English / ქართული /

Journal number 1 ∘
Information about new book

Vladimer Papava is a Professor of Economics at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and a Senior Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation. He was the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Georgia (1994-2000) and a Rector of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (2013-2016). His previous books include Necroeconomics: The Political Economy of Post-Communist Capitalism.

Another book - "Becoming European:  Challenges for Georgia in the Twenty-First Century" by Professor Vladimer Papava has been published in USA. This book is a collection of electronic publications over the past 15 years. These articles are devoted to the political and economic problems of Post-Communist Georgia in the XXI century. For Georgia, even before the collapse of the USSR, and especially in the last years of its existence, the priority was an Euro-Atlantic orientation. Georgia's European path of development has not been an easy one. The formation of an European state in Post-Communist Georgia is associated with many difficult tasks, which solution is of paramount importance for the future of this country. On June 27, 2014, the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was signed in Brussels. The agreement opened up new opportunities for Georgia to integrate into the EU. At the same time, Georgia still needs to do a lot of work for a real rapprochement with the EU and this will require many years of hard work.  

Leading world professors and politologs have expressed their high appreciation for the book. Between them are:

Jeffrey D. Sachs,  Professor, Columbia University, USA - “The trajectory of nations, and indeed of the world as a whole, is shaped by the interplay of geography, technology, and institutions. In this regard, Georgia’s challenges are especially vivid. Georgia’s geography is remarkable: as a fertile and beautiful region on the eastern edge of the Black Sea, where great powers throughout history—Russian, Turkish, European, Iranian, American and now Chinese—have competed, traded, and often battled. In this complex milieu, post-Soviet Georgia must chart its institutional course and adapt to rapidly changing technologies of energy, transport, and communications. Professor Vladimer Papava is one of Georgia’s leading interpreters of these massive challenges. This collection of short essays, written during the past fifteen years, offers valuable insights into Georgia’s post-1991 struggles for national independence, economic development, political reform, and geopolitical security in an era of geopolitical flux and uncertainty.”

S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Washington, D.C., USA and Stockholm, Sweden - “After regaining independence in 1991 the Republic of Georgia moved quickly to reaffirm its deep and enduring role as the easternmost part of Europe. In the sphere of culture, values, and mentality  it has done remarkably well. However, in economics, politics, and geopolitics the path has been more difficult. In these essays Vladimer Papava brings to bear his expertise as an economist with his experience as Minister of the Economy to survey these challenges and to identify and assess future possibilities. His assessment combines a very cautious optimism with the most sober realism. All who wish this heroic country well should read Becoming European.”

Anders Åslund,  Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, USA - “Former Economy Minister and Professor Vladimer Papava offers a collection of telling essays of Georgia in transition with a dream of Europe under illiberal pressure from Russia, but most of all facing up to the domestic political reality. These highly-readable essays tell us how difficult it is to be between everything and to try to get it right. The reader is left with a strong sense of instability but also capture.”

Keith W. Crane, Senior Fellow, Science and Technology Policy Institute, Washington, DC, USA - “This volume is the most comprehensive and insightful volume written on Georgia’s transition from a Soviet republic to an independent country with a market-based economy. This compilation of essays tracks the evolution of economics, politics, and foreign policy in Georgia and in its neighbors, especially in Russia.  The volume dissects the problems that have accompanied this transition over the past three decades. The author, Professor Vladimer Papava, provides a trenchant, in-depth analysis of the ways in which Georgian policy is often superficial: changes in economic policy that are presumed to be major often mask the lack of change in how Georgian government officials operate and in the structure of the economy.  The essays also highlight the importance of the European Union and the United States in supporting Georgia and encouraging change. Of particular note is the historical nature of the collection; one can savor how the author analyzed events at major junctures in recent Georgian history. This book is to be recommended for those individuals interested in the course of the transition, especially in the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia.”

Paul Goble, Former Special Advisor on Soviet Nationalities at the US Department of State, and Adjunct Professor, Institute of World Politics, USA - “No country in this century has had a more complicated geopolitical fate than the Republic of Georgia, and no analyst has provided greater insights on the twists and turns Tbilisi has gone through over that period that Vladimer Papava. His new collection of essays he has written over the last 15 years will solidify his reputation as the indispensable guide to Georgia and its relations with the world.”

—Paul Hare, Professor Emeritus, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - “Professor Papava has assembled here an interesting and useful collection of notes and papers on the evolution of economic policy in Georgia. The story starts with the Rose Revolution of 2003, moving on to the Russian invasion of 2008, and the linked notion of Russia’s “liberal” empire; then the financial crisis, and moves towards the EU. There is much discussion of alternative economic models for Georgia, various policy mistakes, and thoughts on how to manage the economy better. The volume ends with some recent thoughts on our latest problem, the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, a nice volume, a good introduction to the Georgian economy, and it deserves to be widely read.”

Stephen F. Jones, Professor, Russian and Eurasian Studies/International Relations, Mount Holyoke College, USA - “Vladimer Papava has put together an eclectic collection of articles which examines Georgia’s struggle for democratic and economic modernization over the last two decades. Papava is one of the finest and most critical economists in Georgia, and in this volume provides us with a wide-ranging analysis of the economic, social and foreign policies of Georgia since 2000. He writes honestly about the outcomes of the Rose Revolution and the rise of shadow politics under Bidzina Ivanishvili. He examines Georgia’s relations with Russia, China, and the EU, and explores the region’s energy politics. Papava’s evaluation of the country’s economic options, and his discussion of potential models and scenarios, reminds us why Georgia needs home-grown economists and specialists who have an intimate knowledge of the country along with an independent and critical perspective.”

Neil Macfarlane, Professor of Oxford University, Oxford, UK - “This compilation of short articles written over a substantial period of Georgia’s post-USSR independence provides a very useful tour d’horizon of the challenges facing Georgia in economic policy, politics, and international relations. The book provides valuable insight into Georgia’s evolution, Russia’s challenge, and Western ambivalence. It draws together pipeline policy through the evolution of economic regionalism to regional perspectives on East-West relations. Well worth reading.”

Thomas W. Simons, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Pakistan, Visiting Scholar, Davis Center for Russian  and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, USA - “This compendium of online commentary on Georgia’s politics and economics over the past fiveteen years (since 2006) will give the non-specialist reader a detailed introduction to this small Caucasus country’s tribulations and hopes. A distinguished economist/scholar and former Minister of the Economy, Papava is unsparing in his analyses of Georgia’s economic policies under both Saakashvili and his Georgian Dream successors, and of Russia’s predations along its southern borders under Putin. A taste of everyday realities at a world crossroads.”

Ben Slay, Senior Economist, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS - “Vladimer Papava’s “Becoming European: Challenges for Georgia in the Twenty-First Century” is a tour de force, in at least four dimensions.  First, it offers a compelling account of Georgia’s economics, political economy, and external relations during the past two decades.  Second, it is a book of reflections of a former Minister of Economy on the real-world policy challenges faced by a developing country that both belongs to, and whose orientation is contested by, both Europe and Eurasia.  Third, it an expert account of a national transition away from Soviet-type socialism to market capitalism—with all the challenges and compromises that such transitions necessarily entail.  And finally, it is a forward-looking attempt to map Georgia’s past and present against the emerging economic challenges of the 21 st  century.  As such, this book is a must read for anyone seeking broader and deeper understandings of Georgia’s development dynamics and their future implications.”