Andrea Weiss is a social anthropologist who specializes on the Caucasus and its neighborhood. Her main interests are in political anthropology, borderlands, trans-boundary links, center-periphery relations, economic anthropology, and infrastructure. She holds a graduate degree in social anthropology and political science from Vienna University, as well as a MA in Central Asian and Caucasian Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin.
Weiss has held a number of scholarships, among them at the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, at the Orient Institute in Istanbul, as well as a Marie-Curie Fellowship at Central European University in Budapest. She also worked as a researcher at the German Institute of International Affairs as part of the EU-funded consortium ISSICEU (Intra- and Inter-Societal Sources of Instability in the Caucasus and EU Opportunities to Respond). Weiss has undertaken field research in Croatia, Georgia, the de-facto state of Abkhazia, Turkey, and Iran. Recently, she co-edited the volume Reconfigurations of Political Space in the Caucasus, published by Routledge.
Project: “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railroad: Geopolitical Imagery and Turkey’s Role in the EU’s Europe-Asia Connectivity”
Tales of transport corridors, pipelines, and other megaprojects often purvey old stories of renewed geopolitical rivalry among global powers, like the EU and China, and the domination of smaller nation-states at their margins. This geopolitical imagery also underlines recently established transport corridors that aim to provide greater connectivity between Europe and China. This project analyzes one such infrastructure project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway. Often re-styled as the “New Silk Road,” the BTK forms a transboundary nexus that links a variety of actors on various scales, both as a built environment infrastructure project and as a form of materialized geopolitical imagery. The main set of actors that the project considers is the TCDD (State Railways of the Republic of Turkey), Turkish and international companies involved in freight and passenger traffic, local state and non-governmental institutions involved in railway administration and construction, as well as the ordinary inhabitants of the Turkish-Georgian border area.
Across local, trans-local, transboundary, and global scales, the project examines how the BTK strengthens Europe-Asia connectivity. It explores which actors articulate which kind of claims; which geopolitical imagery and narratives these actors use to frame the BTK and to which ends; and how sustainable the BTK’s promise of improved connectivity is.
Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows
We welcome our 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows, Andrea Weiss, Sinan Erensü, Ellen Kollender, Akgün İlhan, and Gökçe Uysal.
Andrea Weiss | Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railroad: Geopolitical Imagery and Turkey’s Role in the EU’s Europe-Asia Connectivity
Sinan Erensü | When Locals Generate: Limits and Potentials of Energy Cooperatives for a Democratic Energy Transition
Ellen Kollender | Voices of Civil Society Actors on Inclusive Education in Times of Forced Migration: Case Studies in Germany and Turkey
Akgün İlhan | Tracing Possibilities of Urban Water Demand Management in the Climate Change Age in Turkey: Deriving Lessons from Istanbul and Berlin
Gökçe Uysal | Refugees’ Integration into the Labor Market: What Can Turkey and Germany Learn from Each Other?
The Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows
The Welcoming of the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows was held on October 21, 2019 at Soho Istanbul. The event began with welcoming remarks by Fuat Keyman, followed by remarks from Michael Schwarz, Senem Aydın-Düzgit, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Atila Eralp, and Michael Thumann. The welcoming remarks were followed by a movie screening that introduced the 2019/20 Mercator-IPC Fellows Akgün İlhan, Andrea Weiss, Ellen Kollender, Gökçe Uysal, and Sinan Erensü.