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IR4544   Wars and Peace in the Caucasus

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 11.00 am - 1.00 pm Wed

The Caucasus region has suffered some of the worst wars, terrorist attacks and violent state-led counter-insurgencies in recent history. This module examines the contending accounts of war, terrorism and instability, giving attention to such conflicts as Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh and those in Georgia, including the conventional war of 2008. The interests and efforts of regional and international actors in trying to secure the region will also be examined, as will thematic issues such as democratization and human rights promotion.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take IR4525

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1x 2h lecture (x11 weeks); 1x 1h tutorial (x10 weeks); 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x12 weeks); 2h exam feedback in week 1 of the following semester. Occasional film/video viewing.

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 260

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%,

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%,


Module coordinator: Professor F J Fawn
Module teaching staff: Dr Marat Iliyasov

Intended learning outcomes

  • Through participation in this module diligent students achieve an enhanced and detailed familiarity with and a critical understanding of: the political geography, population distributions and changing internal and external borders of the great Caucasus region;
  • contending interpretations and narratives behind the tensions and conflicts that have arisen among peoples and between quasi/de facto states and recognized states within this region;
  • the uses and abuses of nationalism, in theory and in practice, in this region; specific policies and practices for dealing with these conflicts, including actual peace proposals and discussion/negotiating formats;
  • major policies towards this region of varied, major actors, including: NATO, the EU, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the United States, the Russian Federation, and as relevant, Turkey and Iran;
  • the roles of domestic and INGOs in, for example, recording human rights abuses and the plight of IDPs and refugees; determining needs assessments;
  • facilitating dialogue; and seeking conflict transformation and resolution; and more.