Nino Kemoklidze

Identity and Violence: Cases in Georgia

Supervisors: Kataryna Wolczuk, Stefan Wolff, Cerwyn Moore.

Nino’s research concerns issues of nationalism and ethnic violence in the former Soviet Union and the Caucasus region in particular. She successfully defended her PhD thesis on ‘Identity and Violence: Cases in Georgia’ in which she explored the nexus between identity construction and the outbreak of violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the early 1990s. Unlike most scholars writing on Georgia’s ethnic conflicts, Nino takes a long term, historical approach to the study of ethnic violence in Georgia and traces the process of the development of inter-ethnic tensions over the course of several decades as opposed to several years.


Born and raised in Tbilisi I spent several years studying abroad in the US (Arkansas and Maine), Scotland, Norway, and Australia. I held the post of a diplomatic attaché at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Georgia and worked with refugees at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in Budapest before choosing Birmingham as a place for my PhD studies. I have always been interested in the issues concerning nationalism and ethnic violence and have always wanted to study the causes behind ethnic civil wars that erupted in Georgia after the break up of the Soviet Union. I first explored these issues in two masters dissertations and am now able to look at them in more depth in my PhD thesis. During the 2010/11 academic year I was a visiting researcher at the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs in Oslo thanks to generous funding from the Norwegian Research Council. I am also extremely grateful for financial assistance provided by the Oversees Research Student Award Scheme (ORSAS), Kirkcaldy Postgraduate Scholarship, Postgraduate Incentive Fund, and Global Supplementary Grant Program-Europe that have enabled me to take up this degree.


  • MA International Relations with Peace and Conflict Studies specialisation, The Australian National University (ANU)/ Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • MSc Nationalism Studies, The University of Edinburgh
  • BA The History of Diplomacy and International Relations, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Research interests

  • Ethnic Conflict and Violence
  • Self-Determination and Secession
  • Nationalism Studies
  • International Relations 
  • Geographic areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the former Soviet space (especially the Caucasus), South-East Asia

Teaching responsibilities 

  • (Advanced) Cultural Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe, University of Birmingham
  • Introduction to Classical Political Thought, University of Birmingham
  • Introduction to International Relations, Australian National University
  • The Caucasus: History, Culture, and Contemporary Politics, University of Birmingham
  • Understanding European Identities, University of Birmingham

Professional memberships

  • ASEN (The Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism) 
  • BASEES (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies)

Language Skills

  • Georgian (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Russian (fluent)
  • Spanish (intermediate)

Conference papers 

  • “Why Secession is not a Viable Tool for Conflict-Resolution: The Case of Georgia” presented at the workshop “20 Years on From the Collapse of the Soviet Union: Prospects and Opportunities for Conflict Settlement in the Post-Soviet Space”, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, 4 July 2011
  • Gave a brief on Georgia and the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia at the Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Oslo, 30 May 2011
  • “Russia and the Abkhazian War in the 1992-93” presented at the workshop “Russia’s Next-Door: Comparative Experiences and Influences of Neighbouring Countries”, Finnish Embassy in Oslo, Norway, 17 March 2011
  • “The Complexities of Secession and the Cases of Kosovo and South Ossetia” presented at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI), Oslo, 24 February 2011
  • “The Role of the Archives in the Study of Identity Construction and Ethno-National Violence” presented at the conference “XX Century in the Materials of the Georgian Security Archive: Post-Soviet Archives and Memory”, Batumi, 23-25 October 2010
  • “The Kosovo Precedent and the ‘Moral Hazard’ of Secession” presented at the conference “Encounters between the Caucasus and the West: Image and Reality” at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 23-24 April 2010 (earlier draft presented at the conference “Caucasus and Central Asia: Theoretical, Cultural and Political Challenges” at the University of Birmingham, 3-4 July 2009)
  • “Identity Construction and Ethno-National Violence in Georgia” presented at the workshop “Central Asia and Caucasus Studies in the UK: Focusing on Communities, Societies and States”, the University of St Andrews, 6-7 November 2009


  • Collier, S.J. and Kemoklidze, N. (2014), “Pipes and Wires”, In Thrift, N.J., Tickell, A. and Woolgar, S. (eds.) Globalization in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.69-74  
  • Kemoklidze, N., Moore, C., Smith, J. and Yemelianova, G. (guest editors of the Special Issue) (2012) “The  Many Faces of the Caucasus”, Europe-Asia Studies, 64(9): 1619-1632
  • Kemoklidze, N. (29 Nov. 2012) “Georgia's Parliamentary Elections – Democracy in Action?”, Birmingham Perspective, [online]., Birmingham: Birmingham University, Available      from [Accessed 26th September 2014]
  • Kemoklidze, N. ([2006] 2011) “Nationalism and War: The Case of Georgia in the Early 1990s”, Working Papers in Nationalism Studies, [online]., Edinburgh: Edinburgh      University, Available from [Accessed 26th September 2014]
  • Blakkisrud, H., Kemoklidze, N. and Øverland, I. (2011) “Georgia: Political Stability and Potential Risks”, NUPI Report, Oslo: Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs
  • Kemoklidze, N. (2009) “The Kosovo Precedent and the Moral Hazard of Secession”, Journal of International Law and International Relations, 5(2): 117-140
  • Kemoklidze, N. (2009) “Victimisation of Female Suicide Bombers: The Case of Chechnya”, Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 3(2), [online]., Available from [Accessed 26th September 2014]

Appearances in the Media