New Publications: October 2014

Project “Georgica” presents the brief overview of publications about Georgia issued in October, 2014.

Books

Agadjanian, A., Jödicke, A., &  van der Zweerde, E. (Eds.). (2014). Religion, Nation and Democracy in the South Caucasus. Routledge.

This book explores developments in the three major societies of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – focusing especially on religion, historical traditions, national consciousness, and political culture, and on how these factors interact. It outlines how, despite close geographical interlacement, common historical memories and inherited structures, the three countries have deep differences; and it discusses how development in all three nations has differed significantly from the countries’ declared commitments to democratic orientation and European norms and values. The book also considers how external factors and international relations continue to impact on the three countries.

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Book Chapter

Japaridze, T., & Roubanis, I. (2014). EU versus Russia Standoff: Georgia’s Virtual ‘Choice’. Rethinking the Future of Europe: A Challenge of Governance, 243.

This chapter argues that Russian policy in the post-Soviet space, which engulfs Georgia, is a mirroring and fractured image of Europe’s Neighbourhood Policy. To the Brussels’ motto that very much framed the road to the Vilnius Summit in November 2013, namely ‘more-for-more’, Moscow keeps responding with the motto ‘more-or-else’. This negative conditionality points to security, energy and now trade ‘costs’ associated with not being pro-Russian in the, so called, Near Abroad region. This threatening toolbox is underlined by an ideological discourse of Eurasianism, that is, the vision of a Russian renaissance that will restore Moscow to its ‘rightful place’. Tracing the origins of this discourse, from the margins to the epicenter of Russian political discourse, this chapter argues that Europe has had its own share of responsibility for estranging Russia, turning Moscow into ‘a European other’ rather than an integral part of the vision for a united Europe spreading ‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’. In this scheme, this chapter argues, countries such as Georgia, in the margins of Europe and too Near (to Russia) to be Abroad, are by defect captured in a so far visionless buffer zone. In this sterile encounter, devastating to Russia as much as Europe, the pending question is whether they will become (Russian) ‘satellites’ or (Western) ‘democratic enclaves’. A positive alternative would be for these countries to become the bridge, picking up where the post-1989 generation left off the campaign for a ‘return to Europe’.

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Tsuladze, L. (2014). Between Westernization and Assertion of the National: Youth Perceptions in the New European Countries and the Margins of Europe. In Vainovski-Mihai, I. (Ed.), New Europe College Black Sea Link Program Yearbook 2010-2011, 2011-2012 (pp. 253-301). Bucharest: New Europe College.

It is a widespread assumption that today the boundaries are becoming fuzzy and that never was the shifting of places as easy as nowadays. Usually scholars bring the example of the European Union (EU) as a case in consideration. Despite this fact (or probably because of this fact), the discourse on “Fortress Europe” has gained a new incite today. How it is possible that in the conditions of the ongoing EU enlargement the frontiers of Europe are constantly consolidated? How is it possible that the countries that have managed to return to their “Mother” Europe after the collapse of the communist regime need to constantly prove their Europeanness, while those remaining on the margins of Europe desperately try to persuade the European “Core” that despite their peripheral position, they belong to Europe because of their historical, religious, cultural heritage, etc. The cases of Romanis and Poland, on the one hand, and Georgia, on the other, represent wonderful exapmles of attempting to prove one’s Europeannes both when it should not be questionable any more (as Poland and Romania are the EU member countries) and when it is still questionable (as Georgia is not part of the EU).

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Academic Articles

Karagiannis, E. (2014). The Russian Interventions in South Ossetia and Crimea Compared: Military Performance, Legitimacy and Goals. Contemporary Security Policy, (ahead-of-print), 1-21.

Russian interventions in South Ossetia and Crimea indicate a major shift in Moscow’s policy towards the former Soviet republics. This article compares the two interventions in terms of military performance, basis of legitimacy, and motivational goals. This confirms the formation of a new and more assertive Russian policy in the region. Although there were significant differences between the two interventions, improved Russian military capabilities reveal the Kremlin’s plans to project power in the near abroad. The Russian leadership used similar legal justifications for the two interventions, based on the Kosovo precedent, opening the possibility of further military action in the former Soviet space. Notwithstanding the legal excuse, Moscow mainly intervened in Georgia and Ukraine to prevent further NATO enlargement eastwards, regain geopolitical influence regionally, and respond to perceptions of insecurity and a sense of humiliation. With the possible exception of the Baltic States, the rest of the former Soviet republics could, sooner or later, fall under Russia’s sway. It is a challenge that the West can choose to confront either with tougher sanctions and more involvement in the region, or by initiating a new process of socializing Russia into the international community, with security assurances and economic incentives in return for acknowledgement of Russia’s role as a great power.

