In the Caucasus region, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and their powerful neighbours Russia, Turkey, Iran and the EU negotiate their future policies and spheres of influence. This volume explores the role of religion in the South Caucasus to describe and explain how transnational religious relationships intermingle with transnational political relationships. The concept of ‘soft power’ is the heuristic starting point of this important investigation to define the importance of religion in the region.

Drawing on a three-year project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the book brings together academics from the South Caucasus and across Europe to offer original empirical research and contributions from experienced researchers in political science, history and oriental studies.

This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of post-Soviet studies, international relations, religious studies and political science.

chapter |18 pages

Religion and soft power in the South Caucasus

An introduction
ByAnsgar Jödicke

part I|64 pages

The case of Georgia

chapter 1|21 pages

Turkish soft power politics in Georgia

Making sense of political and cultural implications 1
ByVahram Ter-Matevosyan

chapter 2|18 pages

Common faith in scrutiny

Orthodoxy as soft power in Russia–Georgia relations
BySalome Minesashvili

chapter 3|23 pages

Iran's soft power policy in Georgia

ByMariam Gabedava, Koba Turmanidze

part II|64 pages

The case of Azerbaijan

chapter 4|20 pages

Iranian soft power in Azerbaijan

Does religion matter?
ByAnar Valiyev

chapter 5|23 pages

Examining Salafism in Azerbaijan

Transnational connections and local context
ByKamal Gasimov

chapter 6|19 pages

Islam and Turkey's soft power in Azerbaijan

The Gülen movement
ByFuad Aliyev

part III|42 pages

The case of Armenia

chapter 7|21 pages

Religion as a factor in Kurdish identity discourse in Armenia and Turkey

ByLia Evoyan, Tatevik Manukyan

chapter 8|19 pages

Iran's soft power policy in Armenia

Cultural diplomacy and religion
ByTatevik Mkrtchyan

part IV|46 pages

The EU–Russia framework

chapter 9|24 pages

Face to face with conservative religious values

Assessing the EU's normative impact in the South Caucasus
ByEiki Berg, Alar Kilp

chapter 10|20 pages

Russia as a counter-normative soft power

Between ideology and policy
ByAndrey Makarychev, Alexandra Yatsyk

part V|6 pages


chapter 11|4 pages

Prospects for thinking about soft power beyond Joseph Nye

ByAndrey Makarychev