Caucasus Institute

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Caucasus Institute
Caucasus Institute logo.jpg
FocusSouth Caucasus political issues
DirectorAlexander Iskandaryan
AddressCharents Street 31/4(Entrance from Aygestan 9th)
0025 Yerevan, Armenia
WebsiteCaucasus Institute
"Caucasus 2017" Annual Conference

The Caucasus Institute is an Armenian think tank and postgraduate institution. Its focus is on encouraging pluralistic discourse in the South Caucasus, including the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Its goal is to promote inclusive policy-making in Armenia through conducting research, producing and advocating policy documents and encouraging a pluralistic and informed public policy debate.[1]

The Institute is located in downtown Yerevan. It was first founded in 2002 as the Caucasus Media Institute and then, in 2008, was renamed to Caucasus Institute. The Caucasus Institute organizes its trademark event, the Annual Caucasus Conference, an international event that brings together experts from the South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia), Russia (including the Northern Caucasus), Turkey, the U.S. and the EU to assess and discuss the situation with governance, transition and development in the region. The event is followed by the publication of CI Caucasus Yearbook in Russian, summing up the events of the yesteryear in the region. The yearbook contains the results of research on nation-building, democratization, development, regional and European integration of the Caucasus.[2]


The Caucasus Institute was founded in 2002 by a group of professionals who had worked in journalism, social sciences and media development in various post-Soviet countries. The Caucasus Media Institute was partly rooted in another project in the 1990s called the Caucasus Media Support Project (CMSP): a conflict resolution project implemented by journalists. Initiated from Geneva by Vicken Cheterian, and funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, its aim was to create contacts and exchanges between journalists from the various conflict regions of the South Caucasus and to give them an opportunity to report from the "other side". The assumption was that if a journalist visit an "enemy territory", they will be capable of more balanced or at least more nuanced reporting. During the CMSP, journalists from Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Karabakh and South Ossetia took part in twelve meetings held in various towns of the South Caucasus. Although the project was a diplomatic success, it also showed the limits of journalism in the region. Journalists engaged in the project displayed great courage by daring to travel to the "other side". Yet, the media coverage that came out of such rich occasions was often thin, failing to capture to the experience in all its complexity and flavour.

Another project that crystallized ideas behind the CMI was Central Asia Media Support Project (CAMP), similar to the CMSP, carried out in Central Asia countries sharing the sublime, yet highly tense Fergana Valley, including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. CAMP aimed at using journalism to raise awareness of the social, economic, demographic and other sources of tension in Fergana. The three founder of the Caucasus Media Institute were all engaged in the CAMP, getting rich insight into the mechanisms and limitations post Soviet media culture.

The readiness of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to support a media development initiative gave the possibility to design the precise content of the initiative. During 2001, the founders conducted needs-assessment missions in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, looking at media development and its resources. in late 2001, SDC agreed to fund the project, and in February 2002 Vicken Cheterian moved from Geneva to Yerevan and started the logistic preparations together with Mark Grigorian. In April 2002, Alexander Iskandaryan and Nina Iskandaryan joined the team by moving to Yerevan from Moscow.

The Main Training Programme started in October 2002, with twelve novice journalists coming from three countries- Armenia, Moldova and Russia (Republic of Chechnya). The students took courses and did internships at local media organizations combining schooling and practice.

From its first year, CMI was more than a journalism school. The work of the Research and Publication unit focused on issues of regional interest, including elections, migration, religion and politics, nation building and conflict resolution. Though based in Yerevan, CMI began to operate on a regional scale using a multicultural approach to education. It had interns from various countries, including the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, and students from Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Jordan, Southern Russia (Chehcnya, Daghestan, Karachevo-Cherkessia, Karbadino-Balkaria and North Ossetia) and de facto states such as Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South-Ossetia.

For the 2003 parliamentary and presidential elections, the CMI published trilingual elections guides (Armenian, English, Russian) for journalists and observers.

The CMI soon started working on photojournalism. In 2003, the Amsterdam-based World Press Photo (WPP) partnered with the CI to bring its yearly exhibition to Armenia for the first time and in 2004, the cooperation was developed into yearly courses. CI invited renowned Armenian photojournalist Ruben Mangasaryan to supervise the courses with the methodological support of WPP; world-famous photo-journalists came to Yerevan and taught classes to CMI students, and the WPP exhibition visited Armenia three more times. The project brought a new visual culture to Armenia and formed a new approach to photojournalism among the young generation. Ruben prematurely passed away in March 2009 yet the impact of the work he did will persist for decades.

In 2004, the CMI launched a unique format of Yearly Caucasus Conferences which analyse regional developments of the previous year. The papers presented in these conferences are collected and published in a special series called the Caucasus Yearbook. Fourteen volumes of the Caucasus Yearbook have already been published, providing rich analytical material and information about the current history of the region. The Yearly Conferences and the Caucasus yearbook series constitute part of the CMI efforts to develop Caucasus Area Studies.

In 2008, the direction of the CMI decided to rename the institute to simply the "Caucasus Institute" or CI, to reflect it diverse activities, including research on contemporary politics, Caucasus area studies, advocacy and consulting.[3]


1.Shadow Economy in Armenia

Caucasus Institute 2016, 188 p.

