Caucasian House invites You to the Public Lectures of Professor George Derlugyan

On December 20-22, by invitation of Caucasian House, Professor George Derlugyan, who works on historical sociology in the USA, delivers three public lectures. During his lectures professor will talk about historical developments of Russia and Caucasus. Besides Mr. Derlugyan will make a comparative analysis of the different models of Modernization process that have been existing in different times in various parts of the world.  In addition to that, he will focus on the various stages of Modernization that took place in Russia and what impact this process had on its neighboring countries including Georgia; Professor will discuss the architecture of the modern political, economic and socio-cultural realities in Caucasus as well as globally.

Lectures will be held at Tbilisi State University; 1st block; Address: Chavchavadze Ave. #1.

Schedule:

December 20th

18:00

Room 214,

1st block

The Rise of the West, A.D. 1500–2020
December 21st

18:00

Room 214,

1st block

Rules for Followers: Winners and Losers of Modernization
December 22nd

18:00

Room 214,

1st block

Russia – the Modernizing Empire

 

Working language – English.

Admission is free!

For more information please contact Davit Kakhiani, project officer.

Mobile: 555 55 66 65; E-mail:david.kakhiani@caucasianhouse.ge

About Professor George Derlugyan

George Derlugyan studied African languages and history at Moscow State University. In Mozambique during the 1980s he saw his first civil war. Moving to America in 1990, he taught at various universities including Cornell, Michigan, and Northwestern and studied the evolution of human societies while also practicing expeditionary fieldwork mainly in the Caucasus. George Derlugyan is the author of «Why Adjaria is not Abkhazia, and Tatarstan is not Chechnya» (1994), «CheGuevaras in Turbans» (1999), «Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus» (2005), «The Way This World Works» (Moscow, 2012) and «Does Capitalism Have a Future?» (Oxford, 2013) co-written with Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, and Craig Calhoun which is currently translated into 17 world languages. Since 2011 Prof. Derlugyan works at New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

For further information please follow the link.

Lectures are organized in the framework of the project: “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” with the financial support of the United Kingdom’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

How much does the government of Georgia spend on conflicts?

infographic_final_4x3_en_darkThere are far too many governmental structures working on the ethno-political conflicts. This had led to an obvious overlap of functions, complicated coordination and increased competition within these agencies. This, in turn, has a negative impact on the implementation of their objectives.

Visualization demonstrates the budgets of the organizations working on conflicts and the mitigation of their effects: annual spending on the conflicts by these agencies on salaries, administrative costs and projects. Annually spending of these organizations equal: 88.586.000 GEL

This sum does not include organizations whose work is not limited to the conflicts.

Additionally, each month up to 10.5 million GEL is spent for the Assistance for Internally Displaced Persons by the Ministry of Labor Health and Social Affairs of Georgia

Visualization was created in the frames of the project “Building a new Peace, Security and Stability architecture in South Caucasus” which is implemented with the financial assistance under UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. Content of the visualization was based on the article “The Conflicts and Georgian National Institutions: Time for Rethinking?!“.

The content of the visualization do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the British government.

Public discussion: Foreign policy priorities after parliamentary elections

On October 21th,  a  public discussion  on Foreign Policy Priorities after the  Parliamentary Elections  was held at the Caucasian House.  The chief legal adviser to the President of Georgia Anna Dolidze, a political scientist and journalist Zviad Avaliani and the founder of the Georgian Institute of Politics Kornely Kakachia presented reports. The event was moderated by the executive director of the Caucasian House Giorgi Kanashvili.

Anna Dolidze generally spoke about the current political processes in the region, tendencies and the challenges that Georgia faces nowadays. Zviad Avaliani emphasized on power configuration established after the elections and expressed some projections in terms of foreign policy directions. Kornely Kakachia over viewed the relations of Georgia with the Russian Federation and the West and also, briefly evaluated the importance of cooperation with other regional powers, like Iran and China.

After the reports had been conducted, students as well as the representatives of various research institutions and non-governmental organizations actively participated in the discussion.

New Challenges in South Caucasus and Georgian-Russian Dialogue

On June 14-16, within the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation”, Caucasian House hosted a regional forum in Batumi. This brought together Russian, Georgian and Armenian experts. The forum incorporated topics related to regional security and current political processes in Caucasus, the threat of Islamic radicalism in the region, the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgian-Russian relations and the influence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the region. Meetings were held in compliance with the Chatham House rules.

