CASCADE's final events, 18-21 October

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Joint CASCADE-ISSICEU Final Policy Event “The European Union and the Caucasus: New Perspectives on an Evolving Relationship,” 18 October, Brussels: 

The final policy event (organised jointly with ISSICEU) will take place at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union, Square de Meeûs 30, Brussels. The draft version of event’s programme can be found here.

The CASCADE’s Final Conference “The Democracy-Security Nexus in and around the Caucasus,” 20-21 October, Brussels:

This international conference will be organised as part of the EU-FP7 CASCADE project (www. cascade-caucasus.eu). It will critically re-examine the link between security and democratisation in the Caucasus, in a context of growing authoritarianism and new protest movements, as well as conflict transformation resulting from broader political upheavals in the wider neighbourhood. This re-examination will be informed by a combination of macro- and micro-approaches.

The conference will take place in Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles) on 20 and 21 October 2016. The call for proposals can be found here.

Practical information and accommodation for participants: 

Practical Information CASCADE Final Events Brussels

 

The issue "Religion and Society in the Caucasus: Post-Soviet Dynamics" of "Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov' v Rossii i za rubezhom" № 2 (34), 2016

The issue “Religion and Society in the Caucasus: Post-Soviet Dynamics” of “Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom № 2 (34), 2016 coordinated by Alexandre Agadjanian and Silvia Serranocover_gosudarstvo_religia

Articles by CASCADE researchers in this issue:

Silvia Serrano (WP6) “The Time of Cathedrals: Religious Buildings and Political Legitimation in Post-Soviet Georgia”, Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom 34(2): 133-155.

In the past two decades, the Orthodox Church of Georgia as an institution has been considerably strengthened, and its influence in the public space has significantly grown. As demonstrated by numerous studies, this is partly due to the link between national and religious identities and to the instrumentalization of religion by political elites. However, the concrete ways in which the public authorities have sought to establish their legitimacy thanks to religious references remain to be scrutinized, as well as the constraints they are subjected to. This article focuses on the games of power and strategies of the Patriarchate and the Government around the construction and reconstruction of two cathedrals, Sameba and Bagrati, and on the challenges of building the symbolic national space. Through the analysis of the attempts of the Saakashvili Government to use the symbolic resources provided by major religious buildings, it sheds some light on the limits of the instrumentalization of Orthodoxy in the legitimization of power. Full text of the article.

Zviadadze Sophie (WP6) “The Cult of Monk Gabriel: Institutionalization of Popular Religion and Its Political Dimension in Geogia”, Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom 34(2): 226-254.

Monk Gabriel (1929-1995) is one of the most popular religious personalities in modern Georgia. His sermons and prophecies became very popular in the early 1990s and still are to this date. The expanding Internet social networks added to his popularity. His name is connected with miraculous healings; his grave became a sort of a modern shrine in the Georgian Orthodox Church. The phenomenon is on the verge between official and popular religion. His name became a source of legitimation for the Church as well as for the political establishment. In 2012 the “strange monk” was canonized as a saint, in 2014 his body was reburied in the Sameba cathedral in Tbilisi, and an avenue was renamed after him. The whole phenomenon shows the changing and complex role of religion in post-communist Georgian society. The full article is available here.

Zaytseva Anna (WP6) “Cohesion of Religious Communities in Situation of Conflict: A Case Study of Confrontations around Imam n a Dagestani Village”, Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom 34(2): 281-309.

The article is fieldwork-based and is devoted to the study of social cohesion in the context of co-existence of various Muslim communities in a Dagestani village. The article explores social aspects of religious confrontations emerged around an episode of forced dismissal of a village imam who was accused of belonging to the Wahhabi network. The author analyses narratives around the imam, who is the central figure of the conflict, the main line of respective religious divide, and the flexibility of the boundaries between various groups/communities. As a conclusion, the article identifies preconditions of intensification of religious solidarity, its particular normative, cultural, and political dimensions. Read the full article here.