Author: Hrant Mikaelian

2. War, Business & Politics. Informal Networks and Formal Institutions in Armenia

Caucasus Institute 2016, 144 p.

Authors: Alexander Iskandaryan, Sergey Minasyan, Hrant Mikaelian

Edited by Nina Iskandaryan

3. Armenia’s Foreign and Domestic Politics: Development Trends

Caucasus Institute and Aleksanteri Institute, 2013, 92 p.

Edited by Mikko Palonkorpi and Alexander Iskandaryan

Copy editing by Richard Giragosian and Nina Iskandaryan

4. Democracies in Danger

Edited by Alfred Stepan, Armenian translation, Yerevan, CI, 2011 – 272 p.

Translation by Hrachya Tadevyan

Edited by Armine Petrosyan, Levon Galstyan

Science editor: Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan

5. Identities, Ideologies and Institutions. A Decade of Insight into the Caucasus: 2001-2011

Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2011– 232 p. (in English).

Copy editing by Richard Giragosyan, Nina Iskandaryan,

6. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation։ Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe

Juan J. Linz and A. Stepan, Armenian Translation, Yerevan, CI, 2011, 620p. Translation by A. Ghasabyan, H. Tadevyan. Edited by A. Petrosyan, L. Galstyan. Science editor: V. Ter-Ghevondyan. Consultant: A. Markarov.

7. Armenian Diaspora: Essays on Sociocultural Typology

By Viktor Dyatlov, Eduard Melkonian

Edited by Alexander Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2009 – 207 p

Copy editing by Nina Iskandaryan and Sergey Minasyan

8. Turkey-Armenia Dialogue Series: Breaking the Vicious Circle

Tesev – Caucasus Institute Joint Report. 2009, Tesev Publications, – 20 p.

By Aybars Gorgulu, Sabiha Senyucel Gundogar, Alexander Iskandaryan, Sergey Minasyan

9. From Political Rallies to Conventions

Political and Legal Aspects of Protecting the Rights of the Armenian Ethnic Minority in Georgia as Exemplified by the Samtskhe-Javakheti Region. Sergey Minasyan, Yerevan, CMI and ‘Yerkir’ NGO Union, 2007, 92p. Edited by Hranush Kharatyan, Nina Iskandaryan, Robert Tatoyan. Science editor: Alexander Iskandaryan.

10. Diaspora, Oil and Roses. How the South Caucasus Countries Live

Edited by Ivlian Haindrava, Alexander Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2005– 214 p. (in Russian)

Copy editing by Nina Iskandaryan

11. Post-Soviet Media. From Propaganda to Journalism

Ed. Nina Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2005– 192 p. (in Russian)

12. Caucasus – Russia: Legal and Illegal Migration

Ed. А. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2004– 160 p. (in Russian)

13. Religion and Politics in the Caucasus

Ed. А. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2004– 120 p. (in Russian)

14. Parliamentary Elections in Armenia 2003

Edited by Nina Iskandaryan and Ruben Meloyan, CMI, Yerevan, 2003 – 122 p.

15. The Post-Soviet South Caucasus

Social science bibliography and analytical reviews Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 1991-2001

Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CMI, Moscow, 2002 – 139 p. (in Russian)

16. Political-Military Dimension of the Ukrainian Crisis: “Hybrid” Lessons for the Post-Soviet Space

CI Research Papers # 6 – Yerevan, June 2015 – 71 p.

Author: Dr. Sergey Minasyan

Editor: Alexander Iskandaryan

17. An Assessment of Research Capacities in Social Sciences and Humanities in Armenia

CI Research Papers # 4 – Yerevan, February 2011 – 48 p.

Lead Researcher: Dr. Sergey Minasyan

Research Coordinator: Nina Iskandaryan

Editors: Alexander Iskandaryan and Denis Dafflon

18. Nagorno-Karabakh: The paradoxes of strength and weakness in an asymmetric conflict

Authors: Deriglazova Larisa, Sergey Minasyan

CI Research Papers, #3, June 2011, – Yerevan: CI, 2011 – 104 p.

Science editing by Alexander Iskandaryan

English version science editing by Richard Giragosyan

19. Nagorno-Karabakh After two decades of conflict: is prolongation of the status quo inevitable?

CI Research Papers, #2, August 2010. – Yerevan: CI – 67 p.

Scientific Editor: Alexander Iskandaryan

Translation from Russian: Vitaly Kisin

Russian and English versions editor: Nina Iskandaryan

English version scientific editor: Richard Giragosian

20. Policies vs. Historical Constraints: Analyzing Armenia-Turkey relations Pragmatic

Authors: Alexander Iskandaryan, Sergey Minasyan

CI Research Papers, #1, January 2010 – Yerevan: CI, 2010 – 48 p.

