Academic Research and Study Trip

Academic management:
Daniel-Erasmus Khan, Donald Riznik (International Law)
Stephan Stetter, Jan Busse (International Politics)

Program overview (German) Press reviews & reports (German)

Armenia and Georgia are the oldest Christian countries in the world. Both countries are the focus of tense geopolitical conflicts.

Only a few days after the peaceful change of government in Armenia in May 2018, when mass protests forced the Armenian prime minister to resign over corruption charges, the participants of the 2018 study trip had an opportunity to discuss these historical events with leading political commentators and representatives of civil society in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Practical aspects of international law and politics played an important role during this trip, especially with respect to geopolitical dynamics in the South Caucasus, which were discussed with representatives of the National Defense Research University and the head of the EU delegation in Armenia. In this context special emphasis has been made on Armenia’s relations with Russia and Turkey as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Extremely tense relations with Russia are a decisive factor in Georgian politics. This became particularly clear when students accompanied a patrol of the EU Monitoring Mission which monitors the so-called Administrative Boundary Line to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia for Relations with Russia pointed out to the students that it was nevertheless important to remain in dialogue. A political and historical tour of Tbilisi focused on the consequences of Soviet terror under Stalin. The Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, his birthplace, showed how Stalin’s heritage continues to be idealized in Georgia.

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