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Kabachnik, P., Mitchneck, B., Mayorova, O. V., & Regulska, J. (2014). The Multiple Geographies of Internal Displacement: The Case of Georgia. Refugee Survey Quarterly, hdu012.

The multiple geographies approach, which combines the spatial-analytic and sociospatial perspectives, highlights the lack of homogenous experience for internally displaced persons across places. After laying out the significance of the multiple geographies approach, we show how geographical perspectives on the economic, material, and social circumstances of internally displaced persons in Georgia cast a different light on creating visibility for their experiences, possibilities for amelioration of circumstances, and the creation of spaces of displacement. We argue that data presentation in a categorical manner is useful for highlighting the forced migrant experience but that adding the sociospatial lens provides deeper insight into human security and people’s lived experiences. We do this through a discussion of the material and social life of internally displaced persons in collective centres as compared to those in private accommodation, by gender, and in different locations in Georgia. We argue that we are ultimately able to improve human security by refining our knowledge of the internally displaced persons’ experiences by highlighting spatial processes.

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Pearce, K. E., & Rice, R. E. (2014). The Language Divide—The Persistence of English Proficiency as a Gateway to the Internet: The Cases of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. International Journal of Communication, 8, 26.

Understanding sociodemographic barriers to adoption and use of the Internet continues to be an important research topic, especially considering the increased importance of access and use of information and communication technologies around the world. Extending a digital divide framework, this study analyzes the influences on and relations among awareness, adoption, and (frequent) use of the Internet in the developing countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Data from nationally representative samples fit a model predicting that age, economic well-being, education, urbanness, and English proficiency all influence each Internet digital divide. Age, education, and urbanness are the primary determinants of awareness of the Internet. Language proficiency is the second most important determinant of adoption and the most important influence on use. Despite growing Internet adoption, inequality remains, based on sociodemographic and economic status at each Internet divide. In addition, for these linguistically isolated states, English proficiency being a strong influence on adoption and use indicates a further divide between elites and nonelites.

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Tudoroiu, T. (2014). The Regional Foreign Policies of Black Sea “New Populist” Leaders. Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, (ahead-of-print), 1-20.

This article compares the regional foreign policies of the four Black Sea non-great power post-communist states. It is argued that the prominent roles played for a time by Georgia and Romania and their unprecedented influence on Black Sea political and security developments were due to foreign policy options stemming from the “new populist” character of national leaders. The latter took advantage of post-9/11 US regional involvement in order to enhance their international profile and thus increase their domestic mass support. Bulgarian and Ukrainian “new populist” leaders failed to conduct similarly visible regional policies mainly due to domestic factors.

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Gzoyan, E. G., Hovhannisyan, L. A., Aleksanyan, S. A., Ghazaryan, N. A., Hunanyan, S. R., Bourghida, A., & Sargsyan, S. A. (2014). Comparative analysis of the scientific output of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Scientometrics, 1-18.

The article discusses the scientific output of the three South Caucasus republics: Armenia,Azerbaijan and Georgia (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are widely referred to as Transcaucasia Republics or South Caucasus Republics). It focuses on the scientific publications of Armenia,Azerbaijan and Georgia indexed in the Web of Science international database. The article first examines the role of the three republics in Soviet science and the scientific papers they produced during the last decade of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The article then studies the scientific situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia after the restoration of their independence in 1991, reviewing the three republics’ scientific publications, their citations and their scientific cooperation, as well as other scientific indicators.

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Pelkmans, M. (2014). Paradoxes of Religious Freedom and Repression in (Post-)Soviet Contexts. Journal of Law and Religion (ahead-of-print), 29, no.3

The religious revival that followed the collapse of the USSR provides an excellent opportunity tocompare the dynamics of projects of religious freedom with those of religious repression. Based on extensiveethnographic fieldwork in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, this article documents the contradictory effects that bothrepressive and liberal policies and laws have on religious expression. Thus, while Soviet anti-religious policiesundeniably caused much suffering and hardship, religious repression also contributed to an intensification ofreligious experience among certain Muslim and evangelical groups. And while religious freedom laws expandedthe scope for public religious organization and expression, they also produced new inequalities betweenreligious groups, as the cases of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan demonstrate. Ultimately, the article shows that theeffects of liberal and repressive laws are far from straightforward and need to be analyzed in relation to thesocial context in which they are applied.

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Papava, V., & Charaia, V. (2014). Regional Railways in the Central Caucasus and Georgia’s Economic Interests. The Caucasus & Globalization, 8(1-2).

This article examines two regional railway projects, one of which – Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku (KATB) is already reaching completion and the second – restoration of the Abkhazian Section of the Trans-Caucasian Railway (ASTCR) – is still being discussed at the political level. The article also looks at such important aspects of both projects as construction or restoration cost, financial and freight turnover, profitability, direct and indirect economic benefits, and social effects. It also gives recommendations for improving railway transportation projects.

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Filed in: News

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