Schedule for admitted students
Caucasus Studies II
SummaryOn the basis of the course Caucasus Studies I, which gives the student a broad knowledge of the Caucasus region with its ethnic groups and languages, history and recent political developments, the course Caucasus Studies II focuses on central issues in Post-Soviet Caucasus, including nation- and statebuilding, intrastate conflicts and migration processes.
Prerequisite courses for this course are: Passed courses: IM112E-Caucasus Studies I.
credits 20% final grades 40% national university aptitude test 40%
What is Caucasus Studies?
Caucasus Studies at Malmö University is an ‘area study’. It is based on the assumption that the history of the Caucasus matters for the understanding of contemporary political, social and economic developments and that the region’s unique geographical location is crucial for understanding the conflict dynamics in the region.
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The Caucasus region is located at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Historically the region has been dominated by different empires, including the Ottoman Empire, Persia, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War the Caucasus region has obtained a new strategic significance. Regional great powers – Turkey, Iran, Russia – again compete for political influence in the region, which is also rich in energy resources and constitutes an important transit corridor for oil and gas from the Caspian basin to Western markets. New external actors, notably USA and the EU, compete with the ‘traditional’ regional powers for political influence in the Caucasus region and for control over its strategically important energy resources and pipeline routes.
The Caucasus is one of the most complex regions of the world in terms of ethnic and linguistic diversity. Contested borders divide similar ethnic groups and nationalities. Feelings of national 'we' are weak, while sub-national identities (clan, ethnic groups, region) are strong. The Caucasus is also a meeting place for different Islamic, Christian and pre-Christian religious traditions. Our courses provide students with an understanding of the role of ethnicity, language and religion in the post-Soviet state- and nation-building processes.
What makes Caucasus Studies unique?
Caucasus Studies at Malmö University is the only center in Western Europe providing distance learning courses on this topic. The flexible online design makes it easy for students to follow the courses in their home country and even to combine them with orther studies or work.
The multidisciplinary staff consists of researchers with solid knowledge of the particularities of the Caucasus region, combined with extensive experience from doing field work in the region.
Caucasus Studies at Malmö Universiy has tight links with academic institutions and scholars in the Caucasus Region, as well as other international institutions with Caucasus research. The center often hosts academics from the region who stay at Malmö University campus and actively involve in Caucasus Studies courses and research.
State and Nation Building in the Caucasus
Peoples and Languages of the Caucasus
Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus
The Caucasus Region: Causes and Consequences of Migration
Meet one of our students
Alex Calvo lives in Barcelona. He studied law at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London University and became a corporate lawyer at a bank. Later he started his own practice and at the same time embarked on an academic career. He is currently an international relations professor, and head of the department, at European University (Barcelona Campus). He is specialised in Asian security and defence.
How come you were interested in Caucasus studies and the region?
Although not my original focus of interest, I gradually came to realize its significance, both in historical terms and to understand many contemporary issues. I also happened to have a few students from the region. As I result, I felt I needed to at least gain a basic understanding of the area.
Why is Caucasus studies an interesting subject?
The region has, among other things, a rich history, an interesting geography, and a complex and fascinating mixture of peoples, languages, and religions. As a result, the subject is suitable for all sorts of people.
Why did you choose Malmö University?
Because it offered me the possibility of studying online, and because the courses seemed to me comprehensive and well designed. Since I am currently working, it is difficult for me to attend lectures. On the other hand, I value the possibility of studying a number of subjects, presented in a logical order, and with the right coordination. The Caucasus Studies courses at Malmö are much more than a mere collection of subjects.
Do you speak any of the languages of the Caucasus?
Not really, I just have a very basic knowledge of Georgian, acquired in one of the modules in the courses.
How did you find studying and working at the same time?
It is a challenge, although an increasingly necessary one nowadays. However, the materials at Malmö University make the task much easier, and I always found the lecturers very supportive.
Was the course useful for you in your professional career?
Yes, indeed, since it allowed me to teach more effectively on many issues related to the region.
Do you have any advice for students doing online courses?
Effective time management is essential. There is no single magical solution, of course, but as a general rule I would suggest drawing up a schedule and sticking to it. It is also useful to begin one’s background reading as soon as possible.
