The Caucasus Conference is a trademark event that the Caucasus Institute has held in Yerevan, Armenia every spring-summer starting 2003. It brings together experts from the region and abroad to sum up the previous year’s political, societal and economic trends. It is therefore named after the previous year; the conference held on June 21, 2019 was called the Caucasus 2018 International Conference.
Each conference begins with a panel analyzing developments in the three internationally recognized countries of the South Caucasus. This year’s presentation on Georgia was be made by George Mchedlishvili, Associate Professor of Political Science at the International Black Sea University. For political reasons, it has for several years been impossible to invite an expert from Azerbaijan to present developments in their country; this year, Sergey Markedonov, one of the world’s leading experts on the South Caucasus, analyzed the situation in Azerbaijan. CI director Alexander Iskandaryan made the presentation on Armenia.
The topic of the second panel was the engagement of external players in the Caucasus. Prof. Dr. Mitat Celikpala, Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Kadir Has University, Istanbul spoke about Turkey’s regional policies in 2018.
Alexander Dubowy, senior researcher at the Austrian National Defence Academy, presented Western policies with regard to the Caucasus in 2018.
Pavel Baev, a research professor at the Peace Research Institute (Oslo) spoke about the revolutions on the post-Soviet space.
The third panel of the conference looked at regional security issues, including ethnopolitical conflicts and de-facto states in the South Caucasus, and persistent instability in the Russian Northern Caucasus. In its framework journalist David Petrosyan spoke about the unrecognized republics of Abkhazia, Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
A presentation was made by Russian scholar Akhmet Yarlykapov, a renowned expert on radical Islamism in the Northern Caucasus.