Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Contested States: the Caucasus since 1991 CEES5069

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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 Caucasus region since 1991 with a focus on diverging efforts and outcomes in terms of state-building.


Weekly 2-hour seminar over 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Students will be required to write one essay of 4000 (70%) words, and a policy briefing report of recommended 1500 words (30%).

Course Aims

This course aims to provide a grounding in the present political and social reality of the Caucasus region. Students will analyse the role of war and subsequent 'frozen conflicts' in shaping the political evolution of state-building and governance in the Caucasus. To enable this, the course aims to:

■ Provide students with an opportunity to utilize sociological and empirical data to investigate social attitudes and state-society relations in the context of these conflicts.

■ Engage students with an advanced understanding of the dynamics of reform in the region connected with the problem of patrimonialism, corruption, and the rule of law.

■ Enable students 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:

■ critically engage with and apply theories of state-building to the Caucasus region

■ evaluate in a meaningful manner the impact of armed conflicts on state-building

■ identify and critically appraise the extent of the impact of different foreign actors on politics in the region

■ investigate the major internal and external threats to stability of the region through informed verbal and written debate.

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.