Summer Program in Geopolitics and Security


Program Description

Certified Credit Summer Program

Geopolitics and Security - Case of Black Sea-Caspian Region

This program is supported by generous contribution from MR. FRANK GREINKE and his family foundation.


This course is designed to provide graduate and senior undergraduate level students with a broad knowledge and understanding of the Black Sea-Caspian Region. The course will provide with strategic overview of historic and recent developments, as well as with different scenarios for long-term developments in the region through examination of the empirical cases and current security environment in the region. The focus of the course will be on pivotal states for the stability and growth in the region: Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan

During the class discussion we will paint strategic map of the Caucasus and Central Asia by looking at multiple internal and external factors of stability, including: interests of major powers and conflicting foreign policy priorities of the regional countries; status of governance, efficiency of the states, and problem of corruption; strong macro growth in some countries due to natural resources, accompanied by limited access to economic and educational opportunities; employment as a security issue and key measure of state legitimacy; misallocation of natural, human and economic resources; status of civil society; opportunities for facilitating citizens’ involvement in the national development of multiethnic societies and increasing their sense of empowerment.


By the end of the program, the student will :

  • Develop a clear understanding of the origin and historic development of the regional states and great powers influencing the region
  • Learn about major challenges of the region, dominated by ethno-political conflicts, as well as challenges like demographic trends, unemployment etc.
  • Explore the opportunities for potential positive political and economic developments in the region.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of how world politics is affected by energy security and energy policy, as well as understanding of the connection between energy supplies to Europe and long term security;
  • Improve their ability to apply theoretical approaches to specific cases: BTC Pipeline; Southern Corridor for the Natural Gas etc.


Students will be able to :

  • Define political and economic geography and historic origins of the Black Sea-Caspian region;
  • Define regional states’ foreign-security policies and domestic political development;
  • Critically analyze existing and potential challenges and conflicts of the region;
  • Apply IR theory elements learned in other classes to this region
  • Define the basic economic and energy security issues for broader Eurasia;
  • Critically analyze alternative strategies for energy security;


This program will combine the lecture format with class discussion. Students are expected to be ready for the class discussions based on the assigned readings. Students are also expected to follow the current news about the region to be discussed in the class.

There will be one in-class meeting per day for two hours, at 10 am, and several afternoon sessions at 2 pm with visiting guest-speakers, including Georgian officials, foreign diplomats and members of the business community.


Essay Writing (35%)

Essay reflecting on one of the major Security challenges for the selected country of the region. (3-5 pages)

Group Projects and Presentation (40%)

Groups are required to prepare and make 20-minute formal presentation on the basis of the analysis of the selected topic.

Class Participation (25%)

Students will be expected to attend every class prepared to discuss the assigned issues, current news about the Black Sea-Caspian Region, and actively engage in discussions with guest speakers.


The summer program will award 3 credits in the US system and 6 ECTS in the European system (though we recommend checking with your institution how much credit will be awarded for the program).

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive GIPA Certificate of Completion and the letter of Transcript (indicating the number of credits received)


  • Filled-in application form
  • Statement of Purpose (max. 300 words)
  • Updated CV with the contact information


Last updated January 2018

About the School

The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) was created in 1994. The Institute’s four individual schools offer BA and MA programs as well as training courses in the spheres of Public Affairs, Loca ... Read More

The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) was created in 1994. The Institute’s four individual schools offer BA and MA programs as well as training courses in the spheres of Public Affairs, Local Governance, Journalism, International Affairs and Law alongside a PhD program in Social Sciences. Read less