Republics of Georgia

Throughout history, Georgia and the Caucasus have been notable for the diverse political formations that took hold in the region, as well as for their extensive experience with the co-optation and combination of divergent forms of rule and governance. Experiments with republican independence twice followed Georgian monarchical, imperial tsarist and Soviet socialist rule in the region. At the same time, in Georgia the concept of the “republic” does not exclusively address the period between 1918 and 1921 and the current, post-Soviet national state. Georgian history also contains, especially in geographical peripheries and in times of social and revolutionary upheaval, experiences of bottom-up political self-organization – like the short-lived Gurian Republic – that differed from the centralized nation-state model. As a core research area, Republics of Georgia attempts to trace the influence of the succession of revolutions and reform on the formation of the nation-state; to understand the meanings ascribed to the “people” as the foundational category of a modern political community; to explore the diversity of political forms of coexistence in the region; to scrutinize how tensions between the center and the periphery shape “legitimate” forms of political action; and to shed light on the struggles between the official political milieu and subaltern social forces.

სახალხო სასამართლო “გურიის რესპუბლიკაში“. სურათის წყარო: Luigi Villari, Fire and Sword in the Caucasus, 1906 Popular Tribunal in the "Gurian Republic". Image source: Luigi Villari, Fire and Sword in the Caucasus, 1906