams explores how synergies of the EU-​US security governance can strengthen resilient self-​defense in Georgia. Finally, Bidzina Lebanidze, Ashot Aleksanyan and Irena Gonashvili examine whether and how a lack of geopolitical actorness undermines EU resilience building in Armenia and Georgia.

No. 126: Responses to Covid-​19: Displaced Persons / International Aid (March 2022)

The topic of this issue is Responses to Covid-​19: Displaced Persons / International Aid. Ulla Pape investigates the socio-​economic situation of the internally displaced populations in the South Caucasus, with a special focus on their vulnerability to the impact of COVID-​19; Gulnaz Isabekova analyzes “Team Europe”, which supported immediate needs and subsequent recovery from the pandemic in the spirit of economic and environmental sustainability in the South Caucasus, but also has far-​reaching geopolitical objectives to be achieved by increasing the competitiveness and influence of European aid abroad.

No. 125: Localizing Smart Urban Development in Azerbaijan (January 2022)

This issue focuses on Localizing Smart Urban Development in Azerbaijan. Firstly, Anar Valiyev begins with a general discussion of the concept of the “smart city” and addresses the problems of implementation of the smart city concept in Azerbaijan. Secondly, Bairam Akhundov discusses Azerbaijan’s existing experience in “smart” development and examines the extent to which the wider public participates in these reforms. Thirdly, Gunay Mukhtarova looks at existing models of smart transportation and which of their components could be applied in Azerbaijan. Fourthly, Narmin Ismayilova discusses the possibilities of implementing “smart village” concepts in the Karabakh region.

No. 124: Participation of Civil Society in Georgia’s Climate Policy (November 2021)

The topic of the issue is “Participation of Civil Society in Georgia’s Climate Policy”. Firstly, Giorgi Mukhigulishvili provides an overview of the current national climate policy as described in the Nationally Determined Contribution document (national climate goals formulated to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement). Secondly, based on the requirement that participation of civil society is required within the development of such documents, Larissa Donges and Mikheil Kurdadze examine how participation rights are being implemented in practice. Thirdly, Anna Samwel and Ana Muradashvili add a different perspective to this issue, namely the question of why gender matters in climate policies.

No. 123: Georgia’s Political Crisis: Actors and Instruments of Polarization (September 2021)

This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on polarization as a key characteristic of Georgian politics, more specifically on key actors and instruments of this polarization: right wing groups, media and the Georgian Orthodox Church. Tamta Gelashvili examines the role of the far right in political polarization; Salome Kandelaki analyzes radicalization and illiberal tendencies in Georgia by focusing on the role of one of the most powerful actors involved, the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC); Lasha Kavtaradze problematizes the role of the Georgian mainstream media in the current polarized political environment.

No. 122: Tourism in Georgia: From Past Lessons to Future Perspectives( July 2021)

The topic of this issue is Tourism in Georgia: From Past Lessons to Future Perspectives. Firstly, Merab Khokhobaia and Temur Gugushvili analyze the patterns of tourism growth in the Soviet period as well as its early stages of development in independent Georgia; secondly, Gvantsa Salukvadze focuses on the impact of Georgia's tense political connections with Russia on the country’s tourism-​dependent orientation; thirdly, Lela Khartishvili discusses alternative types of tourism growth as potential perspectives for Georgia’s development.

No. 121: Local Dimensions of the Karabakh Conflict (May 2021)

This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest deals with Local Dimensions of the Nagorno-​Karabakh Conflict. Firstly, Leila Alieva explores the securitization/de-​securitization processes and attitudes towards the conflict in Azerbaijan in the periods before, during, and after the 2020 conflict in Karabagh; secondly, Tamar Shirinian discusses the affective connections between the two spectres of soldiers who are missing or who have died in action and the old political economic elite who now threaten to regain power, and the political implications of national trauma on Armenia’s post-​war futures; thirdly, John O’Loughlin, Gerard Toal, and Kristin Bakke analyze the somewhat contradictory results of a February 2020 survey of inhabitants of Karabakh concerning the questions of territory and peace.

No. 120: Renewable Energy in the South Caucasus (March 2021)

This issue deals with renewable energy in the South Caucasus. Firstly, Agha Bayramov looks at Azerbaijan’s renewable energy developments. Secondly, Mary Keogh predicts that the development of indigenous renewable resources will play a key role in bolstering Armenia’s energy security, in particular limiting reliance on Russia, and explores the contribution of renewable energy to Armenian energy security, focusing on the opportunities made available by cooperation with external actors on renewable energy initiatives. Thirdly, Tracey German assesses the contribution that hydropower makes to Georgia’s energy mix, detailing the lessons that can be drawn from the Georgian experience about the demands of balancing electricity needs against environmental and social costs.

No. 119: Mitigating the Social Consequences of the COVID-​19 Pandemic (January 2021)

The topic of this issue is “Mitigating the Social Consequences of the COVID-​19 Pandemic”. Firstly, Gurgen Aslanyan, Vardan Baghdasaryan and Gayane Shakhmuradyan examine the social policy response of the Government of Armenia to the COVID-​19 crisis. Secondly, Farid Guliyev posits that Azerbaijan’s social assistance and income support schemes adopted during the COVID-​19 pandemic need to be seen within the context of the existing social protection system and safety nets. Thirdly, Vakhtangi Demuria and Teona Absandze suggest that the Georgian government’s efforts to provide social assistance for the population were delayed and faltered in terms of efficiency, but overall, more or less complex schemes of assistance were elaborated. Finally, Ramina Murshudova, Aytan Shahmarova, Mirvari Gasimova, Gunel Poladova, and Malahat Valiyeva analyze changes in attitudes towards online education in Azerbaijan during the unprecedented global lockdown resulting from the COVID-​19 pandemic.

No. 118: Arts in Society (December 2020)

No. 117: Agriculture and Trade with Russia (September 2020)

No. 116: Public Opinion In Georgia - New Caucasus Barometer Results (July 2020)

No. 115: The COVID-​19 Pandemic in the South Caucasus (May 2020)

No. 114: Formal and Informal Institutions (March 2020)

No. 113: Pension Refom (January 2020)


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