WiP: “Identity Formation in Georgia: Understanding Violence Experience and Proximity”

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are pleased to announce the 10th talk of the Spring-Summer 2022 Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!

Starting this week the WiP presentations will start to be offered in hybrid in-person/online format! For those in Tbilisi the talk will be in-person at CRRC Georgia. For those (wherever they may be) who prefer to join virtually, the registration link is:


“Identity Formation in Georgia: Understanding Violence Experience and Proximity”

by Julie George, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Date: June 8, 2022, 18:30 Tbilisi time

How do individuals’ experiences of violence and their geographical proximity to theaters of war affect their identity expression? Are they more likely to express exclusivist values versus inclusivist ones with regard to their own ethnic understanding? Are they more likely to view ethnic minorities as “others,” worthy of civic exclusion or as progenitors of fear and hostility? Considering the case of Georgia, which established its independence amidst a series of conflicts, some with ethnic overtones, this study examines how experiences of violence and ones’ proximity to previous theatres of conflict affect ethnic identity expressions. Using the Future of Georgia dataset, I find that while Georgians with IDP status and living in close proximity to previous conflict zones are more likely to express stronger feelings of particular Georgian identity markers, they are not any more likely to adopt exclusionary views with regard to ethnic others.

Julie George is Associate Professor of Political Science at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is also a Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia University and is an affiliate of the Harriman Institute. She is the author of Ethnic Separatism in Russia and Georgia (Palgrave Macmillan 2009) and has published articles in Electoral Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, and Post-Soviet Affairs, among others. She is an Associate Editor at both Nationalities Papers and Communist and Post-Communist Affairs and serves on several editorial boards, including Caucasus Survey. Julie’s current research focuses on identity construction and expression in the Caucasus, as well as on political continuity and disruption in Georgian politics since its most recent independence from the USSR.

Although this presentation currently take place in virtual format, in observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule to which the series generally adheres, the talk will not be recorded and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing it as well. The opinions expressed in WiP talks are those of the speakers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC, ARISC or of American Councils.

WiP is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that normally takes place at the new office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1. 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.