Syllabus for students autumn 2019
- Course Code:
- IM113L revision 2.1
- Level of specialisation
- Main fields of study:
- No main fields
- Date of ratification:
- 13 June 2019
- Decision-making body:
- Faculty of Culture and Society
- Enforcement date:
- 02 September 2019
- Replaces Syllabus ratified:
- 01 March 2012
Prerequisite courses for this course are: Passed courses: IM112E-Caucasus Studies I.
Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations
The course can normally be included as a part of a general degree at undergradate level.
On the basis of the course Caucasus Studies I, which gives the student a broad knowledge of the Caucasus region with its ethnic groups and languages, history and recent political developments, the course Caucasus Studies II focuses on central issues in Post-Soviet Caucasus, including nation- and statebuilding, intrastate conflicts and migration processes.
The course develops the student’s understanding of processes related to the building of modern state structures and the construction of national identities in the politically complex and ethnically diverse Caucasus region.
The course is divided into four 7,5 ECTS modules:
1. Nation and State building in the Caucasus
2. Peoples and Languages of the Caucasus
3. Conflicts and Conflict resolution in the Caucasus
4. The Caucasus region: causes and consequences of migration
Following the module Nation and State building in the Caucasus the course offers further specialization into the study of peoples and languages of the Caucasus and the study of the region’s violent ethnopolitical conflicts in the Post-Soviet period and extensive migration flows. The module Peoples and languages of the Caucasus gives an overview of the multitude of languages and ethnic groups in the Caucasus region and relates this to state and nation building processes. The module Conflicts and conflict resolution in the Caucasus analyses a selection of violent ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus region on the basis of existing conflict theories and models for conflict resolution.
For students who wish to focus on languages, there is an option to study a language of the Caucasus instead of one of the modules (3) and (4) (for learning outcomes and course literature of this module, see corresponding course plan of the language in question).
Knowledge and understanding
After finishing the course, the student shall:
• Have achieved knowledge of major approaches to nation- and statebuilding processes;
• have achieved understanding of general as well as specific problems related to nation- and statebuilding processes in the Caucasus region;
• demonstrate understanding of major theoretical approaches to violent intra-state conflicts and conflict resolution;
• demonstrate knowledge of area specific conflict generating factors;
• demonstrate understanding of specific as well as general problems related to conflict resolution in the Caucasus area;
• have achieved understanding of general as well as specific problems related to migration processes within and from the Caucasus region;
• have achieved knowledge of languages and religions of major ethnic groups and subgroups in the Caucasus region;
• have achieved knowledge of earlier and Post-Soviet language policies and minority rights;
• have achieved understanding of the role in society of the ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity of the Caucasus region.
Skills and abilities
After finishing the course, the student shall be able to:
• Demonstrate skills in applying theoretical tools in analyses of violent intrastate conflicts;
• reflect over the basic assumptions of different approaches to intrastate conflicts;
• critically assess possible solutions to intrastate conflicts based on, and implicit in, the theoretical approaches discussed in the course;
• demonstrate skills in applying theoretical tools to analyses of migration within and from the Caucasus region;
• critically reflect over the role in society of the ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity in the Caucasus region,
Critical skills and approach
After finishing the course, the student shall:
• Demonstrate an ability to evaluate sources and assess bias in material used as empirical evidence.
- online lectures
- online forum discussions
- mandatory assignments
- interactive exercises
- independent reading
- individual studies
Assessments are based on mandatory assignments, group or individual on-line presentations and short essays. The language module is assessed differently (cf. syllabus of the language course). The total grade for the course is the amalgamate grade of the (ECTS) grades obtained for the four course modules.
There are two resubmission possibilities for failed assignments/ presentation/ essays. Each examination moment will be resubmitted in the same form as the original examination.
Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).
Course literature and other teaching materials
- Cornell, Svante E. 2015. Azerbaijan Since Independence. Armonk, UK: Taylor and Francis. [Selected chapters]
- Hille, Charlotte. 2010. State Building and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus. Leiden: Brill. [Selected chapters]
- Holsti, Kalevi J. 1996. The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 82-122
- Kolstø, Pål & Helge Blakkisrud. 2008. “Living with Non-recognition: State and Nationbuilding in South Caucasian Quasi-states”, Europe Asia Studies, 60(3): 484-509.