 

A CASCADE panel at the UACES Conference in London

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CASCADE researchers at the conference (from left to right) : Nino Kemoklidze, Derek Averre and CASCADE Scientific Coordinator Laure Delcour

UACES 46th Annual Conference

Queen Mary University of London, 5-7 September 2016

A CASCADE panel was organised at the UACES Conference in London (Queen Mary University).

Derek Averre (University of Birmingham) presented a joint paper “Rethinking democracy and security in the Caucasus”, prepared with Kevork Oskanian.

Laure Delcour (FMSH) presented the preliminary findings of CASCADE WP9 on “Perceptions of the EU in the Caucasus” (paper co-authored with Kataryna Wolczuk, University of Birmingham) and Nino Kemoklidze (University of Birmingham) delivered a presentation on “Trade as a Confidence-Building Measures: Cases of Georgia and Moldova” (co-authored with Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham).

Discover the conference’s programme here.

Out Now: "Poverty and migration in Georgia: what mobility partnerships can solve"

New CASCADE working paper 

By Kakha Gogolashvili, Senior Fellow at GFSIS 

deliverable_3-4There is an extensive literature on how poverty affects migration. Poverty is widely considered as a factor influencing individual decisions to emigrate. “Various country-specific studies on short-term contract international migration show that migration reduces poverty at the family level.” The impact of migration on poverty has also been intensively explored by a large number of research projects. In both cases there is established positive nonlinear correlation elsewhere in the world which leads us to conclude that people emigrate in a large extent to escape poverty and that poverty within the country is reduced thanks to emigration. Read the full working paper: cascade_caucasus_deliverable_3-4.

 

IGRAS team took part in the Mountain Forum in Dagestan and held a workshop on local development initiatives

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Vladimir Kolosov at the Plenary Meeting, Mountains Forum 2016

The IGRAS team started its visit to Dagestan by the participation in the Mountain Forum “Efficient Development of Mountainous Territories of Russia” organized on 26-28 July by the government of the Republic. The Forum was a part of the Year of Mountains celebrated in Dagestan and was opened by Ramazan Abdulatipov, Head of the Republic, and Lev Kuznetsov, Federal Minister for North Caucasus Affairs. The event gathered a great number of scholars and experts from all republics and regions of North Caucasus, members of the Dagestani government and heads of municipal districts. Vladimir Kolosov was invited to make a presentation at the plenary meeting and Olga Vendina was a speaker at the session devoted to local initiatives in the afternoon.

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Local inhabitants at the workshop

A workshop scheduled on local development initiatives was held on 30 July in the village of Churtakh, Lackh district, located at the altitude of about 2,100 m. Besides the members of the IGRAS team and Dagestani scholars, there were the heads of the mountainous Lackh District, the mayor of the village, experts from North Ossetia, Chechnya, Stavropol region and representatives of the CASCADE’s “sister” project ISSICEU. The workshop was opened in the presence of local inhabitants.

Find more information on the website of Russian Geographical Society and watch a video report on the Dagestani
TV
.

 

Call for tenders/Deadline: 15 September 2016

Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH) launches this call for tenders under the European project CASCADE GA No. 613354 to subcontract for the production of:

– a database (dissemination and outreach),

– network’s website,

– policy recommendations. 

These tasks are related to the Work Package 10 of CASCADE EU project.

You can find more details here.

Call for papers “Migration, Mobile Goods and Trade Networks in the Caucasus”

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, November 18-19, 2016

Migration is one of the most popular strategies of coping with poverty among citizens from the Caucasus. In addition to economic factors, migration forms a set of practices aimed at securing social security and personal development. Political changes and economic crises within host countries affect migration patterns and the circulation of goods. At the same time, migration dynamics have an impact on changes in border policy, attitude towards migrants and labour market regulations. For those involved, human mobility creates translocal and transnational ties (or networks) that pave the way for the circulation of goods and enable or facilitate movement of immobile people. For people in the Caucasus, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, social networks in their multiple localities play a crucial role in establishing livelihood strategies and ways of operating in domestic economies. Social networks affect not only migration flows from the Caucasus but also influence the kind of survival tactics migrants employ while abroad. In this light, we are interested in how migration chains and communities are built and how they function.

