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.

Cascade Newsletter – Issue No. 4

Editorial by Dr. Kevork Oskanian, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies University of Birmingham: 

Couverture_MinuatureThis April, the world received an unwelcome reminder of the instabilities inherent to the South Caucasus, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict became violently unfrozen over the course of four days.  Reports of casualties on both sides were contradictory; the end result consisted of a limited advance by Azerbaijan’s troops in the northeastern section of the line of contact, and a reinvigoration of the negotiation efforts by the previously long-stagnant Minsk Group.

Reaction in both societies indicated the extent to which previous (admittedly very limited) peacebuilding efforts had been drops in the ocean; and the ways in which ‘Europeanisation’ – as envisaged in the European Neighbourhood Policy – has failed to make any meaningful difference to both the elites’ and the wider societies’ fundamental attitudes towards the conflict.  The flaws in the idea that conditionality and socialization would create a ‘belt of stability’ around the European Union were on full display yet again: after more than 20 years of engagement, both sides’ positions had, if anything, hardened, with nationalist narratives now firmly entrenched in both societies.

The South Caucasus is a textbook illustration of Mansfield and Snyder’s long-running claims on imperfect democratisation, which, in their view, leads to insecure local elites turning to nationalism as a mobilising mechanism and a source of ‘Ersatz’ legitimacy.  And this has been the case on both sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh confrontation.  The tenacity of these nationalist attitudes may also very well indicate that, over the longer term, top-down models of such mobilisation – whereby elites foster and manipulate nationalism instrumentally – are subject to revision.  Over longer periods, values and identities become what Wæver has called ‘sedimented’ – relatively immutable and fixed, and therefore no longer subject to such manipulation; and that may very well have been the case in these two nations’ societies. (Read more)

The full CASCADE Newsletter, Issue No. 4.

Beyond geopolitics: exploring the impact of the EU and Russia in the “contested neighborhood”

Eurasian Geography and Economics (57)1, 2016

Special issue coordinated by Esther Ademmer, Laure Delcour and Kataryna Wolczuk

While the geopolitical rivalry between the European Union and Russia over theircommon neighborhood has increasingly attracted academic and public attention, relatively little is known of its actual influence on domestic institutions and policies. This special issue coordinated by two CASCADE researchers, Dr. Laure Delcour and Dr. Kataryna Wolczuk, together with Dr. Esther Ademmer, aims to address this deficit by investigating the joint impact of the EU and Russia on the domestic dynamics of sectoral reform in neighboring countries – a key declared goal of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) – in the areas of trade, natural resources, and migration and mobility. It examines the nature of the instruments deployed by the EU and Russia to change domestic reform processes and their impact on domestic actors in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. The special issue highlights a strong disconnect between participation in the EU’s or Russia’s macro-frameworks for regional integration and domestic sectoral reforms. Despite the increasing external competition over the post-Soviet space, domestic actors remain the key agents to account for the pattern of change in the contested neighborhood.

Find articles by Laure Delcour in this issue: 

Multiple external influences and domestic change in the contested neighborhood: the case of food safety

(with Esther Ademmer) With a little help from Russia? The European Union and visa liberalization with post-Soviet states

Mountain Forum – International scientific conference “Effective development of mountain areas of Russia”

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Photo credit by © RIA Dagestan 

The Republic of Dagestan, Russia, July 26-29, 2016

The conference will bring together academic scientists, federal, regional and municipal authorities, business organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media.

A round table “Contradictions of Dagestan development: modernization and counter-modernization challenges” will be organized as a part of the scientific seminar “Consequences of economic and social transformation policies in the North Caucasus” on the 29 of July.  It will focus on the following important issues:

1) Local initiatives aimed at the development (rural and urban small businesses);

2) Ethno-cultural pluralism of society versus the common development interests;

3) The religious revival and intergenerational misunderstandings;

4) Desired future model for different social groups of inhabitants of Dagestan.

For more information, please contact: Shahmardan Muduev mud51@mail.ru

IV Kant and Bakhtin International Seminar “Imaginary and real worlds and their borders”

Murmansk Arctic State University, Murmansk,  Russia, March 15-17, 2016

Sophie Hohmann (La Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme / the University of Jena, WP3) was invited by the Rector Andrej Sergeev to participate in the International Seminar on the Imaginary and Border Realities and to give a lecture.

The seminar was organized by the Murmansk Branch of the Russian Philosophical Society, Murmansk Arctic State University and Nord University (Bodo, Norway).

Mrs. Hohmann met colleagues working in sociology, anthropology and philosophy on the issue of border and migration within a program between the University of Murmansk and the University of Bodø, Norway and the Kola North Arctic program. The title of her presentation performed with Alexandra Burtseva was «Миграция в СМИ: проблема формирования общественного мнения» (Migration and Media: the problem of formation of public opinion).

 

CASCADE’s Newsletter (Call for content)

The Issue No. 4 of the CASCADE’s Newsletter covering the period December 2015-June 2016, will be released on the 25th of June 2016. All the partners are requested to provide the necessary content in the form of:

  • Proposition of the Editorial
  • Key findings, insights from the work packages
  • Forthcoming and past events (conferences/workshops reports)
  • Information on fieldwork & research trips
  • Relevant publications on Caucasus
  • Announcements
Do not hesitate to make your proposals/comments and to share with me your ideas on the CASCADE’s Newsletter (in English/French or Russian).

Please send your contributions in the form of word processor text files, pictures or graphics, at the following official email address, latest by 15th June 2016:

Email: irina.lamour@msh-paris.fr

Large files may be uploaded through the WeTransfer for example: https://www.wetransfer.com/

 

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

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

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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 1 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 31 July 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 

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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.cascade-caucasus.eu). Paper proposals (250 words) together with a short bio (100 words) should be submitted in English by 1 July 2016 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 31 July 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.

CASCADE SIPRI/GFSIS Workshop: “Shifting conflict and security dynamics in the Caucasus: the role of regional powers”

29 April, 2016, Tbilisi, Georgia

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) together with the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) organized a workshop ‘Shifting Conflict and Security Dynamics in the Caucasus: The Role of Regional Powers’ bringing together lCASCADE workshop Tbilisieading regional and international experts to identify recent conflict and security trends in the Caucasus.

Specifically, the workshop participants examined the thinking and policies of leading regional actors toward security and conflict issues in the Caucasus and the main drivers of their engagement. A particular theme of the discussions was the impact on regional stability of the intensification of confrontation between Russia, the Euro-Atlantic community and other regional powers in the Caucasus.

Increasingly, the conflicts of the Caucasus have come to be seen as part of a regional security challenge involving leading international actors (Russia, the US, the EU, Turkey, Iran) with the accompanying risk of regional and proxy warfare appearing in the region. More recently, elements of the Caucasian conflict complex appear to have broken out of the region, to merge with ongoing armed violence in Ukraine and the Middle East. Continue reading