EU Democracy Promotion in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the EU has increasingly acted as an external democracy promoter. With some delay research on this topic has begun. Yet this research so far has mainly focussed on the (former) EU candidate countries, partly also on the European Neighbourhood. Systematical comparative analysis of the EU’s democratisation policy beyond these countries is rare.

The project aims to fill this gap in order to provide an empirically based analysis of the EU’s democracy promotion in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Furthermore the project wants to draw general conclusions as to how the EU promotes democracy and what the impact of this policy is.

The project serves to answer the following questions: I. (1) Which democracy promoting instruments are used by the EU in which way in the countries of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia? (2) How can the decisions concerning the use of these instruments be explained? II. (3) Which impact do the instruments have on the democratic quality of the respective states? (4) How can this impact be explained?

Triangular functional cooperation or competition in a heterogenous region. Russia, EU and the Caucasus (Darmstadt, 3-4 July 2014)

The region of the Northern and Southern Caucasus is characterized by instability, insecurity and democratically deficient political systems. For the EU this region is becoming more and more important due to economical as well as geostrategical considerations. Furthermore the EU is continuously attempting to promote democracy and human rights in the region. At the same time Russia is a central player in the region.

The goal of the conference is to hightlight the specific circumstances of the region and to discuss possibilities, effects and limits of EU and Russian influence both in the Northern as well as in the Southern Caucasus. This will be done by including the expertise of scientists, practioners and journalists. The key question will be how the triangular relations between Russia, the EU and the Caucasus will develop – cooperation or competition?

  • Kotzian, Peter/Knodt, Michèle/Urdze, Sigita 2009: Instruments of the EU’s External Democracy Promotion, Journal of Common Market Studies, (angenommen).
  • Urdze, Sigita (2010): Die externe Demokratieförderung der EU in den zentralasiatischen Staaten, Nomos.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Urdze, Sigita 2010: Democracypolicy in the EU, in: Heinelt, Hubert/Knodt, Michèle (Hrsg.), Policyfields in the European Multi-Level System. Instruments and Strategies of European Governance, Nomos, 21-42.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Jünemann, Annette 2008: EU External Democracy Promotion. Approaching Governments and Civil Societies, in: Kohler-Koch, Beate; De Bièvre, Dirk; Maloney William (Hrsg.): Opening EU-Governance to Civil Society: Gains and Challenges, Connex Report Series Vol. 5, Mannheim, 259-294.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Urdze, Sigita 2008: Demokratisierungspolitik der EU, in: Heinelt, Hubert/ Knodt, Michèle (Hrsg), Politikfelder im EU-Mehrebenensystem. Instrumente und Strategien europäischen Regierens, Nomos, 21-42.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Jünemann, Annette (Hrsg.) 2007: Die externe Demokratieförderung der Europäischen Union, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Urdze, Sigita 2006 : Die Europäischen Union als Exporteur von Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit, in: Müller-Graff, Peter Christian (Hrsg.), Die EU als Akteur in der Welt, Nomos.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Jünemann, Annette 2005: Externe Demokratieförderung durch die Europäische Union. Ost- und Mitteleuropa, Mittelmeer, Lateinamerika, Karibik, Afrika und Asien im Vergleich, Konferenzbericht, ZIB.
  • Knodt, Michèle/Jünemann, Annette 2005: Theorising the EU as an External Democracy Promoter, Konferenzpapier auf der internationalen Konferenz “The EU as an External Democracy Promoter: East and Central Europe (incl. former Soviet Union), the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Pacific (ACP) in Comparison”, organised by Michèle Knodt and Annette Jünemann, November 18/19, 2005, Darmstadt.
  • Knodt, Michèle 2005: The EU as an External Democracy Promoter. A research framework, Konferenzpapier auf der “Third ECPR General Conference” in Budapest, 8.-11. September 2005, Panel 18 – 1: The EU as an External Democracy Promoter.
  • Knodt, Michèle 2004: New Members, New Neighbours, New Borders: the Security Dimension of the EU Democratisation Policy, Vortrag auf der International Annual Scientific Conference “Challenges of the New EU: Were Expectations and Fears Justified?”, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Litauen.

Funding institution: VolkswagenStiftung

Funding period: 20127 – 2016

Funding budget: € 243.629

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt
Chair | Project Leader
Comparative Politics and European Integration
+49 6151 16-57353
S3|12 439
Past employees
Dr. Sigita Urdze
Research Associate
Comparative Politics and European Integration

al-Farabi Kazakh National University

  • Prof. Gubaidullina

Khazar University

  • Elsevar Mammadov

Ilia State University

  • Prof. Nodia

Analytical project “Central Eurasia”

  • Ph. D. Paramonov

Analytical Consortium “Perspektiva”

  • Valentine Bogatyrev