The Caucasus: History, Culture and Contemporary Politics

School: School of Government and Society
Department of Political Science and International Studies

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturer: Galina Yemelianova

This module introduces the Caucasus – the present day states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, as well as Russia’s Muslim autonomies of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Adyghea.

It will cover medieval and modern history, as well as contemporary situation in the region, religion, ethnic relations, and the place of the Caucasus in the wider world. It also examine the nature and forms of the post-Communist Islamic revival in the Muslim Caucasus and its cultural, political and security implications.

Students will be encouraged to consider the region from the viewpoint of a range of humanities and social science disciplines, and to understand how the cultural and historical features of the region relate to contemporary issues of security and international relations.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be able to

  • Understand the main features of historical development of the Caucasus region and be familiar with the complex differentiation of the region as well as the unifying factors
  • Relate to some aspects of cultural, historical, religious and social factors to contemporary security and political issues
  • Critically assess academic, journalistic, and governmental approaches to the region


  • One 3,000 word essay on a historical theme related to the region as a whole (50%)
  • One 3,000 word essay on a contemporary issue focused on one or more parts of the region (50%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.