- Kolstø, Pål. 1996. “Nation-building in the former USSR”, Journal of Democracy, 7(1): 118-132
- Kuzio, Taras. 2001. “Transition in Post-Communist States: Triple or Quadruple?” Politics, 21(3): 168–177.
- Mitchell, Lincoln A. 2009. “Compromising democracy: State building in Saakashvili’s Georgia”. Central Asian Survey, 28(2):171-183
- Panossian, Ramzik. 2006. “Post Soviet Armenia: Nationalism & its (Dis)Contents”, in: Barrington Lowell, After Independence. Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Post Communist States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Pp. 225-247.
- Polese, Abel & Rekhviashvili, Lela (Eds.). 2017. “Informality and power in the South Caucasus.” Caucasus Survey, 5(1).
- Reddaway et. al. 2004. “The War in Chechnya as a Paradigm of Russian State-building under Putin”, Post-Soviet Affairs 20, 1. Pp. 10-19.
- Bedford, Sofie and Emil Aslan Souleimanov. 2016. Under construction and highly contested: Islam in the post-Soviet Caucasus. Third World Quarterly, 2016, Vol. 37, No. 9, 1559–1580.
- Catford, J.C. 1977. Mountain of Tongues: The Languages of the Caucasus. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 6, (1977), pp. 283-314.
- Charles, Robia. 2010. Religiosity in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Caucasus Analytical Digest. No 20: Religion in the South Caucasus, 2010. pp. 2-6.
- Comrie, Bernard. 2008. Linguistic Diversity in the Caucasus. Annual Review of Anthropology; 2008, Vol. 37, Issue 1, pp. 131-143.
- Grenoble, Lenore A. 2003. Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Pavlenko, Aneta. 2008. Multilingualism in Post-Soviet Countries: Language Revival, Language Removal, and Sociolinguistic Theory. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Volume 11, Issue 3-4, pp. 275-314.
- Broers, Laurence. 2009. David and Goliath and Georgians in the Kremlin: a post-colonial perspective on conflict in post-Soviet Georgia in Central Asian Survey 28 (2): 99-118.
- Gerrits, André & Max Bader. 2015. Russian patronage over Abkhazia and South Ossetia: implications for conflict resolution in East European Politics 32 (3): 297-313.
- Kaufman, Stuart. 2001. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
- Kaufmann, Chaim. 1996. Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars in International Security 20 (4): 136-175.
- Posen, Barry. 1993. The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict in Survival 35 (1): 27-47.
- Siroky, David. 2011. Explaining Secession (pp. 45-80) in Aleksandar Pavkovic & Peter Radan (eds.) The Ashgate Research Companion to Secession. Burlington: Ashgate.
- Souleimanov, Emil. 2015. An ethnography of counterinsurgency: kadyrovtsy and Russia's policy of Chechenization in Post-Soviet Affairs 31 (2): 91-114.
- Varshney, Ashutosh. 2007. Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict (pp. 274-294) in Carles Boix & Susan Carol Stokes (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Dermendzhieva, Zvezda. 2011. Emigration from the South Caucasus: who goes abroad and what are the economic implications? in Post-Communist Economies 23 (3): 377-398.
- Holland, Edward. 2016. Economic Development and Subsidies in the North Caucasus in Problems of Post-Communism 63 (1): 50-61.
- Judah, Ben. 2013. Russia’s Migration Crisis in Survival 55 (6): 123-131.
- Kreiten, Irma. 2009. A colonial experiment in cleansing: the Russian conquest of Western Caucasus, 1856-65 in Journal of Genocide Research 11 (2/3): 213-241.
- Lewis, Robert & Richard Rowland. 1977. East is West and West is East: Population Redistribution in the USSR and Its Impact on Society in The International Migration Review 11 (1): 3-29.
- Martin, Terry. 1998. The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing in Journal of Modern History 70 (4): 813-861.
- Polian, Pavel. 2004. Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. Budapest: Central European University Press.
- Sammut, Dennis. 2001. Population Displacement in the Caucasus: An Overview in Central Asian Survey 20 (1): 55-62.
All students are given the opportunity to comment the course at the end of the term in an online survey. A compilation of the results will be available on the university computer net. Students are also given the opportunity to offer oral feedback at various points earlier in the term.