About the course

The aim of the course is to provide the students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the cultural, linguistic and social complexity of the Caucasus region. Based on empirical examples from the region, the course will enable students to analyse different aspects of individual- and group identities, such as language, ethnicity, religion, kinship, gender and generation as features of personal and group identities. A recurring theme and discussion will be the tension between diversity and similarity, and how local distinctiveness relate to wider social, economic and political issues in the region.

The Caucasus region is located at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Historically the region has been dominated by different empires, including the Ottoman Empire, Persia, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War the Caucasus region has obtained a new strategic significance. Regional great powers – Turkey, Iran, Russia – again compete for political influence in the region, which is also rich in energy resources and constitutes an important transit corridor for oil and gas from the Caspian basin to Western markets. New external actors, notably USA and the EU, compete with the ‘traditional’ regional powers for political influence in the Caucasus region and for control over its strategically important energy resources and pipeline routes.

The Caucasus is one of the most complex regions of the world in terms of ethnic and linguistic diversity. Contested borders divide similar ethnic groups and nationalities.  Feelings of national 'we' are weak, while sub-national identities (clan, ethnic groups, region) are strong. The Caucasus is also a meeting place for different Islamic, Christian and pre-Christian religious traditions. Our courses provide students with an understanding of the role of ethnicity, language and religion in the post-Soviet state- and nation-building processes.

Course content

Entry requirements and selection

Entry requirements

30 credits from completed course in Social Science and/or Humanities, and Englsih 6


University credits completed 100%

Course literature

Course evaluation

Malmö University provides students who participate in, or who have completed a course, with the opportunity to express their opinions and describe their experiences of the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarise the results of course evaluations. The University will also inform participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures taken in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).