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The Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute promotes and facilitates a new understanding of international issues, free of political partisanship and institutional bias.


Updated 22 July 2016

NATO aware of need to expand ties with Azerbaijan (Trend.AZ, 9 July 2016)

NATO is aware of the need to secure the eastern periphery of Europe, to expand and deepen ties with countries that are not actually part of NATO, such as Azerbaijan, Ziba Norman, director of the UK Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute, told Trend July 9. She was commenting on the fact that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was invited to the NATO summit, which is taking place in Warsaw. [Russian version]

UK experts: Armenia's Metsamor power plant - historical anomaly (Trend.AZ, 16 May 2016)

Armenia's Metsamor power plant is an historical anomaly, and arguably should never have been placed on a seismic fault line, William Arthurs, member of the British Institute of Energy Economics and Ziba Norman, director of the UK Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute, told Trend May 16. [Russian version]

The Institute's director Ziba Norman was interviewed by the Voice of Russia UK, and discussed the change in government in Georgia (9 October 2012).

We are delighted that Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute board member Mark Littlewood has been appointed Director General of the influential London-based think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs. The IEA has promoted an understanding of the role of markets in society since its foundation in 1955. Mark takes up his new role on 1 December 2009.

"Turkey: East or West?" Lecture series, to be held at the London School of Economics, May - June 2009
This series of four lectures, by distinguished speakers who are experts in their fields, will look at the forces that are shaping Turkey from within and the impact and influence Turkey is projecting in the region and beyond; ultimately asking the question: where next for Turkey? (Co-sponsored with the Forum for European Philosophy) [Detailed programme]

"Is Abkhazian Independence a Fig Leaf for Russian Ambition?" Ziba Norman, 18 February 2009
News regarding the development of a Russian military presence in Abkhazia, on the Black Sea Port of Ochanchire, southeast of Sukhumi and the restoration of the Bombora Airfield in Gudauta, the largest in the South Caucasus, are clear markers for the Kremlin's agenda...

"A Chance for Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh Must Not Be Squandered" Ziba Norman, 11 February 2009
It has been reported that Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached some agreement on a four-point plan with the aim of reaching a resolution on the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Whilst no official agreement is likely to take place without the participation of the Minsk Group and the OSCE, it is hoped that both organisations foster the positive direction in which the discussions between Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan are going. Cautious optimism and a resolve for peace must be the way forward.

"Political Philosophy and Political Reform in China" William Arthurs, 22 January 2009
We are delighted to be able to reproduce Xu Youyu's article "The Debates between Liberalism and the New Left in China since the 1990s" which reviews contemporary debates within China about globalisation, capitalism, freedom of thought, and China's relationship to the West -- and provides background to China's Charter 08 movement, launched last month.

"Obama and the Caucasus" Ziba Norman, 6 November 2008
The incoming US administration will face a range of foreign policy challenges around the world. What changes in US policy in the Caucasus region should we expect?

"The Importance of Akhalgori" Ziba Norman, 16 October 2008
Talks to ease the conflict over Georgia's Moscow-backed breakaway regions were suspended until next month on Wednesday after diplomats failed to get Russia and Georgia to agree on who was allowed to take part in the talks in Geneva. It is safe to say that the Russians were not overly concerned about last week's talks going ahead. At the last moment they insisted that Abkhazian and South Ossetian representatives be included fully in the talks, knowing that this would be unacceptable to Georgia...

Media coverage of a press briefing given by Ziba Norman in Baku, Azerbaijan, 25 September 2008

Recent events
"Shifting Geopolitics in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan's options" Ziba Norman, 26 September 2008, a talk to the American Alumni Association in Baku, Azerbaijan
"From nation-state to market-state: how new alliances will be formed in the 21st Century" Ziba Norman, 22 September 2008, a talk to the New Economic School in Tbilisi, Georgia

"The Turkish Moment: unenviable job or great opportunity?" Ziba Norman, 11 September 2008
In the immediate aftermath of the Russo-Georgian War, Turkey finds itself in the unenviable position of holding the key to re-establishing balance in the region.

"Depoliticising Nature" William Arthurs, updated 1 September 2008
As we write this, almost two million people are heading inland from the southern US coastline, fleeing Hurricane Gustav. Readers may be interested in our Hurricane Katrina analysis from September/ October 2005. "The challenge of Katrina is twofold: policy responses that take these lessons into account cannot themselves be simple; and, given the current political dialogue, there is no way these policy responses can easily be aired."

