The Corridors Fellowship offers young and established scholars from conflict-affected societies the possibility for a research stay at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg (Germany). The IOS is one of the largest and longest-established institutions of its kind in Germany. IOS is organized as a non-university research institution. It brings historical, economic and other social science expertise to bear on interdisciplinary research fields that are oriented towards transnational and comparative perspectives. Corridors Fellows work within research group on “Frozen and Unfrozen Conflicts” which focuses with a comparative and pluridisciplinary approach on dynamics of conflicts and cooperation in ex-Soviet Union and ex-Yugoslav areas.
The fellowships aim to reduce isolation through academic exchange and to deepen cooperation and knowledge exchange between scholars from the South Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Germany. The Corridors Fellowships have a duration of one month and are fully funded. We offer a fully equipped working desk, access to our information infrastructure and possibilities for publication and lecture. Eligible are PhD candidates and established academics from the area of the eastern partnership. A special focus lays on researchers from regions with limited international engagement.
In 2017, three Corridors Fellowships were awarded to scholars from the South Caucasus. The one-month research stays provided the opportunity for joint learning, knowledge transfer and the further development of collaborative projects. With special emphasis, we addressed the topic of multi-lingual language education in conflict-affected regions. Corridors Fellows Rustam Anshba from Gudauta and Shalva Tabatadze from Tbilisi conducted their research on this highly important topic within the framework of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Both argued, that education in conflict-affected regions can become a tool not only of segregation but also for positive change, especially in ethnically and linguistically diverse societies like Abkhazia.
Rustam Anshba argued that Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE) is a very effective education model that can preserve linguistic diversity and promote social inclusion. Analysing the current challenges of the education system in Abkhazia and exploring opportunities for improvement, he argued that MTB MLE in Abkhazia can contribute to overcoming many existing educational challenges and linguistic and as ethnic tensions.
Shalva Tabatadze outlined the positive effects of mother tongue education and bilingualism in conflict-affected societies. He identified major shortcomings in the field of mother tongue education in Abkhazia and argued in favour of a developmental approach to education that supports non-discriminative MTB MLE for all ethnic groups. This approach should be supported in the international community to increase the quality of education and the linguistic tolerance in the region.