New Publications: December 2015

Book Review

Wheatley, J.. (2015). Review of The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918–2012: The First Georgian Republic and Its Successors. Slavic Review, 74(4), 930–932.

The Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–21) is so far underresearched by Georgian and western scholars alike. Yet the [book] not only offers pointers to subsequent developments in Georgia but also provides an early blueprint for socialist democracy that offered an alternative to Bolshevism. This selection of essays on the experience of the DRG and the detailed comparisons they offer between it and today’s Georgia gives some fascinating insights into the role of geostrategic and domestic factors in structuring the state and ensuring (or undermining) its stability. This book is unique insofar as it uncovers groundbreaking material and sheds light on the role of Soviet and post-Soviet narratives in rethinking the past and restructuring ideas on power, politics, and nationhood.

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Book Chapters

Kostanyan, H. (2015). Neither Integrated Nor Comprehensive in Substance: Armenia and Georgia. In The Substance of EU Democracy Promotion (pp. 134-148). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

In view of the 2004 eastward enlargement, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was established and the South Caucasus countries joined in 2004. Since the initial agreements, the EU’s cooperation with Armenia and Georgia has gradually extended. Besides participating in the ENP, they have also been included in the EU’s Black Sea Synergy and the Eastern Partnership. The negotiations of the new-generation Association Agreements were concluded with Armenia and Georgia. However, Armenia refused to sign the agreement with the EU and opted for membership of the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan instead. The Association Agreements deepen partner countries’ European integration and widen their political relationship with the EU. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) that is considered an integral part of the Association Agreement focuses on the economic aspect of the relationship. In addition, the EU concluded visa facilitation/readmission agreements negotiations with Armenia and Georgia and continues visa liberalisation dialogue with Georgia.

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Freire, M. R., Lopes, P. D., & Nascimento, D. (2015). The EU’s Role in Crisis Management: The Case of the EUMM. In Managing Crises, Making Peace (pp. 178-195). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Since its establishment and throughout the formal and informal dimensions of its integration process, the European Union (EU) has always been confronted with issues of peace and violence, not only internally but also externally. However, the specific context of emergence of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was characterised by evolving security threats which included terrorism, failed states and violent intra-state conflicts, calling for a different approach in what concerns the EU’s response capacity to crisis and violence within and outside its borders. Besides, the EU has also the difficult task of seeking consensus among its member states with regard to why, where and how to deploy peace missions, responding both to internal political and economic dynamics, as well as to the overall institutional goal of promoting security within and beyond its borders. This chapter analyses, therefore, the deep interconnections between the process of decision-making and the external elements that influence it.

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Academic Articles

Salukvadze, J., & Golubchikov, O. (2016). City as a geopolitics: Tbilisi, Georgia—A globalizing metropolis in a turbulent region. Cities, 52, 39-54.

Tbilisi, a city of over a million, is the national capital of Georgia. Although little explored in urban studies, the city epitomizes a fascinating assemblage of processes that can illuminate the interplay of geopolitics, political choices, globalization discourses, histories, and urban contestations in shaping urban transformations. Tbilisi’s strategic location in the South Caucasus, at the juncture of major historical empires and religions in Eurasia, has ensured its turbulent history and a polyphony of cultural influences. Following Georgia’s independence in 1991, Tbilisi found itself as the pivot of Georgian nation-building. Transition to a market economy also exposed the city to economic hardship, ethnical homogenization, and the informalization of the urban environment. The economic recovery since the early 2000s has activated urban regeneration. Georgia’s government has recently promoted flagship urban development projects in pursuit of making Tbilisi as a modern globalizing metropolis. This has brought contradictions, such as undermining the city’s heritage, contributing to socio-spatial polarization, and deteriorating the city’s public spaces. The elitist processes of decision-making and a lack of a consistent urban policy and planning regimes are argued to be among major impediments for a more sustainable development of this city.

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O’Loughlin, J., Kolossov, V., & Toal, G. (2015). Inside the post-Soviet de facto states: a comparison of attitudes in Abkhazia, Nagorny Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 55(5), 1-34.

In the wake of the Ukrainian crisis in 2013–2014, renewed attention has been given to the earlier so-called “frozen conflicts” of the successor states of the Soviet Union. In Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan, national conflicts of the early 1990s resulted in establishment of four breakaway regions, the de facto states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, and Nagorny Karabakh. While the first three are supported by Russia, the latter is supported by Armenia. Such support as well as growing internal legitimacy has enabled these republics to retain separate status for almost 25 years. Though appearing quite similar from an external perspective, the populations of the de facto states are quite diverse in composition, geopolitical preferences, and support for political institutions and persons. Large representative public opinion surveys conducted by the authors in 2010–2011 in the four de facto states allow a deeper comprehension of internal political and social dynamics. Three main dimensions of their current status and orientation (relations with Russia, support for local institutions, and possibilities of post-war reconciliation) are examined using nine key comparative questions. Nationality is the main predictor of divergent opinions within the republics, and results are reported along this dimension. Close relations with the external patron, support for the legitimacy and identity of the respective de facto republics, and little interest in returning to the parent state testify to the longevity and successful promotion of state and nation in the de facto republics in the Caucasus-Black Sea Region.

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Report

Mshvidobadze, K. (2015). Georgia Cyber Barometer Report. Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies.

Cyber Barometer Report on Georgia is an analysis of cybercrime and cyber threats, responses and related matters in Georgia. The aim of the report is to uncover cyber threats to the country and the strengths and weaknesses that characterize the country’s ability to respond to those threats. In particular, this report covers levels and types of cybercrime on the Internet in Georgia; law enforcement capabilities, activities and assessments; key elements of critical infrastructure relating to the Internet in Georgia and the current level of cyber security protecting such assets; economic and social prospects; a net assessment and a possible roadmap for further action.

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