Project presentations on the website

Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.


Forschungsprojekt «Informal Institutions in the Southern Caucasus», final phase – ASCN 2016, Outphasing I


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 data

  • Project no: GRS-092/15 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 50'000 
  • Approved: 21.01.2016 
  • Duration: 02.2016 - 02.2017 
  • Area of activity:  ASCN, 2009 - 2018

Project management

Project description

The project is 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), who supervise local teams of young researchers. The project focuses on the analysis of networks, elites and informal structures in Georgia and Armenia.

What is special about the project?

One of the aims is 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 studies these informal networks of power and informal institutions with regard to their interplay with formal institutions. In that sense the project also tries 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).


The final phase was successfully concluded. In Armenia country-specific results were published in a book. Both research teams presented their findings as the ASCN Final Conference in Tbilisi last November. The overall comparative publication will be published in 2017 and will include theoretical aspects as well as the empirical results of the case studies.


Persons involved in the project

Tamara Brunner, Projektkoordinatorin, Universität Freiburg

Last update to this project presentation  12.05.2020