Translated by Nina Iskandaryan


Author: Hrant Mikaelian

22. Societal Perceptions of the Conflict in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

Author: Hrant Mikaelian

Editors: Nina Iskandaryan, Liana Avetisyan

23. Development and Diversity: the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Armenian Diaspora at the Present Stage

Author: Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan

Editor: Hrant Mikaelian

24. The Political System of Azerbaijan and Its Dependence on Energy Resources

Author: Armen Manvelyan

25. Men and Women in Armenian Media 2014

Project manager: Nina Iskandaryan

Authors of the report: Hrant Mikaelyan, Tatevik Sargsyan

26. The 2013 Yerevan Municipal Election Campaign in Online Media Coverage

Monitoring report, 2013

27. Men and Women in Armenian Media 2012

Authors: Nina Iskandaryan, Hrant Mikaelian, Tatev Sargsyan

Research team: Khachatur Najaryan, Hrant Mikaelian, Tatev Sargsyan

28. Women in Local Administration in Armenia

Author: Hrant Mikaelyan

Research team: Ella Karagulyan, Zara Harutyunyan, Margarita Zakaryan

Project Coordinator: Nina Iskandaryan

29. The Economy of the Countries in the South Caucasus during the Global Crisis

Authors: Harutyun Khachatryan, Hrant Mikaelyan

30. The Nationalist Discourse in Armenia

Author: Hrant Mikaelian

Research team: Ani Harutyunyan, Johnny Melikyan, Luiza Galanteryan

Editor: Nina Iskandaryan

31. Armenia and Armenians, Turkey and Turks in Armenian Media

Author: Hrant Mikaelian

Editor: Nina Iskandarian

Research team: Ani Haroutyunyan, Ella Karagullyan, Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Johnny Melikyan, Arkady Movsessyan (data collect and processing)

32. Media Environment and Attitudes to Media in Armenia

Authors: Evelina Gyulkhandanyan and Nina Iskandaryan

Research Team: Luisa Galanteryan, Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Ani Haroutyunyan (data collection), Hrant Mikaelyan (data processing and analysis)

33. Turkey-Armenia Dialogue Series: Assessing the Rapprochement Process

Authors: Aybars Gorgulu, Alexander Iskandaryan, Sergey Minasyan

34. Tolerance in Armenian Mass Media:Television Monitoring

Author: Evelina Gyulkhandanyan

35. Georgian-Armenian Expert Forum on Samtskhe-Javakheti

Authors: Alexander Iskandaryan, David Aprasidze

36. Quality of Armenian TV and Radio Media

Authors: Nvard Melkonyan, Anna Zhamakochyan, Evelina Gyulkhandanyan

37. Foreign Aid to Post-Soviet Armenia

Author: Harutyun Khachatryan, Ashot Khachatryan

38. The Economic Dimension of Cooperation between Armenia and Georgia: Facing New Challenges and Opportunities

Science editors: Nino Kalandarishvili, Alexander Iskandaryan

Copy editing: Nina Iskandaryan, Sergey Minasyan

39. Armenia and Georgia in the Context of Current Political Developments. New Challenges and Opportunities in the Realm of Regional Security

Authors: Alexander Iskandaryan, Iago Kachkachishvili, Sergey Minasyan, Tamar Pataraia, David Petrosyan, George Tarkhan-Mouravi

Scientific editors: Nino Kalandarishvili and Alexander Iskandaryan

40. Ethnic Stereotypes in International Communication: Assessments and Self-Assessments

Author: Bagrat Harutyunyan

41. Assessing Women’s and Men’s (Gender) Interests in Community Planning

42. The European Community and the Development of Armenia

Author: Jitske Hoogenboom

43. Cooperation in the Sphere of Development of the South Caucasus Region

Author: Lasha Bakradze

44. Media coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

Authors: Hrant Mikaelian, Nina Iskandaryan

45. Perceptions of Prerequisites for Long-term Peace in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

Author: Hrant Mikaelian

46. Armenia and Eurasian Union: From Cooperation to Integration

Author: Johnny Melikyan

Editors: Hrant Mikaelyan, Nina Iskandaryan


  1. Caucasus 2016 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2017 – 146 p. (in Russian)
  2. Caucasus 2014 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2016 – 124 p. (in Russian)
  3. Caucasus 2013 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2015 – 168 p. (in Russian)
  4. Caucasus 2012 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2014 – 168 p. (in Russian)
  5. Caucasus 2011 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2013– 180 p. (in Russian)
  6. Caucasus 2010 Edited by А. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2012 – 172 p. (in Russian)
  7. Caucasus 2009 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2011 – 200 p. (in Russian)
  8. Caucasus 2008 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2010 – 211 p. (in Russian)
  9. Caucasus 2007 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CI, Yerevan, 2009 – 256 p. (in Russian)
  10. Caucasus 2006 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2008 – 314 p. (in Russian)
  11. Caucasus 2005 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2007– 195 p. (in Russian)
  12. Caucasus 2004 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2006– 359 p. (in Russian)
  13. Caucasus 2003 Edited by A. Iskandaryan, CMI, Yerevan, 2005– 231 p. (in Russian)


  1. ^ "About us". Caucasus Institute. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Yearbook". Caucasus Institute. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Ten years of the Caucasus Institute. 2001-2010". CIMERA. 2011.