Contested States: the South Caucasus since 1991 CEES5069

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course provides an advanced introduction to the political and social changes that have taken place across the South Caucasus since 1991 with a focus on diverging efforts and outcomes in terms of state-building.


1 x 2-hour seminar per week over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Students will be required to write one essay of 4500-5000 words. A list of topics will be given out in class.

Course Aims

To provide a grounding in the present political and social reality of the South Caucasus region.

To analyse the role of war and subsequent 'frozen conflicts' in shaping the political evolution of state-building in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

To utilize sociological and empirical data to investigate social attitudes and state-society relations in the context of these conflicts.

To produce an advanced understanding of the dynamics of reform in the region connected with the problem of patrimonialism, corruption, and the rule of law. 

To examine the interplay of the region's conflicts and development with international politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1) - apply theories of state formation to the South Caucasus context

2) - assess the impact of frozen conflicts on state-building outcomes in the South Caucasus states

3) - evaluate 'stateness' through institutional performance indicators in the region synthesising multiple sources of data

4) - compare and contrast the impacts of foreign actors on political development in the region

5) - establish links between political legitimacy and the dynamics of anti-corruption and rule of law iniatives across the South Caucasus states

6) - identify the major internal and external threats to the sustainability and stability of the region

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.