1Moreover,participants met with the representatives of local governmental institutions, in particular, the president of the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tamaz Shavadze, who discussed regional trade relations and trade potential of Autonomous Republic of Ajara. Caucasus expert Mamuka Areshidze also took part in the meeting.

 

 

 

In addition, participants met with the Deputy Mufti of All Georgia, Mr. Adam Shantadze, and with the other representatives of the Georgian Muslim Department, who shed light on the current situation in the 3Muslim community and the state policy towards this issue.

In the framework of the project, participants were given the opportunity to visit the historical sites of old Batumi. Excursions Zemo Ajara, in particular, to Machakhela and the Makhuntseti valleys were organized.

 

 

 

The project is funded by the British government.

Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects

On May 16, sal4the public discussion on topic “Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects” was held in Caucasian House.

Meeting incorporated several topics, including Muslim community in Georgia and Islam, in particular, one of its movements called Salafi. This topic is not new for Caucasian House, as the organization has worked on this issue from different standpoints. This year Caucasian House has conducted a research on Islamic community and state policy toward its integration, which will be published soon.

During the discussion, reporters spoke about the history of Salafi movement, the aspects of its consistent formation, religious, social and political activism of Salafi movement in Caucasus and current condition in Pankisi gorge.

Giorgi Sanikidze, the professor at Ilia State University, made opening remarks on topic: the history of Salafi movemensalt and the aspects of its consistent formation. Giorgi Sanikidze also talked about main Islamic schools and branches, distinctive theological signs of Salafi school and reasons of its transformation into the political movement.

Gela Khmaladze, the invited researcher at Caucasian House delivered a speech about Salafi movement in North Caucasus, the reasons of the popularization of Salafi movement, Islam’s reaction to pressure from the Russian government and social and political activism.

The Imam of Salafi Mosque in Pankisi, Vakhtang Pareulidze talked about the current condition in Pankisi gorge and state policy towards the Salafi population of the gorge. Imam also referred to distinctive theological aspects of Salafi movement and underlined the basic differences between Salafi and Wahhabi movements. Vakhtang Pareulidze also emphasized the Islam’s role in the stabilization process at Pankisi gorge.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, universities, embassies and experts expressed their views during the discussion

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Meetings with Diplomats at Caucasian House

Caucasian House is launching new series of public discussions: “Meetings with Diplomats at Caucasian House”. The meetings will be held with representatives of diplomatic corps and international organizations based in Tbilisi. Discussion topics will be: Georgia’s foreign policy and role of foreign representatives in political life of Georgia; Current events of international and regional relations and their analysis. In addition, ambassadors and high-ranking representatives will share their working experience with the audience.
First guest of discussions will be the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey to Georgia, Zeki Levent Gümrükçü.
 
The topic: Turkish-Georgian relations and Turkish policy in South Caucasus.
 
Time: June 21, 18:30
Venue: Caucasian House conference hall
Address: Galation Tabidze st #20
Working Language: English (Georgian translation will be provided)
Attendance is free!

Videoconference on Georgian-Russian Relations

On April 15, on the initiative of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) alongside Caucasian House organized a conference on the Georgian-Russian relations.

During the conference, Georgian and Russian analysts discussed current tendencies and possible scenarios of development of Georgian-Russian relations.

From Georgian side the first report was delivered by Giorgi Gobronidze, the invited lecturer at Georgian-American University. The report covered the topic on Challenges of International Terrorism in Georgia. The speaker described in detail the overall situation in the country and based on examples of other countries’ experience explained why Georgia does not represent the foreground target for international terrorism.

Maia Urushadze, the project manager at Caucasian House, presented a detailed report “State Policy of Georgia toward Muslim Community on the example of Pankisi Gorge”, which was based on the results of the research, conducted by the staff of Caucasian House. The speaker focused on the problems of Pankisi gorge and analyzed the state policy implemented in this direction. Moreover during the discussions, the author underlined the negative role of media coverage of events as well as the attempts of international actors to have a negative impact on the region.

The last speaker from Georgia was Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House, who covered the topic “Georgian Diaspora in Russia and Georgian-Russian Relations”. The reporter analyzed the activities of Georgian diasporic organizations from 2004 until 2012, based on main tendencies and on the results of research.

