Dr Nino Kemoklidze

Dr Nino Kemoklidze

Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Contact details

School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Kemoklidze’s main research area concerns the issues of nationalism and ethnic violence (particularly in the post-Soviet space). Previously a PhD student and research fellow at the University of Birmingham, she won a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and started working on her new 3-year project – “Self-Determination and Secession in the EU’s ‘Near Abroad’” – in May 2017. 


  • PhD in Political Science and International Studies, 2015.
  • MA in International Relations with Peace and Conflict Studies specialisation (Distinction), Australian National University (ANU)/Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2008.
  • MSc in Nationalism Studies (Distinction), University of Edinburgh, 2006.
  • BA (Hons) in History of Diplomacy and International Relations, Tbilisi State University, 2004.


Dr Kemoklidze first joined CREES in 2009 as a PhD student. Her thesis – “Identity and Violence: Cases in Georgia” – examined the question of how violence ‘came about’ in Georgia in the early 1990s by looking at the link between identity construction and the outbreak of violence. Using previously unpublished archival material and more than 50 extensive, in-depth ethnographic interviews, she traced the process of the development of inter-ethnic relations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia over the decades and provided a detailed examination of how conflicting group identities were constructed and how inter-ethnic relations evolved from tensions to violence.

In the course of her academic career she has studied and worked at a number of other universities across the world including Australia, Georgia, Norway, Sweden, the United States and the UK. Most recently, the research she completed for her PhD thesis spanned four countries - and in addition to the work undertaken at the University of Birmingham, she spent eight months in Georgia for fieldwork, 10 months at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI) in Oslo during 2010-11 for research and a year at Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies (UCRS) in Sweden in 2013. Her stays at NUPI and Uppsala University were funded by two prestigious scholarships: Yggdrasil–Young Guest and Doctoral Researchers' Annual Scholarship for Investigation and Learning in Norway (project #202697/V11), and Visby Programme for PhD and Post-Doctoral Studies in Sweden.

Dr Kemoklidze is a recipient of numerous other awards and scholarships, including the inaugural Oslo Peace Scholarship for her MA degree in International Relations with Peace and Conflict Studies specialisation at the Australian National University (with a semester at PRIO). She received the OSI/FCO–Chevening/University of Edinburgh scholarship for her MSc degree in Nationalism Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an Academic Degree of a Certified Specialist in Economic Law and a BA degree in the History of Diplomacy and International Relations from Georgia. 

Before her academic career Dr Kemoklidze was a diplomat and worked as a Diplomatic Attaché at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Georgia. Previously, she worked for the Refugee Programme at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in Budapest. 

In addition to her native Georgian, Dr Kemoklidze speaks English, Russian, and a bit of Spanish, and has rather unsuccessfully attempted to learn Hungarian.


Dr Kemoklidze has taught on a number of undergraduates and postgraduates modules/courses in CREES and POLSIS including:

  • (Advanced) Cultural Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Understanding European Identities
  • Introduction to Classical Political Thought 

She has also given guest lectures on a number of modules/courses in the department, including

  • Conflict, Statehood and Sovereignty 
  • The Geopolitics of the Caucasus and Beyond
  • The Political Economy of Energy and Energy Security
  • History, Culture, and Contemporary Politics in the Caucasus 

As a former student of the university, Nino offers help and advice through the postgraduate mentor scheme. Ask her a question at:http://pg.bham.ac.uk/mentor/nino-kemoklidze/


Research interests

  • (National) Self-Determination and Secession
  • Ethnic Conflicts and Violence
  • Nationalism Studies
  • Geographic areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the former Soviet space (especially the Caucasus, Moldova, Ukraine); South and South-East Asia; the Pacific. 

Current projects

  • Dr Kemoklidze is currently working on a 3-year project under the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship – “Self-Determination and Secession in the EU’s ‘Near Abroad’”. The project seeks to re-examine this highly contentious 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 Kemoklidze is also involved in the project “The Transformation of Soviet Republic Borders to International Borders” (2016-19), funded by Academy of Finland. The project is based at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland with Professor Jeremy Smith as the Principal Investigator.

