Nana Kobidze

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Central European U.

Grant number

Gr. 10698

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Kobidze, Nana (Central European U.) "Where Did the Landlord Go? Changing Ecology, State and Property in the Republic of Georgia"

My research investigates the emerging state-society tension and the renegotiation of the social contract vis-à-vis ecological transformations. Specifically, I analyze the new arrangement and negotiations of property rights and obligations between the state and the citizen in the aftermath of environmental disasters. While under the Soviet regime, the highlanders in the Republic of Georgia used to receive alternative housing for state-owned property damaged by a landslide, the privatization of state-owned assets after the Rose Revolution in 2003 reorganized the ownership rights and responsibilities between the state and the citizen. However, despite the neoliberal reconfiguration of the state as a “protector of private ownership rights,” the property rights of the disaster-affected people are far from guaranteed. While the state remains the primary addressee for the disaster-affected people to compensate for the properties lost due to the environmental disasters, state authorities adopt a hands-off approach to what they consider a ‘private’ matter. By drawing on the relational anthropology of the state and combining ethnographic and historical approaches, I aim to study how “property ownership rights” are constructed and enacted between the state and the citizen in the aftermath of a disaster.