Panel Discussion

ZOiS Caucasus Network Meeting


Online event in German language

Thursday | 10 December | 11:00-12:30 hrs

The ZOiS Caucasus Network, founded in autumn 2019, met on 10 December 2020 for another round of discussions. In addition to three inputs, we talked together about conflict dynamics, self-perception and perception of others by the respective actors, and migration as a conflictual element of movement.



Dr. Tsypylma Darieva (ZOiS, Berlin)

Chechen perceptions of self and others in transnational space

Dr. Marit Cremer (Memorial, Germany)

In the European media, migrants from Chechnya are predominantly associated with problematic issues such as Islamism, terrorism or organised crime. The question arises as to which strategies the diaspora in Germany uses to react to its bad reputation in the public eye and which structures underlie these strategies? In the lecture by Dr. Marit Cremer, sociologist at MEMORIAL Deutschland e.V., these questions were raised and discussed.

The South Caucasus as Contested Geography: Toponomy and Memory

Dr. David Leupold (ZMO, Berlin)

On 13 November, only three days after the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Committee on Regional Affairs of the Azerbaijani Parliament introduced a bill "On renaming the village of Cakuri in the Xocavənd region of Azerbaijan to the village of Hünerli". The village formerly inhabited by Armenians with its monastery complex Całkavank̔, which is located in the province of Hadrut̔ in the southern part of Nagorno-Karabakh, is to be fitted into the newly configured symbolic landscape of an ethnically homogeneous, Azerbaijani Karabakh by receiving an Azerbaijani place name. The renaming of place, river and mountain names plays a crucial role in consolidating one's own and contesting the enemy's national narrative. But the politics of toponomy has a long history. Using Armenia as a case study, which Dr. David Leupold has studied for some time, it can be shown how the toponymic landscape of the South Caucasus has been systematically rewritten from the beginning of the Soviet era until today in the sense of creating ethnically homogeneous titular republics.

Researching Everyday Life in Conflict?

Cooperative project to collect socio-economic data in de-facto states

Dr. Sabine von Löwis (ZOiS, Berlin)

In the research area "Conflict Dynamics and Border Regions" at ZOiS, we study, among other things, everyday life and social life in de facto states and thus life under conflict conditions. This includes the de facto states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus. In addition to our own research and observations on the ground (e.g. in Transnistria), we cooperate with an Anglo-American research group that conducts quantitative surveys on political identities and attitudes in the post-Soviet de facto states and also collects demographic, social, economic and cultural factors in this context. The analysis of these data from current and past surveys will serve to elaborate development dynamics and structures of societies in the de facto states and lead to a better understanding of them.

Dr. Nadja Douglas (ZOiS, Berlin)


Dr. Tsypylma Darieva, Dr. Nadja Douglas (research assistants at ZOiS)                                  

Sina Giesemann (Research Assistant at ZOiS)