The circulation of goods is embedded in social activities as a way of bridging and not bridging networks. Within this framework, we would like to address the following questions during the conference: What kind of impact does migration and the circulation of mobile goods have on mobile and immobile people from the Caucasus? How does this impact effect the relations between South Caucasian states and societies and external entities such as the Russian Federation and the EU?

This international conference will be organised as part of the EU-FP7 CASCADE project (www. cascade-caucasus.eu) by the working group dedicated to issues of migration, mobilities and poverty in the Caucasus. We invite scholars from different disciplines, who are exploring migration, mobile goods and trade networks in the Caucasus and beyond. The conference is funded by the EU’s 7th FWP project CASCADE (www.cascade-caucasus.eu). Paper proposals (250 words) together with a short bio (100 words) should be submitted in English by 31 July 2016 to Tamar Khutsishvili (tamar.khutsishvili@uni-jena.de) Weronika Zmiejewski (weronika.zmiejewski@uni-jena.de) and Annika Jooß (annika.jooss@uni-jena.de). The authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 15 August 2016 and asked to submit an extended outline of their presentation (ca. 2000 words) by 18 October 2016 that then will be shared among the presenters, chairs and discussants. The conference will take place in Jena (Friedrich Schiller University) on 18 and 19 November 2016. Travel to, and accommodation in Jena will be funded for the authors of accepted papers.

Call for papers “Mistrust, Mobilities, Insecurities Conference”

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, November 16-17, 2016

This international conference will be organised as part of the EU-FP7 CASCADE project
(www.cascade-caucasus.eu) by the working group dedicated to issues of migration,
mobilities and poverty in the Caucasus.
The central notion to be explored during the conference is mistrust. In contrast to the
notion of trust, which has become popular as a social phenomenon in the social sciences
of late, the notion of mistrust is mostly overlooked. If at all, mistrust is investigated as the
flip side of trust, as an annoying absence and a societal failure. In this vein, post-Soviet
citizens such as those from the Caucasus are depicted as notoriously deficient: alienated
from the state due to the Soviet past they are still haunted by, incapable of creating a
genuine civil society, unwilling to follow the rule of law, relying on personal networks and
relations rather than the state apparatus, predisposed to corruption. The most pressing
question thus seems to be how to restore trust in the state, and how to foster trust in civil
agents and free markets.
With this conference, we intend to take a step back and explore what people actually do
when they mistrust. Particular attention will be paid to how mistrust relates to poverty,
insecurity and (voluntary as well as involuntary) forms of mobility as widespread
experiences in the post-Soviet Caucasus and beyond. We also ask for the constructive
potential of practices of mistrust. Can we identify communities of mistrust? May mistrust
be culturally coded? If so, what is particular about these codes? Does the sharing of
mistrust create new forms of legitimacy?
The conference is funded by the EU’s 7th FWP project CASCADE (www.cascadecaucasus.eu).
Paper proposals (250 words) together with a short bio (100 words) should
be submitted in English by 31 July 2016 (deadline extension) to Florian Mühlfried
(florian.muehlfried@uni-jena.de) and Annika Jooß (annika.jooss@uni-jena.de). The
authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 15 August 2016 and asked to submit a
draft of their paper by 16 October 2016 that will then be spread among the presenters,
chairs and discussants.
The conference will take place in Jena (Friedrich Schiller University) on 16 and 17
November 2016. Travel to, and accommodation in Jena will be funded for the authors of
accepted papers. Selected papers of the conference will be published in an edited volume
dedicated to the anthropology of mistrust.