The following Russian counterparts took part in the discussion: director of the Department for Problems of Ethnic Relations at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis Sergey Markedonov with a report “Russia-Georgia: The Limits of Normalization or Normalization without Passing “Red Lines” and Nikolai Silaev, Senior Research Advisor at Center for the Regional Security and Caucasus Studies at MGIMO University, presented a report on scenarios of the development of Georgian political system after parliamentary elections 2016. The last two speakers from Russian side were: Andrei Diogtiov, the graduate student of MGIMO University in Comparative Politics with a report on Georgia’s Economy in the Space Regional Powers’ Contradictions and a member of the Georgian club of MGIMO University Zurab Shavlidze, who during his speech covered the topic on “Formats of Interaction between Russia and Georgia in the Absence of Diplomatic Relations.”

After the presentations, students of MGIMO and invited representatives of Georgian diaspora had an opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion.

The videoconference was organized by the Students’ Scientific Club of MGIMO University, supported by Aleksey Tokarev, analyst of the Global Problems Study Center at MGIMO University.

 

 

Green Ideas for Georgia’s Progressive Development (2016)

Georgia signed the Association Agreement with EU in 2014. This is on the one hand country`s statement and on the other hand a roadmap defining its EU integration perspectives. In this regard, Georgian society should be more aware of the problems and challenges EU face currently. European society actively debate around the issues such as: existing financial markets, tackling problem of systemic inequality, perils of austerity policy, perspectives of sustainable and green economy; while the debates within Georgian society are lying at a great distance of that reality and focus on some virtual agenda.

The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House in cooperation with the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, in 2016, will implement a project Green Ideas for Georgia’s Progressive Development. The project, through critical assessment and utilization of European experience, aims to contribute to rethinking the principles of sustainable development and strengthening Green socio-political agenda in Georgia.

Specifically, the following activities are planned to be implemented within the frameworks of the project:

  • To prepare Green Anthology, that will consist of the articles by famous Greens about the Green Politics
  • To present the collection (Green Anthology) publicly in participation of German Green politician or thinker
  • To organize and initiate the public debates on the Green Issues in various Georgian cities
  • To organize student conference at the Tbilisi State University on the following topic: Implementation of Green Politics and Economic Policy with the Spirit of Social and Ecological Responsibility.

The Green Anthology, together with the planned conference and public debates within the project, will have a certain type of enlightening role. These activities will give the outstanding opportunity to the target groups to get to know with the problems Europe is facing today. Besides, the beneficiaries will have an opportunity to re-assess the local problems from the European perspective.

Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions

On April 5, Caucasian House held a conference on Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions”. The opening remarks included the discussion on religious and political aspects and the significance of secularism in a contemporary state building process. The head of Asian direction at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze, the professor at Ilia State University Giorgi Sanikidze alongside the philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili presented reports on aforementioned topics.

The second session was dedicated toward State policy on religion. The Chairman of State Agency for Religious Issues Zaza Vashakmadze analysed the state policy toward dominant confessions presented in Georgia, especially focusing on Muslim community. During the third session, Ramin Igidov, the Sheikh of all Georgia and Iasin Aliev, Mufti of all Georgia talked about the priorities of Muslim Division and emphasized the importance of the establishment of the Muslim education institution in Georgia.

Moreover, the researchers of Caucasian house Archil Sikharulidze and Gela Khmaladze presented the results of the qualitative social research regarding the integration process of Muslim community in Georgia and elaborated on main findings.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, embassies and experts took part in the conference.

The conference was held with the financial support of British Embassy in Georgia.

Public Discussion and Presentation and of the Policy Document

On March 28th  public discussion and presentation of the policy document: Georgia-Iran Relations and the New Challenges after the Nuclear Deal  was held at Caucasian House

The document was written in the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” by a researcher Edisher Baghaturia. The paper discusses Georgian-Iran relations since 1991 and future prospects of cooperation after the Vienna Nuclear Deal. Perspectives for cooperation between the two countries are put in the context of balancing interests and influences of regional actors operating in Georgia

The first speech was delivered by a Minister counselor of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Tbilisi Mohsen Kebriaeizadeh. He spoke about the relations between two countries and ongoing political processes in the region. Author of the document Edisher Baghaturia paid more attention to the importance of Iran-Georgia relations in the context of the security as well as on the political-economic benefits which Georgia can get from cooperation with Iran. The meeting was moderated by the head of the Islamic department at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze.

Interesting remarks were made after the presentation on Georgia-Iran relations by the Iranologists Giorgi Sanikidze and Niko Nakhutsrishvili.

The representatives from the public and civil sectors as well as representatives from TV and print media and Georgian and foreign students attended the meeting.

The project is funded by “Conflict, Stability and Security Fund” of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Caucasian House actively continues working on policy documents studying regional politics.