Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia

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Berghahn Books, 2014 - 248 pages

The highlands region of the republic of Georgia, one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics, has long been legendary for its beauty. It is often assumed that the state has only made partial inroads into this region, and is mostly perceived as alien. Taking a fresh look at the Georgian highlands allows the author to consider perennial questions of citizenship, belonging, and mobility in a context that has otherwise been known only for its folkloric dimensions. Scrutinizing forms of identification with the state at its margins, as well as local encounters with the erratic Soviet and post-Soviet state, the author argues that citizenship is both a sought-after means of entitlement and a way of guarding against the state. This book not only challenges theories in the study of citizenship but also the axioms of integration in Western social sciences in general.

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About the author (2014)

Florian Mühlfried teaches in the Caucasus Studies Program at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and a visiting professor at the University of Campinas, Brazil. He is he author of Post-Soviet Feasting: The Georgian Banquet in Transition (2006, in German) and co-edited Exploring the Edge of Empire: Soviet Era Anthropology in the Caucasus and Central Asia with Sergey Sokolovskiy (2012).

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