Exploring the Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus

The project will de-compartmentalise research on the Caucasus by exploring linkages between societal challenges, political developments and conflicts and investigating the interactions between the North and South Caucasus, as well as between the Caucasus and its wider neighbourhood.


CASCADE is an international EU-funded research project led by the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (scientific coordinator: Dr. Laure Delcour). CASCADE was selected under the EU FP7 call for proposal “Security and democracy in the neighbourhood: The case of the Caucasus”. The project was funded by the European Union (€ 2.5 million) for 3 years (2014-2017).

Project approach

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

  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.


Led by the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, CASCADE gather 8 universities et research center from Europe, Russia and Caucase:

  • Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI, Sweden)
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany)
  • Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian Federation)
  • The Regional Center for Strategic Studies (RCSS, Georgia)
  • Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS, Georgia)
  • International Centre for Human Development (ICHD, Armenia)


Keep up with CASCADE

French researchers team

  • Laure Delcour
  • Sophie Hohmann
  • Anne Le Huérou
  • Aude Merlin
  • Jean Radvanyi
  • Silvia Serrano
  • Sophie Zviadadze
  • Taline Papazian
  • Samuele Dominioni
Published at 3 November 2016