The International School for Caucasus Studies at the Ilia State University is a new initiative and it is a response to new realities. These new realities are evident across the world as well as in the Georgian academic system.
For decades, if not more, Caucasus studies primarily implied research in linguistics and anthropology. The Caucasus region was seen as exotic and remote. The region's natural beauty and range of diverse, ancient cultures are and always will be assets to the countries and peoples that live in this picturesque part of the world. However, today the countries of the Caucasus are far better known for their complex political problems, and these countries and societies are becoming increasingly important to regional and global players.
Academic knowledge of this region, however, lags far behind its importance. The acquisition of such knowledge requires the use of complex interdisciplinary approaches and the cooperation of academics and students from different countries.
We want our school to become a leading academic centre in the growing field of Caucasus studies, where students, scholars and professors from different countries will feel at home. Achieving the highest quality of research and teaching is our primary goal. However, keeping our troubled recent history in mind, we also want to demonstrate that reasonable people can always find common ground through the study and discussion of difficult and sensitive problems.