"SCO sends a signal that Russia has overplayed its hand" Ziba Norman, 29 August 2008
Russian President Medvedev expected to return from the Annual Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ["SCO"] (a treaty organisation that includes Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with a clear message of support for Russia's actions in Georgia...

"Russians use ceasefire agreement as a basis for occupation" Ziba Norman, 26 August 2008
President Medvedev has officially recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. This move, taken in clear violation of international law and one with very clear advantages for Russia, marks the end of the first chapter of a story that began with an engagement between rebel separatists in South Ossetia and the Georgian army on 7 August, and ended with an invasion by Russia, supposedly acting as peacekeepers in the region.

"Russia's Challenge to NATO" Ziba Norman, 18 August 2008
Russia can no longer hide behind the claim that she was operating as a peacekeeper in the volatile Caucasus. Russia's challenge to Poland is loud and clear, it is a challenge to all members of NATO and the EU.

"Georgia--a broken country in a state of chaos" Ziba Norman, 15 August 2008
Georgia's President Saakashvili has officially signed a ceasefire agreement, together with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia. Georgia's request to replace Russian troops with EU or UN troops in the occupied areas was, predictably, dismissed. Whilst it appears as though the areas of Georgia that are not within the disputed separatist enclaves will remain entirely within the control of the Georgian government, it is not yet clear what will happen in the days that follow. Will Russia withdraw from areas such as Gori, outside of the disputed territory of South Ossetia? What will happen with the forces that are reported to have mobilised less than 40 miles from Tbilisi itself? In short the next phase in this may be as dangerous as the last week, leaving a broken country in a state of chaos...

"Russia: more to gain in War than Peace" Ziba Norman, 10 August 2008
The movement of Russian forces into Georgia in the past few days is the most significant event since the end of the Cold War. Russian forces continue to pursue aggressive military operations deep within areas of the sovereign state of Georgia: these include the bombing of the civilian international airport in Tbilisi, bombing raids outside the disputed separatist region which have resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties, attacks on critical infrastructure in the Black Sea ports of Poti and Batumi amongst others, on depots for energy supplies, and on military sites. Where it will end is unclear, but Russia's strategic aims are only too plain...

"US Missile Defense Shield and Russia: Second Cold War as a Farce" Rashad Shirinov, Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Spring 2008
Karl Marx used to say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. In line with this, the entire recent idea of a missile defense shield that the US has been willing to install in Eastern Europe is reminiscent of that of the Cold War era, when two major superpowers were targeting their strategic missiles towards each other...

Podcast (mp3 audio) of highlights from our panel event on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, 29 March 2007. Chair: Ziba Norman. Speakers: Thomas Goltz, Mark Grigoryan, Famil Ismailov, Thomas de Waal.

Democratiya/ Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute Symposium: "Foreign Policy After Blair" Ziba Norman (mp3 audio), 1 July 2006
Podcasts of highlights from the symposium, introduced by Ziba Norman. Each of the four topics discussed is presented in a separate podcast.

"Problems of the development of Civil Society in Oil-producing countries: a lecture given to an invited audience, Nabran, Azerbaijan" William Arthurs, 10 June 2006

"Russia's Gas Weapon" (Russian translation) Ziba Norman,, 21 December 2005

"Russia's Gas Weapon: Gazprom Rising" Ziba Norman, International Herald Tribune op-ed, 21 December 2005
How wise is it of the U.S. and Europe to cultivate a dependence on Russian state-owned Gazprom?

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Ziba Norman with Rory Stewart, Member of Parliament for Penrith & the Border, former Harvard professor, soldier, diplomat, deputy governor of two Iraqi provinces, author, television presenter.

Photograph: Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute director Ziba Norman with Rory Stewart, Member of Parliament for Penrith & the Border, former Harvard professor, soldier, diplomat, deputy governor of two Iraqi provinces, author, television presenter (William Arthurs).

Ziba Norman with Annakuly Nurmammedov, author and scholar, former Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Turkey.

Photograph: Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute director Ziba Norman meets Annakuly Nurmammedov, author and scholar, former Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Turkey (William Arthurs).

Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute director Ziba Norman meets Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgian Minister for Reintegration.

Photograph: Transatlantic & Caucasus Studies Institute director Ziba Norman meets Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgian Minister for Reintegration, in Tbilisi, 19 September 2008 (William Arthurs).

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