New Publications: June-July 2015

Book Chapter

Bolkvadze, Ketevan & Naylor, Rachel (2015). Georgia’s European Mirage. In Bachmann, Veit & Müller, Martin (eds.) Perceptions of the EU in Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Looking in from the Outside. Palgrave Macmillan.

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Aliyev, H. (2015). Institutional Transformation and Informality in Azerbaijan and Georgia. In Morris, Jeremy & Polese, Abel (eds.) Informal Economies in Post-Socialist Spaces: Practices, Institutions and Networks, Palgrave Macmillan.

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Academic Articles

Rekhviashvili, L. (2015). Marketization and the public-private divide: Contestations between the state and the petty traders over the access to public space in Tbilisi. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35(7/8), 478-496.

Bridging the critical literature on the politics of the public space with Polanyi’s theory on commodification of fictitious commodities as a precondition of establishment of a market economy, the author argues that for the Georgian government control of the public space was necessary to pursue neoliberal marketisation policies. These policies required removal of the petty traders from public spaces because the state needed to restrict access to public space and limit its commercial usage to delineate public and private property and allow commodification of the urban land and property. As the commodification intensified and the rent prices started growing and fluctuating, the access to the public space became even more valuable for the petty traders. Therefore, the traders developed subversive tactics undermining the division between public and private space and property.

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Curro, C. (2015). Davabirzhaot! Conflicting claims on public space in Tbilisi between transparency and opaqueness. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35(7/8), 497-512.

The present analysis points out contradictions in Saakashvili’s government’s political narrative on public space. In the institutional focus on a future of order, transparency, and democracy, birzha is an insistent reminder of an informal and corrupted past. Banned from futuristic projections of the public space, in the present birzha is annihilated by state repression, enforced in opaque zones out of public sight.

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Think-Tank Reports

Popjanevski, Johanna (2015). Retribution and the Rule of Law: The Politics of Justice in Georgia. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program (CACI-SRSP). 

This paper examines the judicial system in Georgia in light of the arrests and prosecution of several former government officials between 2012 and 2014. More specifically, the author looks at 1) the independence of the judiciary in the country and the extent to which the prosecutions were influenced by the executive; and 2) whether the arrests are purely punitive or whether they have been used to weaken political opponents of the government. In general, she contends that there is enough evidence to suggest a lack of judicial independence in the country. In fact, there seems to an increase in the political use of the judiciary in the country.

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Thesis

Graalfs, U. (2015). A Critical Geopolitical Assessment of the Georgian-Abkhaz Peace Process (Doctoral dissertation, Freie Universität Berlin).

In 2008 the conflict between Georgia and the secessionist republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia escalated into a war between Georgia and Russia. The case study about the Georgian-Abkhaz Peace process investigates the developments of this process in the post-Soviet era, tracing the reasons for its eventual collapse and the military conflict between Georgia and Russia, with grave consequences for the post-Cold War European security architecture. The text also provides a handbook of the Georgian-Abkhaz peace process, the first peace process Russia was involved in as mediator in the post-Soviet era.

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Filed in: News

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