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Regional economic research

We have been researching the inter-linkages between economy and conflict in the Caucasus since 2002. Discussions on the economic aspects of the conflicts in the Caucasus are rarely based on objective evidence, but rather political motives and one-sided information. Equally, economic projects that could foster cross-divide and regional cooperation are seen and studied through the prism of desired political outcomes, rather than analysed on empirical evidence alone. Our research provides objective evidence to inform policy debates and to search for alternative economy-based peacebuilding strategies in the absence of political peace agreements. In 2012 we established a research group of economists to carry out a regional study assessing the trade potential of the South Caucasus without the conflicts and closed borders, and studied the economic costs and benefits and social impact of rehabilitating the railway networks in the South Caucasus. Our economy and conflict research and advocacy work have been instrumental in putting economic dimensions on the conflict resolution agenda of national and international actors in the South Caucasus.