WiP: Adoration No More: Perceptions of the West in the South Caucasus, March 26 – George Mchedlishvili

American Councils, ARISC and CRRC present the seventh talk in the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Series!

George Mchedlishvili, University of Georgia and 2013 Robert Bosch Fellow, Chatham House 
“Adoration No More: Perceptions of the West in the South Caucasus”

Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 at 6:15pm
EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

The paper explores the dynamics of the perception of the West in the societies of the South Caucasus states. It will study how the notion of the West has transformed from a homogeneous entity to a more nuanced grouping in the minds of the people, and what factors – domestic, regional and international – conditioned these transformations. The study will particularly emphasize the western engagement since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the policies of the major western actors (US, EU, NATO) and their efficiency in the areas of economy, security and democratization. The presentation will also dwell on the issues of European identity in the three nations. The paper will also study the challenges on the way to modernization, economic transformation and westernization within the South Caucasus states and the principal reasons of these challenges. The role of the Russian Federation and the ways the policies of Moscow shape the perception of the West in the three republics will be studied.

George Mchedlishvili is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Political Science, University of Georgia since Fall 2011. His main field of research is the post-Soviet transition in the South Caucasus. He was a 2013 Robert Bosch Fellow at the Chatham House. In 2008-2012 George also read a number of courses on the South Caucasus Region and Foreign Policy at the TSU’s Center for Social Sciences. His prior employment/background includes Policy Planning Division (2006-2008) and Department of the Americas (2005-2006) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as 6-monthly fellowship at the World Security Instutute, DC, and Master of Education (2001), Harvard Graduate School of Education.


W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to natia@crrccenters.org.