ISSICEU – Intra-and Inter-Societal Sources of
Instability in the Caucasus and EU Opportunities to Respond
ISSICEU is an international research project led by Prof. Dirk Lehmkuhl and Katharina Hoffmann from the Center for Governance and Culture at the University of St. Gallen. It stems from a successful bid for a call of the European Commission on “Security and democracy in the neighborhood: The case of the Caucasus”. The project is funded by the Framework Seven program of the European Union with 1.6 Mio Euro and involves a consortium of eight partners.
The Project explores four key issues: (a) “hybrid political regimes”, i.e. the role of hybrid institutions in intra-societal frictions and their impact on regional political configurations, (b)”civic participation”, i.e. how practices of civic participation are shaped by the interplay of societal organisations, religious and state actors ,, (c) “economic interdependencies”, i.e. patterns of economic exchange flows and interdependencies in the broader Caucasus region, and (d) “external actors”, i.e. influences from the geographical neighborhoods with a particular focus on Turkey and Iran. By evaluating the resulting implications for military, political, economic and societal security, the project team will develop scenarios concerning potential future security developments. On the basis of its extensive research ISSICEU also aims at providing policy recommendations on opportunities for regional and European policy-makers to contribute to long-term stability in the Caucasus societies as well as the entire region.
As an interdisciplinary endeavor ISSICEU is made up of political scientists, economists, anthropologists, human geographers and scholars of religious studies. It comparatively analyzes sub-regions and studies aspects of inter-societal relations. Cases will cover the entire Caucasus region, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the North Caucasus republics of the Russian Federation Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Chechnya, as well as the neighboring countries Turkey and Iran. ISSICEU will also discuss/consider/reflect on the secessionist territories in the South Caucasus.
ISSICEU has started as an international, collaborative research project in January 2014. The Center for Governance and Culture GCE has initiated the project and coordinates the research activities of the consortium formed of experts based in Germany and Switzerland as well as researchers from the Caucasus and adjacent countries. In terms of research the GCE contributes with a study on hybridity in communal governance in the South Caucasus and Turkey and with research on Russia's influence on the South Caucasus.
In Addition to the University of St. Gallen the research consortium consists of the following partners:
- GeoWel Research (Georgia)
- Kabardino-Balkarian State University (Russian Federation)
- Khazar University (Azerbaijan)
- Russian State University for the Humanities (Russian Federation)
- SWP - German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Germany)
- APM - Ankara Politikalar Merkezi (Turkey)
- University of Fribourg (Switzerland)