Research Team

Dr. Ana Kirvalidze: PI

Ana Kirvalidze is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Ilia State University.  Her research interests include national identity formation processes and collective memory in the South Caucasus.  Her PhD dissertation, “Delimitations of Individualist and Collectivist Paradigms in Memory Research: Integrative Methodological Alternative,” was completed in the Department of Sociology at Ilia State University in 2014. She teaches a variety of courses at Ilia State University, including Classical Sociological Theory, Modern Sociological Theories, Qualitative Research Methods, and Theories of European Identity.


unnamed (2)Dr. Peter Kabachnik: co-PI, International Scientific Advisor

Dr. Kabachnik is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs at the College of Staten Island-The City University of New York (CUNY) and a member of the Earth and Environmental Sciences program doctoral faculty at The Graduate Center-The City University of New York (CUNY).  He received his PhD in Geography (2007) from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a political and cultural geographer, whose interests lie in the way that people interact with places, and the interplay between place, mobility, and identity more generally.  He is currently working on several research projects examining the role of cultural memory and memorialized landscapes in shaping national narratives, geopolitical contestations, and people’s everyday practices.  He is particularly interested in post-Soviet memory and the memorialized landscape in Georgia, focusing on contemporary understandings of Stalin.  He also explores more broadly how personality cults function, how they act as a disciplinary mechanism, and how they engender practices of compliance and resistance. Dr. Kabachnik is co-PI,  helping craft the project and design the research goals.  He also serves as International Scientific Advisor to the project, working on designing the methodology and various research instruments, and coding and analysis of qualitative data.


unnamed (1)Dr. Alexi Gugushvili: Research Project Collaborator

Dr. Alexi Gugushvili (PhD from European University Institute, MSc from University of Edinburgh) is a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College of the University of Oxford. He is also an Associated Postdoctoral Researcher at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), University of Bremen, an Affiliated Fellow at the Center for Social Sciences (CSS), Tbilisi State University, and an Associate Researcher at the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research at the National Research University, Higher School of Economics in Moscow. His recent research includes: Trends, Covariates and Consequences of Intergenerational Social Mobility in Post-Socialist Societies (doctoral dissertation); journal articles in Journal of Democracy, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, Studies of Transition States and Societies, and other publications on the wide array of political and social science topics. Dr. Gugushvili’s main contributions to this project include: assisting in survey design, quantitative analysis of data, and drafting and presenting results to international academic and non-academic audiences.


unnamed (3)Nino Rcheulishvili: Graduate Student Researcher

Nino Rcheulishvili is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Ilia State University. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of the sociology of consumption, the sociology of knowledge, and gender studies. In her PhD research, entitled “Handling ‘the second shift’ in dual earner families: women’s perspectives on housework,” she is studying women’s narratives about cooking practices in dual earner families in Georgia. Since 2012 Nino has been acting as an independent researcher in cooperation with various nonprofit and business organizations. Since 2011 she has been teaching Research Methods for social science students at Ilia State University. For this project, Nino is conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups; she is also involved in questionnaire construction and qualitative data coding and analysis.


unnamedGiorgi Babunashvili: Graduate Student Researcher

Giorgi Babunashvili is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Politics at Ilia State University, Department of Political Science. His research, “Legacy of Party-State system in post-communist Georgia,” focuses on the legacy of the Party-State system over the formation of political identities of voters in post-communist Georgia. Giorgi holds M.A. in International Relations from Tbilisi State University and has taken courses in survey sampling and statistics at the University of Michigan and the University of Ljubljana. Currently Giorgi works for CRRC-Georgia, a non-governmental, non-profit research organization, which collects, analyzes, and publishes policy relevant data on social, economic, and political trends in Georgia. Before joining CRRC he worked in various research projects including the World Bank’s evaluation of the secondary education system realignment and strengthening program, Heinrich-Boell Foundation scholarship and other. Giorgi’s duties in this project include participation in developing the research instruments (qualitative interview guide and survey questionnaires), moderating focus groups, conducting in-depth interviews, coordinating the administration of the survey, and data analysis.




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