An ESI team comprising Kristof Bender, Nigar Göksel and Ketevan Tsikhelashvili held a capacity building seminar in Tbilisi within the framework of ESI's Caucasus Project on 6 April 2008. ESI analyst in Armenia, Tigran Mkrtchyan joined the event.
The seminar took place at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel. The event assembled six researchers that had been competitively selected by ESI to jointly carry out five case-studies illustrating state-building in Georgia. Giorgi Babunashvili, Giorgi Gvalia/Gela Bandzeladze, Ketevan Chkheidze, Ivane Chkhikvadze and Mikheil Kukava were introduced to empirical research methodology through accounts of how ESI tackled complex questions during previous research work in the Balkans and Turkey.
The second half of the seminar was devoted to discussing the proposed case studies. The five research topics cover different aspects of institution building and policy reform in Georgia. The joint research is geared at contributing to the debate on Europeanization in Georgia and to illustrate how the dramatic reforms since 2003 are impacting reality in different areas of the country.
Rural policy, effectiveness of law enforcement institutions, state capacity to combat domestic violence against women, state policies to cope with the fallout from de-industrialization, and self-governance reform as it impacts decision-making in communities are the topics currently at hand.