Political Science

At the Department of Caucasus Studies

In collaboration with the Institute of Political Science, we offer a wide range of study and research opportunities for students interested in political, cultural and socio-economic developments in the Caucasus region and the wider post-Soviet area.

From the perspective of political science, we particularly focus on the three South Caucasus countries Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, without neglecting the role of Russia and other important local players such as Turkey and Iran. Thereby we consider the entire region and thus go beyond the limited national perspective. Core areas of our teaching and research are:

  • Democratization, socio-economic transformation and political dynamics
  • Foreign and security policy
  • Patterns of regional integration and competitive regionalism
  • Europeanization, EU foreign policy towards the South Caucasus region and the Eastern Partnership countries


Exemplary courses (in English and German)

  • EU External Governance in the Eastern Partnership Countries (Winter Term 2019/2020, for BA and MA students)
  • Populism and International Politics (Winter Term 2019/2020, for BA and MA students)
  • Competitive regionalism and order contestations in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Summer Term 2020, for BA and MA students)
  • Europäische Außen und Sicherheitspolitik und Konflikte in der EU-Nachbarschaft (Summer Term 2020, for BA and MA students)

In addition, students can choose from further courses offered by the Institute of Political Science the Institute of Political Science de 


Contact person


Ongoing research projects

  • The Caucasus from the perspective of social sciences [Der Kaukasus aus sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektive].
  • JENA-CAUC Resilience in the South Caucasus: prospects and challenges of a new EU foreign policy concept, see here


 Recent publications

  • Bidzina Lebanidze Börzel, Tanja A., and Bidzina Lebanidze. 2017. ““The Transformative Power of Europe” Beyond Enlargement: The EU’s Performance in Promoting Democracy in Its Neighbourhood.” East European Politics 33 (1): 17–35. 
  • Gvalia, Giorgi, and Bidzina Lebanidze. 2018. “Geopolitics and Modernization: Understanding Georgia’s Pro-Western Assertiveness Since the Rose Revolution.” In Modernization in Georgia, edited by Giga Zedania, 165–96: Peter Lang AG.
  • Gvalia, Giorgi, Bidzina Lebanidze, and David Siroky. 2019. “Neoclassical Realism and Small States: Systemic Constraints and Domestic Filters in Georgia’s Foreign Policy.” East European Politics 35 (1).
  • Kakachia, Kornely, Bidzina Lebanidze, and Volodymyr Dubovyk. 2019. “Defying Marginality: Explaining Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Drive Towards Europe.” Journal of Contemporary European Studies 27 (4): 451–62.
  • Lebanidze, Bidzina. 2019. Russia, EU and the Post-Soviet Democratic Failure. Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft Ser. Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg. in Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH.


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