Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

IR5527   Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus (30)

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Tuesday 2-4pm

This module examines one of the world's most fascinating yet least understood regions. The Caucasus are rich in history, languages and culture, having developed as the crossroads between three great empires, the Ottoman, Persian and Russian. It is also a region riven by conflicts and remains of geopolitical importance to world powers, not least for reasons of energy. The module gives particular attention to the sources of the many wars in the Caucasus; the failed efforts to solve them; and the divergent interests there of such actors as Turkey, Iran, Russia, the United States and the EU.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour seminar.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 50% coursework and 50% written examination

Re-assessment: 100% written examination


Module coordinator: Professor F J Fawn
Module teaching staff: Prof R Fawn

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.