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Religion, Nation and Democracy in the South Caucasus

edited by: Alexander Agadjanian, Ansgar Jödicke, Evert van der Zweerde
published by: Routledge
pp: 280
ISBN: 978-1-13-802290-4
price: $160 Hardback

Book's frontpage

This book explores developments in the three major societies of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – focusing especially on religion, historical traditions, national consciousness, and political culture, and on how these factors interact. It outlines how, despite close geographical interlacement, common historical memories and inherited structures, the three countries have deep differences; and it discusses how development in all three nations has differed significantly from the countries’ declared commitments to democratic orientation and European norms and values. The book also considers how external factors and international relations continue to impact on the three countries.


Table of contents

Introduction Alexander Agadjanian, Ansgar Jödicke and Evert van der Zweerde

Part 1: Conceptual Frames
1. General Trends in the Interaction of Religion and Politics as Applied to the South Caucasus Ansgar Jödicke
2. Ethnicity, Nation and Religion: Current Debates and South Caucasian Reality Alexander Agadjanian
3. Democratic Repertoires – The South Caucasus Case(s) Evert van der Zweerde

Part 2: Religion and Politics Introduction Ketevan Khutsishvili
4. Secularization and Desecularization in Georgia: State and Church under the Saakashvili Government (2003-2012) Barbare Janelidze
5. Political Power and Church Construction in Armenia Yulia Antonyan
6. Islam in Azerbaijan: Revival and Political Involvement Elnur Ismayilov

Part 3: Religion, Nationalism and Education Introduction Farda Asadov
7. Building Georgian National Identity: a Comparison of Two Turning Points in History Tatia Kekelia
8. Challenges for Women’s Education in Independent Azerbaijan Nigar Gozalova
9. Constructing Identities through General Education: Religion within the Framework of National Identity in Armenia Satenik Mkrtchyan

Part 4: Cultural Values, Ideology and Democracy Introduction Tigran Matosyan
10. An Analysis of Counter-Hegemony: Challenges of Political Opposition in Azerbaijan Rashad Shirinov
11. Myths and Politics: "Old" Beliefs and "New" Aspirations in Independent Armenia Sona Hovhannisyan
12. Collectivism/Individualism in the South Caucasus. Implications for Democracy Tigran Matosyan

Part 5: International Context and External Impacts Introduction Hovhannes Hovhannisyan
13. Shi‘a Politics, "Strategic Culture" and Iran’s Relations with the South Caucasus Tatevik Mkrtchyan
14. Russia’s Soft Power in the South Caucasus: Discourses, Communication, Hegemony Alexander Kornilov and Andrey Makarychev
15. Between Ambition and Realism: Turkey’s Engagement in the South Caucasus Bayram Balci

About the Authors

Alexander Agadjanian is a Professor in the Center for the Study of Religion at the Russian State University for the Humanities

Ansgar Jödicke
is Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Evert van der Zweerde
is Professor in Political Philosophy at Radbout University of Nijmegen, Netherlands


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