Modalities of Neoliberal Authoritarianism in Georgia
Konstantine Eristavi’s research explores the link between neoliberal reforms and authoritarianism in post-Soviet Georgia. Mainstream accounts wrongly assume that authoritarian practices are somehow accidental to the neoliberal project implemented in the region. Instead, Eristavi argues that any account purporting to explain persistent authoritarian practices and human rights violations in Georgia and the region, has to take into account the process of neoliberal restructuring, and the mobilization of repressive apparatus that this process requires. Adopting the concept of neoliberal authoritarianism, he will explore the processes and institutions that lead to differing levels of intensity and scale of authoritarian practices in the context of persistent neoliberalism over the last 30 years in Georgia. Eristavi will offer a two-tier method of structuring the analysis of the modalities of neoliberal authoritarianism, by identifying structural pressures that require an authoritarian response, and then analyzing the practices, discourses and institutions that act as mediating factors translating structural pressures into concrete policies and variegated results. The seminar aims at fostering an interdisciplinary academic exchange around the topic of human rights, at the intersection of critical legal theory, political economy and post-Soviet transformations.
Konstantine Eristavi is currently an associate professor at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), teaching two courses: Human Rights in Theory and Practice; and Human Rights and Globalization. He earned his BA and MA in Law from Tbilisi State University (2006), and LLM (2011) and PhD in Legal Theory (2016) from the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a visiting lecturer at different universities in Georgia and was a visiting scholar at Freie Universität Berlin in 2017, and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford in 2018-2019. He is also a human rights activist and advocate, serving as a director of Social Rights Program at a local NGO, Social Justice Centre. Konstantine Eristavi’s research interests include critical legal theory, political theory, human rights theory, political economy, and post-Soviet transformations.