Author Archives: Irakli Gunia

Natalie Sabanadze – Globalization and Nationalism: The Cases of Georgia and the Basque Country

Argues for an original, unorthodox conception about the relationship between globalization and contemporary nationalism. While the prevailing view holds that nationalism and globalization are forces of clashing opposition, Sabanadze establishes that these tend to become allied forces. Acknowledges that nationalism does react against the rising globalization and represents a form of resistance against globalizing influences, but the Basque and Georgian cases prove that globalization and nationalism can be complementary rather than contradictory tendencies.

Nationalists have often served as promoters of globalization, seeking out globalizing influences and engaging with global actors out of their very nationalist interests. In the case of both Georgia and the Basque Country, there is little evidence suggesting the existence of strong, politically organized nationalist opposition to globalization.

Discusses why, on a broader scale, different forms of nationalism develop differing attitudes towards globalization and engage in different relationships.

Sabanadze, N. (2010). Globalization and Nationalism: The Cases of Georgia and the Basque country. Central European University Press.

See on books.google.com; Review (Kevin Tuite, Université de Montréal)

Florian Mühlfried – Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia

The highlands region of the republic of Georgia, one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics, has long been legendary for its beauty. It is often assumed that the state has only made partial inroads into this region, and is mostly perceived as alien. Taking a fresh look at the Georgian highlands allows the author to consider perennial questions of citizenship, belonging, and mobility in a context that has otherwise been known only for its folkloric dimensions. Scrutinizing forms of identification with the state at its margins, as well as local encounters with the erratic Soviet and post-Soviet state, the author argues that citizenship is both a sought-after means of entitlement and a way of guarding against the state. This book not only challenges theories in the study of citizenship but also the axioms of integration in Western social sciences in general.

Mühlfried, F. (2014). Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia. Berghahn Books.

See on books.google.com; Review (Tamta Khalvashi, Social Antropology)

Christoph H. Stefes – Understanding Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism

Corruption, collusion and clientelism are pervasive legacies of Soviet rule in most successor states of the Soviet Union. This legacy has been a major obstacle to the development of viable democratic and market institutions. Analyzing the political and economic developments of Armenia and Georgia, this book demonstrates how systemic corruption undermines the rule of law which is crucial for democracy and a market economy. It argues that the tumultuous political transition of Georgia has created an anarchic system of corruption that is disastrous for economic development and people’s welfare. In contrast, the Armenian government has maintained some control over the corrupt system, ameliorating the consequences of systemic corruption.

Stefes, C. H. (2006). Understanding Post-Soviet Transitions: Corruption, Collusion and Clientelism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Available at Amazon.com

Timothy Blauvelt and Jeremy Smith (Eds.) – Georgia after Stalin: Nationalism and Soviet Power

This book explores events in Georgia in the years following Stalin’s death in March 1953, especially the demonstrations of March 1956 and their brutal suppression, in order to illuminate the tensions in Georgia between veneration of the memory of Stalin, a Georgian, together with the associated respect for the Soviet system that he had created, and growing nationalism. The book considers how not just Stalin but also his wider circle of Georgians were at the heart of the Soviet system, outlines how greatly Stalin was revered in Georgia, and charts the rise of Khrushchev and his denunciation of Stalin. It goes on to examine the different strands of the rising Georgian nationalist movements, discusses the repressive measures taken against demonstrators, and concludes by showing how the repressions transformed a situation where Georgian nationalism, the honouring of Stalin’s memory and the Soviet system were all aligned together into a situation where an increasingly assertive nationalist movement was firmly at odds with the Soviet Union.

Blauvelt, T. K., & Smith, J. (2015). Georgia after Stalin: Nationalism and Soviet Power. Routledge.

Available at Amazon.com

Tom Trier, Hedvig Lohm, David Szakonyi – Under Siege: Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia

Located in the northeastern corner of the Black Sea, Abkhazia was once part of Georgia but broke away from the country after the fall of the Soviet Republic. For fifteen years the region functioned as a de facto independent, though internationally unrecognized, state, until August of 2008, when the short war over South Ossetia (another breakaway territory) ended in Russia’s recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian sovereignty.

Consequently, Abkhazia has become a crucial component of Russia’s struggle to redefine its global influence and a major player in its geopolitical battle with the West. Under Siege clarifies Abkhazia’s ethno-political dynamics, which have played a major role in the country’s state-building efforts and have come to shape the conditions under which the country’s many ethnic communities live. Abkhazians, Armenians, Georgians, and Russians all call Abkhazia home, and this volume explores the effect of the government’s de facto status on these groups’ ideas of nationhood and continuing tensions between Georgia, Abkhazia, and Russia. This book also launches a rare investigation into the conflict brewing among human rights, minority protections, and Abkhazia’s state building project.

Available at Amazon.com; Review (Catherine Baker, H-Genocide)

Trier, T., Lohm, H., & Szakonyi, D. (2010). Under Siege: Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia. New York, Columbia University Press.