Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Interfakultäres Institut für Ost- und Ostmitteleuropa IIOOE der Universität Freiburg
Project no: GRS-014/13
Amount of funding: CHF 70'000
Duration: 06.2013 - 03.2015
Area of activity:
ASCN, 2009 - 2018
The project focuses on the analysis of networks, elites and informal structures in Georgia and Armenia. One of the aims will be to find out through a selected number of case studies what is the importance, the functions and the place of political networks of power and informal practices in the respective political systems. In a later comparative phase the project will compare Georgia and Armenia with regard to specific configurations of networks of power and informal institutions. More generally the project will study these informal networks of power and informal institutions with regard to their interplay with formal institutions. In that sense the project will also try to find out to what extent the observed informal networks of power are an obstacle for the building up of a modern state and democracy based on the rule of law. It could also be that highly dynamic and instable political contexts as they can be observed in many post-Soviet countries are making it very difficult to build up stable political institutions with clear rules accepted by the elites. Informal networks are an answer to such specific challenges. The case studies to be analysed in this project are precisely about the relationship between the informal and formal world of rules: on the forms of moving from the informal to the formal and vice versa (informalisation of formality vs. formalisation of informality).
Phase 2 started in December 2013 and will be concluded by the end of May 2014. The third and final phases will last from June 2014 till May 2015.
What is special about the project?
This is a political science oriented project focussing on crucial aspects of the two countries which are covered by the ASCN programme. By analysing specific political network structures and informal practices in Armenia and Georgia the project aims at contributing to the overall goal of ASCN, namely a better understanding of the transformation process in these two countries. Moreover this project will involve mainly young researchers, preferably PhD students; therefore these young researchers will not only have the opportunity to gain research experience, but also to further develop their scientific career.
Phase 2 of the project will mainly be dedicated to the implementation of the empirical part of the research for all four case studies. It will consist in the preparation and conduction of interviews with the relevant actors identified in the different case studies. It includes the development of questionnaires and interview guides for focus groups, as well as data gathering and analysis (official documents, transcriptions, and writing up of reports).
The preparatory phase 1 (July 2012 – May 2013) has been successfully accomplished with a clear description of the planned case studies, the scientific formation of involved teams and the description of the planned work for the phase 2 of the research project “Political Networks and informal practices and structures in Georgia and Armenia”, based on the research cooperation between Prof. Nicolas Hayoz (University of Fribourg), Prof. Alexander Iskandaryan (Caucasus Institute, Armenia) and Prof. Giga Zedania (Ilia State University, Georgia).
The second phase started December 2013. It came to an end in December 2014. During this second phase, the teams completed the desk research. They also conducted several dozens of interviews in each country and produced analytical reports that constitute the basis for the writing up of the papers. In Georgia for instance, the respondents of the interviews include current and previous government officials of various ranks, NGO workers, media and independent experts. First draft papers on some case studies have been written.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 12.05.2020