CSSI Webinar: The New Great Power Contest in the South Caucasus

Event information
Venue:Live Webinar



The South Caucasus has long been a region of geopolitical struggle between the East and the West, since it is situated between two economically and strategically important regions, the Caspian Basin and the Black Sea. Surrounded by Russia to the north, Turkey to the south-west and Iran to the south-east, the region has been viewed as a territorial buffer that separated major competing empires (the Russian empire, the Ottoman empire, and the Persian empire), and linked Asia and the Middle East with Europe. Despite the rich and ancient cultures of the region, in the recent past the South Caucasus attracted the attention of the international community because of several “frozen conflicts” – those concerning Nagorno Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 had brought Western attention not only to Eastern Europe, but also to the South Caucasus, mainly due to its vast energy resources that are transported to Europe via Turkey.

What are the current political and security dynamics in the South Caucasus? To what extent, and under what conditions, can Russia bargain with state leaders and influence foreign or security policies in the region? Join us for an expert panel to discuss these and other questions pertained to the region’s security, economic and human rights issues.


  • Lilia Arakelyan, PhD,
    Adjunct Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, Founder of the
    Caucasus Security Studies Initiative (CSSI), FIU European and Eurasian Studies Program


  • Alex Crowther, PhD
    Professor of Practice for Cyber at FIU and Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)
  • Sandra Fernandes, PhD
    Researcher at the Research Center of Political Science (CICP), University of Minho
  • Suzanne Loftus, PhD
    Professor of National Security at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and the Deputy Chair of the Strategic Initiatives Department