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Caucasus Studies at Malmö University is an ‘area study’. It is based on the assumption that the history of the Caucasus matters for the understanding of contemporary political, social and economic developments and that the region’s unique geographical location is crucial for understanding the conflict dynamics in the region.
The Caucasus region is located at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Historically the region has been dominated by different empires, including the Ottoman Empire, Persia, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War the Caucasus region has obtained a new strategic significance. Regional great powers – Turkey, Iran, Russia – again compete for political influence in the region, which is also rich in energy resources and constitutes an important transit corridor for oil and gas from the Caspian basin to Western markets. New external actors, notably USA and the EU, compete with the ‘traditional’ regional powers for political influence in the Caucasus region and for control over its strategically important energy resources and pipeline routes.
The Caucasus is one of the most complex regions of the world in terms of ethnic and linguistic diversity. Contested borders divide similar ethnic groups and nationalities. Feelings of national 'we' are weak, while sub-national identities (clan, ethnic groups, region) are strong. The Caucasus is also a meeting place for different Islamic, Christian and pre-Christian religious traditions. Our courses provide students with an understanding of the role of ethnicity, language and religion in the post-Soviet state- and nation-building processes.
Caucasus Studies at Malmö University is the only center in Western Europe providing distance learning courses on this topic. The flexible online design makes it easy for students to follow the courses in their home country and even to combine them with orther studies or work.
The multidisciplinary staff consists of researchers with solid knowledge of the particularities of the Caucasus region, combined with extensive experience from doing field work in the region.
Caucasus Studies at Malmö Universiy has tight links with academic institutions and scholars in the Caucasus Region, as well as other international institutions with Caucasus research. The center often hosts academics from the region who stay at Malmö University campus and actively involve in Caucasus Studies courses and research.
Introduction to Caucasus Studies
A language of the Caucasus (choice of Georgian and Russian)
Post-Soviet developments in the Caucasus
History of the Caucasus
Alex Calvo lives in Barcelona. He studied law at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London University and became a corporate lawyer at a bank. Later he started his own practice and at the same time embarked on an academic career. He is currently an international relations professor, and head of the department, at European University (Barcelona Campus). He is specialised in Asian security and defence.
Although not my original focus of interest, I gradually came to realize its significance, both in historical terms and to understand many contemporary issues. I also happened to have a few students from the region. As I result, I felt I needed to at least gain a basic understanding of the area.
The region has, among other things, a rich history, an interesting geography, and a complex and fascinating mixture of peoples, languages, and religions. As a result, the subject is suitable for all sorts of people.
Because it offered me the possibility of studying online, and because the courses seemed to me comprehensive and well designed. Since I am currently working, it is difficult for me to attend lectures. On the other hand, I value the possibility of studying a number of subjects, presented in a logical order, and with the right coordination. The Caucasus Studies courses at Malmö are much more than a mere collection of subjects.
Not really, I just have a very basic knowledge of Georgian, acquired in one of the modules in the courses.
It is a challenge, although an increasingly necessary one nowadays. However, the materials at Malmö University make the task much easier, and I always found the lecturers very supportive.
Yes, indeed, since it allowed me to teach more effectively on many issues related to the region.
Effective time management is essential. There is no single magical solution, of course, but as a general rule I would suggest drawing up a schedule and sticking to it. It is also useful to begin one’s background reading as soon as possible.
The course was established 09 February 2012.
This course syllabus (version 1) was approved 01 March 2012 by the Board of Studies at Faculty of Culture and Society (SMS).
The syllabus is valid from 03 September 2012.