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Institution-Centered Conflict Studies. Applied Research Methods and Teaching in the Caucasus

A Collabration with Free University Berlin & State University of Kabardino-Balkaria in Nalchik, Russia; Grant by Volkswagen Foundation

The project builds on the experiences and results of a preceding, VW Foundation financed transfer project "Understanding Local Conflicts, Using Development Opportunities", conducted at Free University Berlin and at the State University of Kabardino-Balkaria in Nalchik (KBSU).

This time around ICVR (Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Boris Wilke) is one of two German junior partners, the other being Univerisity of Marburg. Prof. Dr. Michael Daxner and Dr. Jan Koehler, both Free University Berlin, are sharing the overall responsibility for this project. The operative project director will be Alexey Gunya, thus becoming the hinge between Berlin and Nalchik. The main goal of the project is a novel scientific cooperation in research and study with the State Universities in Kabardino-Balkarian (Nalchik, Russia), Abkhazia, Adjara (Georgia) and Maikop (Russia). The project now expands the teaching and research programme to Adygheya in the North Caucasus, to Abkhazia as well as to Adjara in the South Caucasus. In cooperation with the Centre for Conflict Research at University Marburg and ICVR (IKG) in Bielefeld it will enhance teaching and also create an option for graduation in Germany. In the field of research, it intends to use the Graduate School at Nalchik University as anchor for PhD Students and post-PhD researchers from the region to conduct methodologically sound empirical conflict research.

Milestones

- August 17-26, 2015, ICCS International Summer School in Tegenekli, Karbardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation. The four-week summer school was the kick-off event for the collaborative project. The summer school at “Pensionat Elbrus” was organized by Dr. Timur Tenov (North Caucasus Graduate School of Conflict Studies, Nalchik), project director Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin), and project manager Dr. Alexey Gunja (Moscow/Berlin). It was attended by more than 30 ICCS teachers, students, and external experts from Russia, Georgia, Abkhazia, and Germany. Wilke gave courses on institutionalism, state theory, violence, development, and politics in Karachi.

- November 23-28, 2015, Workshop in Batumi, Georgia. The meeting was organized by Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin), Dr. Alexey Gunya (Berlin/Moscow), Dr. Timur Tenov (Nalchik) and Dr. Ruslan Baramidze (Batumi). The workshop was attended by collaboration partners from Batumi, Berlin, Maikop, Marburg, Nalchik, and Bielefeld. Boris Wilke gave presentations on conflict & development, comparative research designs and dissemination strategies.

- March 28 - April 1, 2016, Workshop and Convention in Nalchik, Russian Federation. The international workshop at the Kabardino-Balkarian State Universitywas organized by Dr. Alexey Gunya (Berlin/Moscow), Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin) and Dr. Timur Tenov (Nalchik), and it was attended by collaboration partners from Batumi, Berlin, Maikop, Nalchik, Sukhumi and Bielefeld. Wilke gave presentations on violence & development and in comparative research designs. On April 1st, all participants gathered for a Convention at the university's conference center, in order to share their ideas with representatives from universities of Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Vladikavkas, the state government, and youth organizations.

- July 23-28, 2016, ICCS Panel at 24th IPSA World Congress Poznan, Poland. Boris Wilke chaired the panel CS04.66 "Resources and Institutions in Armed Conflicts and Political Development", which saw presentations from Alexey Gunya (Moscow/Berlin), Murat Shogenov & Timur Tenov (Nalchik), Jan Koehler (Berlin) and Kristóf Gosztonyi (Berlin); Anne Menzel (Marburg) served as discussant.

- September 25-28, 2016, Workshop in Maykop, Russian Federation. The meeting was organized by Dr. Elena Kuhva (Maykop), Dr. Alexey Gunya (Berlin/Moscow), Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin) and Dr. Timur Tenov (Nalchik), and it was attended by collaboration partners from Batumi, Maikop, Nalchik, Sukhumi and Bielefeld. Boris Wilke gave presentations on the organization and implementation of comparative research and assisted in developing research designn on governance, development and identity.

- January 14-18, 2017, Workshop in Teberda, Russian Federation. The meeting was organized by Dr. Alexey Gunya (Berlin/Moscow), Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin) and Dr. Timur Tenov (Nalchik), and it was attended by collaboration partners from Batumi, Maikop, Nalchik, Sukhumi and Bielefeld. The participants discussed the contours of a international textbook on Institutions, Conflict and Development, to be published in 2018. Wilke gave presentations on the history of conflict research and on the nexus of conflict and violence.

- April 18-22, 2017, Workshop in Batumi, Russian Federation. The international workshop at the Shota Rustaveli State University was organized by Dr. Jan Koehler (Berlin), Dr. Alexey Gunya (Berlin/Moscow), Dr. Natalia Lazba and Dr. Ruslan Baramidze (both Batumi). The workshop was attended by collaboration partners from Batumi, Berlin, Maikop, Marburg, Nalchik, and Bielefeld. Graduate and post-graduate students presented cases according to three research lines: governance, development and identity.