International Summer School

Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) 

is pleased to offer a 

Certified Credit Summer Program in Tbilisi, Georgia

Geopolitics and Security:  

The Case of the Black 
Sea-Caspian Sea Region

July, 2020



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

Discussions will aim at painting a strategic map of the Caucasus and Central Asia by looking at multiple internal and external factors of stability and security, including:  the interests of the major powers and the conflicting foreign policy priorities of the regional countries; regional conflicts; the status of governance, the efficiency of the states and the problem of corruption; challenges of economic development in resource-rich states; employment as a security issue; allocation and misallocation of natural, human and economic resources; the status of civil society; regional cooperation and global engagement.

By the end of the program, the students will:

  • Develop a clear understanding of the origin and historic development of the regional states and great powers influencing the region;
  • Learn about major security challenges of the region, influenced by regional and global 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, as well as to China, and long term security;
  • Improve ability to apply theoretical approaches to specific cases: Southern Corridor for the Natural Gas etc., EU Association process for Georgia; Belt and Road Initiative of China.

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 and critically analyze alternative strategies for energy security 


Program Format:

This program will combine the lecture format with class discussions. 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 10:30 am, and several afternoon sessions at 2 pm with visiting guest-speakers, including Georgian officials, foreign diplomats and members of the business community.

Cultural and Social Events are not limited to:

  • Welcome Dinner and tour to the Old Capital of Georgia – Mtskheta
  • Visit to the National Museum of Georgia (Tbilisi)
  • Wine Tasting  - Tour to Eastern Georgia – Kakheti
  • Tour to mountainous region of Georgia – Kazbegi 

See Programme Schedule below: 

Program Schedule

Internship for the best applicants

  • The best applicants will be provided with the internship possibility at the Public Agencies and non-

Governmental Organizations (GIPA will not take the responsibility to cover the costs related the internship). 

  • Please, download the full information about the summer school below. 

Course Requirements:

1)     Essay Writing (35%): Essay reflecting on one of the major Security challenges for the selected country of the region. (3-5 pages)

2)    Group Projects and Presentations (40%): Groups are required to prepare and make 20-minute formal presentation on the basis of the analysis of the selected topic.

3)    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.

Certificate and credits

The summer program will award 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 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). 

Pre-departure Reading

  • H.J. Mackinder, The Geographical Pivot of History (1904), The Geographical Journal, Volume 170, Number 4, December 2004. 100th year anniversary reprint
  • Zbiginiew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Basic Books, 1997
  • Thomas de Waal, The Caucasus: An Introduction, Oxford University Club, 2010
  • Kurban Said, Ali and Nino: A Love Story, The Overlook Press, 1996

Program Fee

The total program cost for American students is 2500 USD $ excluding costs of international travel (to and from Georgia), for European Students – 2000 EURO. The tuition fee includes transfers to and from Tbilisi airport; Student accommodation; full social and cultural program.

Download Full Program Brochure


Application Procedures

Applications are accepted by Email to Deadline for submission of applications is May 15, 2020. Applicants should provide the following documents:

  1. Updated CV with the contact information
  2. Statement of Purpose (max. 300 words)
  3. Letter of transcript 

After admission, the students will receive notification via e-mail no later than May 29, 2020. To secure the place for the program, the students will have to make non-refundable 300$ deposit (money order) to the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs no later than June 22, 2020.

 Please, download the full information about the summer school below. 

Course Coordinators


International: Mamuka Tsereteli Senior Fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at American Foreign Policy Council, based in Washington DC. His expertise includes international security and economic policy, economic and energy security, political and economic risk analysis and mitigation strategies, and business development in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Is is a member of the adjunct faculty at American University and Johns Hopkins SAIS.  Dr.  Tsereteli previously served as the Director of the Center for Black Sea-Caspian Studies and Assistant Professor at American University in DC, and as the Founding Director at the America-Georgia Business Council, and the Counselor of the Georgian Embassy in Washington,  DC.


Local: Bakur Kvashilava Dean of the School of Law and Politics, Professor, GIPA (Georgian Institute of Public Affairs) . 10 years of managerial experience at GIPA and academic expertise of +12 years. Bakur Kvashilava has experience working for the private and public sectors; he served in the Foreign Policy Analysis Department of the President’s Administration in 1999-2001, he represented Exxon Mobil Co. in Georgia in 2004-2005 and served in the OSCE Mission to Georgia. He teaches several courses at GIPA – the Introduction to International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Ideologies, Parties and Electoral Systems. His current work and research is concentrated on Political Risk Analysis, Regime Transformation and Political Parties. Bakur Kvashilava regularly partakes in joint efforts treating these issues with the other key academic and research institutions that engage in the study of international relations and politics. He is one of the founding members of the Association for International Relations. At various times, Bakur Kvashilava offered and offers lectures and training for IDEA, Georgian Foundation for International COORDINATORS and Strategic Studies, Curatio, and others.

Contact Information:



Coordinator: Zhana Antia, Head of Training and Consulting Center

Phone: +995 032 249 75 00

Mob: +995 595 59 23 01

Address: Ietim Gurji str. 7B, 0105, Tbilisi, Georgia 

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