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Caucasus Under Review - Recently Published Books

By Editor CI

views: 47

Jul 3, 2018 - 12:05 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. This issue presents recently published books which delve into a range of issues, from the Cold War to new geopolitics; Russian geopolitics to the Sasanian Empire; the Cultural Revolution to new media; from Azerbaijan’s foreign policy and the EU’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to East-West transportation corridor. Read more...

"The EU’s Ambiguous Stance on Separatism: Lessons from Catalonia, Kosovo, and Nagorno-Karabakh" by Ayaz Rzayev

By Editor CI

views: 46

Jul 3, 2018 - 12:11 PM

In October 2017, the Catalonian government held a referendum on Catalan independence which was subsequently declared illegal by Spain on the grounds that it violated the Spanish Constitution. The vote triggered the invocation of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allowed the central government in Madridto suspend Catalonia’s self-rule. The situation has forced Catalonia into the international spotlight as a potential precursor of other breakaway regions in the EU. Since these separatist movements pose a threat to global and regional stability, their potential spread throughout Europe brings to the fore a pressing challenge that the EU urgently needs to address. The events in Catalonia are the result not only of the complexity of internal Spanish politics, but also reflect a more fundamental issue of how European institutions decide to handle matters of territorial integrity and self-determination in general while continuing to test the adequacy of the EU’s response to these issues in the changing context of international politics. Therefore, this new political context represents a good opportunity to assess whether the EU’s stance on these issues has been consistent so far and whether the EU has, perhaps unintentionally, enabled separatist movements. Read more...

Commentary: "Georgia Before the Presidential Elections: The General Overview" by Aleksandre Kvakhadze

By Editor CI

views: 38

Jul 7, 2018 - 1:22 PM

The present paper aims to provide an overview of the pre-election political landscape in Georgia and illustrate recent developments and their interconnection with each other. The paper will describe and analyze three main trends observed in Georgia in recent months, including factors such as Mikheil Saakashvili, the return of Bidzina Ivanishvili to politics, and the protest rallies in Tbilisi. The paper will also evaluate the chances of various candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in the context of the current economic situation and the recent public opinion surveys. The article concludes that victory in the presidential elections is crucial for the ruling party, but the opposition also has the opportunity to consolidate. Read more...
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