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Internal dynamics in Georgia: Elections, nationalism, ethnic conflicts and borders

Panel Discussion
The CEU Campus
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS) invites you to a panel discussion about

 Internal dynamics in Georgia: Elections, nationalism, ethnic conflicts and borders

Time: December 6, 2018 (Thursday) 5.30 p.m.

Place: Nádor 9. (Monument building), 1st floor, Gellner room

Due to recent constitutional changes, the 2018 election is the last direct presidential election in Georgia. However, despite limited formal competences, the next president’s political affiliation matters. Annamária Kiss will discuss the historically unprecedented two round election, candidates, campaigning and resulting insights about the political culture of Georgia. As demonstrated during the latest election campaign, the issue of „borderization" (building of fences by Russian and South Ossetian border guards) along the administrative boundary line is a decisive and contentious problem within Georgian domestic politics. Gela Merabishvili will elucidate how this security issue became politicized and turned into a stage for political performances. Ten years has passed since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008. However, the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains at the center of a heated debate and territorial conflicts remain unresolved. Ondřej Zacha will analyze political implications of human rights violations and prospects of peace concerning the two de facto states. Exclusionary and hostile nationalism in Georgia varied across periods and changing governmental regimes. Nino Abzianidze will focus on the systematic analysis of nationalist discourse in the Georgian print media across its democratic transition period (namely 1991-2012). She will present her findings regarding the structure and dynamics of nationalist discourse, identifying its dominant actors, targets. Based on this, she will argue why journalistic agency matters.


Nino Abzianidze, Postdoctoral Researcher, CEU

Annamária Kiss, Research Fellow, CENS, CEU

Gela Merabishvili, PhD candidate, Virginia Tech University, U.S.

Ondřej Zacha, Research Fellow, Strategic Policy Institute - STRATPOL, Bratislava

Panel Chair:

András Rácz, Assistant Professor, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest

 Please register with Annamária Kiss at