WiP: Informal Politics: The Pitfalls of Field Research

By Vincenc Kopeček, University of Ostrava

Date: February 13, 2019, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

There is an increasing scholarly interest in informal politics, particularly among scholars who focus on the post-Soviet area. A number of studies have already analysed various aspects of informal politics in Russia, Ukraine, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, however the students of informalities still face a number of challenges in the fields of theory as well as in methodology. This problem-oriented lecture will focus on selected aspects of field research into informal politics (e.g. non-probability sampling, expert interviews, P. T. Jackson’s analyticism) based on the speaker’s experience of field research in Pankisi, Javakheti, and other regions of the South Caucasus.

Vincenc Kopeček holds a Ph.D. in Political and Cultural Geography from the Department of Human Geography of the University of Ostrava, where he has been teaching as an assistant professor since 2008. In his research, he focuses mainly on ethnic conflicts, de facto states and informal political institutions in the region of the South Caucasus.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at 5 Chkhikvadze Str. 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.