The research project Resilience in the South Caucasus: prospects and challenges of a new EU foreign policy concept (Jena-Cauc) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project seeks to analyze the impacts of the “resilience turn” of EU foreign policy in the South Caucasus and its contribution to conflict and crisis prevention. Through an inside-out analysis it will focus on studying preferences of state and non-state stakeholders and the role of minority and language policy. Two separate clusters of the project will focus on the relationship between democracy and resilience in the South Caucasus and the place and role of the resilience approach within the wider regional strategy of the EU in the region. In doing so, the project will develop policy-relevant approaches which can contribute to effective implementation of EU’s regional governance in the South Caucasus region. The project combines area studies on the South Caucasus with the analysis of the German-European governance in the region.

Further project goals are the structural strengthening of Caucasus Studies at the FSU Jena through the establishment of national and international cooperation in research and teaching, the communication of results to political and civil society actors, and the increase of the visibility of Caucasus Studies through transfer measures, international conferences, and the establishment of an international fellowship program.

Structure and participants

Participants in the project are (see diagram):

  • Research group
  • Scientific advisory board (Caucasus Studies FSU Jena, cooperation partners from the FSU Jena, associates and cooperation partners from the Caucasus)
  • International fellows.

Each of the participants of the research group as well as international fellows will cover one or more research areas related to the project (resilience and democratization, resilience and European Neighborhood Policy, global and diffuse risks, language and minority policies etc.). 

Structure and Participants Structure and Participants Image: Bidzina Lebanidze

Research design and conceptual framework

The research project combines two broad areas of research: (Resilience Turn in) EU Foreign and Security Policy and the South Caucasus Area Studies. The conceptual framework of the project is divided in several policy-relevant sub-topics with individual research questions, research topics, case studies and methodologies. Each of the members of the Research Team as well as principal investigators are responsible to lead the research in individual sub-sections. 

Conceptual Framework of JENA-CAUC Conceptual Framework of JENA-CAUC Image: Bidzina Lebanidze