Department Gets Two New Leverhulme Fellowships

Dr Nino Kemoklidze and Dr George Kyris both received highly acclaimed Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships and started working on their new research projects in May 2017.

Dr Kemoklidze, previously a PhD student and research fellow at the University of Birmingham, won the award with the project “Self-Determination and Secession in the EU’s ‘Near Abroad’”. The project seeks to re-examine this topic by focusing on the sources of demand for self-determination (and secession) in the four of the former Soviet Union republics -- Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, and provide a comparative case-study analysis of secessionist conflicts in these regions. The main aim of this study is to move the scholarly debate on this subject beyond the "Kosovo precedent" and to outline how its theoretical and empirical findings can be used to inform policy (and impact practice) when it comes to preventing the likelihood of other such conflicts elsewhere.

Dr Kyris, a lecturer in POLSIS, was awarded the fellowship with the project ‘Conflict, Statehood and Sovereignty in World Politics’, which will explore How the international community approaches unrecognised states and the conflicts they relate to and What does that tell us about the way statehood is understood and what are the implications for conflict management. Drawing on debates on sovereignty and studying a range of international organisations and their role in a number of conflicts, the project will offer a missing conceptualisation of conflicts of sovereignty, will highlight opportunities for security promotion and suggest ways in which limitations can be overcome.