Previous projects

  • Dr Kemoklidze has previously worked as a research associate on the international research project CASCADE–“Exploring the Security–Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus” [http://www.cascade-caucasus.eu/en_GB/]. She was one of the named researchers on the successful bid for this EU FP7 grant worth €2.5 million. Working with nine partner organisations across the EU and the former Soviet Union, Dr Kemoklidze was involved in the following work packages: 1) Reconceptualising Democracy and Security in the Caucasus; 2) Conflict, Violence and Peace-building; 3) Political Order, Democratisation and Civil Societies, and 4) Dissemination and Outreach. 
  • Dr Kemoklidze also worked on a research project "Strengthening Democratic Security Governance and the Rule of Law in Donbas: Civil-Military Cooperation and the Management of Current and Future Threats in Conflict-Affected Territories of Ukraine". The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) funds and was led by Professor Stefan Wolff (POLSIS). One of its main objectives was to identify ways in which government institutions in eastern Ukraine could be strengthened in their effectiveness and legitimacy in order to lessen the risk of further conflict escalation in this area. The project also involved cooperation with partner institutions in Ukraine.
  • Dr Kemoklidze has also been involved in the project “Local Impacts of Changing International Borders”(2016-17) – a series of workshops funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS). The project was collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland, University of Southern Denmark, University of Bergen (Norway) and Malmö University (Sweden). 
  • Dr Kemoklidze also worked on the project “Georgian Nationalism and Soviet Power: the March 1956 Events in Context” which looked at the March 1956 uprising in Tbilisi, studying its origins and repercussions for the development of Georgian nationalism in the post-Stalinist period. The project was funded by Academy of Finland and was based at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland with Professor Jeremy Smith as the Principal Investigator.  

Other activities

Scholarships and Awards

  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
  • BASEES Grant for Postgraduate Research, British Association of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies.
  • Visby Programme for PhD and Post-Doctoral Studies in Sweden, funded by the Swedish Institute (SI).
  • Kirkcaldy Postgraduate Scholarship, University of Birmingham.
  • Yggdrasil – Young Guest and Doctoral Researchers' Annual Scholarship for Investigation and Learning in Norway, funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
  • Oversees Research Student Award Scheme (ORSAS), University of Birmingham.
  • Open Society Institute (OSI) Global Supplementary Grant Program (GSGP) – Europe.
  • Postgraduate Incentive Fund, University of Birmingham.
  • Inaugural Oslo Peace Scholarship, funded by PRIO and the Australian National University’s Department of International Relations, in partnership with Bjørknes College (Norway).
  • Development and Reform Fund of Georgia.
  • OSI/ Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)–Chevening/ University of Edinburgh Scholarship.
  • Freedom Support Act Undergraduate Program Fellowship (FSA/UGRAD), University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, USA.  
  • TSU Scholarship/Stipend, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia.
  • Freedom Support Act Future Leaders Exchange Program Fellowship (FSA/FLEX), Van-Cove High School, Cove, AR, USA.
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), University of Queensland, Australia (declined).
  • University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship (UQCent) (declined).


  • Philip Remler (Principal Drafter), et al. (Dec. 2016), “Protracted Conflicts in the OSCE Area: Innovative Approaches for Co-operation in the Conflict Zones”, OSCE Network for Think-Tanks and Academic Institutions, [online], Hamburg, Available from http://osce-network.net/file-OSCE-Network/documents/Protracted_Conflicts_OSCE_WEB.pdf
  • Kemoklidze, Nino (2016), "Georgian-Abkhaz Relations in the Post-Stalinist Era", In: Smith, Jeremy and Blauvelt, Timothy K. (eds.) Georgia after Stalin: Nationalism and Soviet Power, Routledge, pp. 129-145.
  • Kemoklidze, Nino;Moore, Cerwyn; Smith, Jeremy and Yemelianova, Galina (eds.), (2014) Many Faces of the Caucasus, London and New York: Routledge (based on the Special Issue in Europe-Asia Studies,2012).
  • Collier, Stephen J. and Kemoklidze, Nino(2014), "Pipes and Wires", In: Thrift, Nigel. J.; Tickell, Adam; Woolgar, Steve and Rupp, William H. (eds.) Globalization in Practice, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.69-74.
  • Kemoklidze, Nino, et al (guest editors of the Special Issue) (2012), "Many Faces of the Caucasus", Europe-Asia Studies, 64(9): 1619-1632.
  • Blakkisrud, Helge, Kemoklidze, Ninoand Øverland, Indra (2011), "Georgia: Political Stability and Potential Risks", NUPI Report, Oslo: Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs.
  • Kemoklidze, Nino([2006] 2011), "Nationalism and War: The Case of Georgia in the Early 1990s", Working Papers in Nationalism Studies, [online], Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, Available from  http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/69218/Kemoklidze_WPiNS_6.pdf
  • Kemoklidze, Nino (2009), "The Kosovo Precedent and the Moral Hazard of Secession", Journal of International Law and International Relations, 5(2): 117-140.
  • Kemoklidze, Nino (2009), "Victimisation of Female Suicide Bombers: The Case of Chechnya", Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 3(2), [online], Available from http://cria-online.org/7_6.html
  • Kemoklidze, Nino(2007), "Russian-Chechnyan Conflict and the Pankisi Gorge", In: Georgian Diplomacy, vol. 13, Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University (in Georgian).
  • Kemoklidze, Nino(2003), "Euskadi Ta Askatasuna from the Beginning to the Present Time: The Story of ETA and the Basque Nationalism”, In: Young Diplomats' Collected Volume, vol. 1, Tbilisi (in Georgian).

Opinion Pieces/Media Engagement:

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