The ISSICEU research is divided into five work packages. Four work packages are devoted to basic research. Two work packages will focus on the intra-societal dimension and two other work packages will focus on the inter-societal dimension. The fifth work package will pull the strings together and highlight on how different sources of instability interact with the aim to elaborate on scenarios for future developments across the region.
Work Package 1 – Political Regimes : Communal Governance
WP1 explores frictions in the political regimes of the Caucasus states primarily at communal level. The main emphasis is placed on the effects of hybridity, the interplay of adopted democratic practices and persisting domestic practices on communal governance. Based on the explorative research a detailed picture of actors and domestic practices that alter, avert or intensify democratisation processes will be delivered.
Work Package 2 – Civil Society
WP2 is interested in civic participation as observable in the Caucasus societies and its stabilising and destabilising potential in cases of social conflict. The WP pays attention to varying societal actors, including citizens that participate in an unorganised form, NGOs, religious and other civil society organisations. WP2 will detail sources of civic participation and map out channels of civic participation from the municipal to central government level in the Caucasus societies. Recommendations on how to support the strengthening of civic participation will be formulated.
Farda Asadov, Khazar University
Work Package 3 – Economic Dependencies
The WP looks at the economic dependencies on external financing of the Caucasus entities. It inquires how these economic dependencies relate to matters of stability and security in entities but also the whole Caucasus. The question will be studied at macro- and micro-level. We will formulate recommendations for the EU and EU member states as external economic actors in the Caucasus. Special attention will be given to the EU energy policy and its implications for regional stability and democratic change.
George Welton, GeoWel Research
Work Package 4 – Neighbourhood
The WP first will map the political and societal relations between Turkey and the Caucasus entities. It will also be discussed how Turkey’s relations with Russia and Iran influence Turkey’s Caucasus policy. Finally, with regard to societal influences, the role of players from Turkey and Iran on societal (in)stability will be explored.
Work Package 5 – The interplay of sources of instability in the Caucasus
This WP will synthesize the results of WP1-4 and spell out core threats to the stability of the individual Caucasus societies and the whole Caucasus. The WP will consider all states, de facto states and autonomous republics that have been studied in WP1-4. At this point ISSICEU will develop future scenarios. The scenarios will be summarised and interpreted in terms of implications for the EU policy towards the Caucasus.
Dirk Lehmkuhl, University of St. Gallen