Caucasus, Conflict, Culture 1
Anthropology and the Prevention of Conflicts in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
Conference and Student Workshops
Dialogues, discussions and joint in-depth analysis of regional conflicts, accompanied by intensive student workshops among anthropologists were the key elements of the symposium in Tbilisi. The symposium aimed at analysing the everyday experience of conflict and identified the potential of culturally embedded local conflict resolution mechanisms.
The conflicts in the South Caucasus are most generally explored at the state or supra-regional levels. Political actors and material interests are crucial factors in the mobilisation of ethnic groups and cultural boundaries in the various conflicts in the region. However, ethnic categories, nationalism and the cultural landscape are crucial and maybe not freely disposable factors in political decisions.
Anthropology has shown the relevance of ‘culture’ in the understanding of conflict dynamics and its impact on political decision-making. The local experience of ethnic boundaries, nationalistic imaginations, inter-cultural relations in everyday life, expressions of fear and the social memory of conflicts are central issues in contemporary anthropological research. ‘Traditional’ techniques of conflict resolution and reconciliation are possibly promising tools in conflict resolution processes.