Javakheti Armenians: an intersection of securitization and informality



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Tartu Ülikool


This thesis aims to uncover elements of the relaonship between Javakhe Armenians and the Georgian state related to the issue of security. Essenal context for this relaonship and the concept applied come from Armenians and Georgians being two ethnic groups with an extensive history if interacon between each other and modern Georgia’s ethnic heterogeneity and history of ethnic conflict since independence from the Soviet Union. The research explores whether and how securi zaon characterizes the relaonship between minority and state, as well as between minority and majority. The concept of securi zaon employed by the study is what Thierry Balzacq labels sociological securi zaon, that is a securi zaon which does not rely on speech acts, se ng it apart from the models of securi zaon originally put forth by the Copenhagen School authors. To collect empirical evidence, in-depth semistructured interviews with experts on minority and security policy in Georgia as well as one Armenian media representave were conducted alongside desk research. The interview data yield insights into security pracces employed by the state in Javakhe, percepons held by security actors in Georgia, as well as wider Georgian society, and brings to light an interplay between informality and securi zaon which has likely shaped the governance of the region for decades.