CASCADE Security in the Caucasus

CASCADE - Exploring the Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus



Financing: Europäische Union, EU FP7 call for proposal: "Security and Democracy in the Neighbourhood: The Case of the Caucasus",

Period: 2014-2017

Project coordination:

Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (FMSH), Paris
Wissenschaftliche Koordination: Dr. Laure Delcour, FMSH

Contact Jena

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Abteilung Kaukasiologie
PD Dr. Florian Mühlfried, CASCADE
Jenergasse 8
07743 Jena

Project Approach

The project will de-compartmentalise research on the Caucasus by exploring linkages between societal challenges, political developments and conflicts and by investigating the interactions between the North and South Caucasus, as well as between the Caucasus and its wider neighbourhood. On the basis of a strong comparative and interdisciplinary approach, CASCADE will seek to provide a more accurate understanding of how democracy and security are perceived, understood, experienced and exploited as political and social resources by Caucasus actors and other actors involved in the region. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork in the North and South Caucasus, including in the conflict areas and de facto states, CASCADE will generate a wealth of empirical data as well as new and important insights into security and democracy in the Caucasus. The project's outcomes will also be largely policy-driven and CASCADE's impact will be considerable in terms of shaping EU policy toward the Caucasus. The project will act as a knowledge hub to spur debate and bring together academic and policy communities from Europe and the Caucasus.

Project objectives:

The CASCADE project will:

1) scrutinise Caucasian states and societies for the root causes of conflict and insecurity
2) conduct synergetic research on democracy and security in the Caucasus
3) analyse the links between the region and its wider neighbourhood
4) provide forward-looking analysis on regional security and democratisation processes
5) develop a set of proposals on how the EU could enhance its role in the region.

Team Jena

PD Dr. Florian Mühlfried, Koordinator
Tel.: +49 (3641) 944887

Florian Mühlfried is an assistant professor in the Caucasus Studies programme at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, holds a PhD in anthropology and has worked on the Caucasus for almost 20 years. Based on extensive empirical research in the Caucasus and the EU, he will explore the crucial nexus between migration, poverty and security. For this purpose, he leads the research activities of WP 3. He also contributes to WP 4 in the form of fieldwork in Abkhazia on religious change, and to WP 6 by heading a team consisting of a PhD student and five students researching regional development in the South Caucasus. He will supervise the two PhD students based in Jena working on issues of migration and land privatisation.

Weronika Zmiejewski, Doktorandin
Tel.: +49 (3641) 944880

Weronika Zmiejewski  is a PhD-student in the Caucasus Studies programme at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. She conducts research under WP3 on female labour migrants from Georgia in Greece. She will do one year of fieldwork, mainly in Greece and partly in Georgia. From a social anthropological perspective, she looks at the migration structure, the socioeconomic reasons of migration and the trajectories of Georgian women in Greece. Another main point of reference in her research is the EU migration policy in Greece, especially with respect to regulation policies and visa facilitation.

Tamar Khutsishvili, Doktorandin
Tel.: +49 (3641) 944489

Tamar Khutsishvili, Anthropologist, is involved in WP4. Her focus is on land privatization in the South Caucasus. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Arabic studies and M.A. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Tbilisi State University. Her Master's thesis is dedicated to the topic of "Transformation of Urban Space, as exemplified by contemporary Tbilisi''. The research highlights the interconnection between urban changes and their results in modern Georgia, based on the example of the Tbilisi suburb Gldani.

Annika Jooß, wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft

Annika Jooß is working as a student assistant, and supports the team based in Jena in all organizational and administrative matters. She holds a B.A. in Governance and Public Policy and is now studying for an M. A. Social Theory at Jena University. Her focus is on transformation processes. After an internship with a political foundation in Georgia she developed a strong interest in the Caucasus region.


  • Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme, (FSMH)
  • University of Birmingham, Centre for Russian and East European Studies
  • Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE)
  • The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Abteilung Kaukasiologie
  • Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Center for National and International Studies, (CNIS)
  • Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies
  • International Center for Human Development