Wilson Center Experts

Stephen Jones

Short-term Scholar

Expertise:
Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
;
Democracy
;
Governance
;
History
;
Russia and Eurasia
;
Georgia
Affiliation:
Professor, Mount Holyoke College
Wilson Center Project(s):
"Social Democracy and State Building in the Democratic Republic of Georgia, 1918-21: What is its Relevance for Democratization Strategies today?"
Term:
Aug 04, 2014
-
Aug 20, 2014

Professor Stephen Jones received his Ph.D (Georgian Social Democracy in Opposition and Power, 1918-1921) from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1984. He has taught at the Universities of California, London, and Oxford.  Since 1989 he has taught at Mount Holyoke College in the US. Professor Jones has written over 90 articles and chapters on Georgian affairs.  He published Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy, 1883-1917 (Harvard University Press) in 2005,  War and Revolution in the Caucasus: Georgia Ablaze, (ed.) in 2010. Georgia: A Political History Since Independence ( I.B. Tauris) was published in October 2012, and The Birth of Modern Georgia: The First Georgian Republic and Its Successors, 1918-2010, (ed., Routledge), in 2013.  Professor Jones became a Foreign Member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences in 2011 and received an honorary doctorate from Tbilisi State University in 2012.

Project Summary

This is a study of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG: 1918-21). I apply a political science training to a “nominally” historical polity.  I say “nominally,” because the social and political problems faced by the leaders of the DRG, and the strategies they employed to tackle them, were, in many ways, contemporary.  We might characterize the DRG today as a typical post-revolutionary, post-imperial transitional system tackling the same problems its successors confronted after 1991; the DRG leaders were attempting to establish state structures, a market economy, democratic institutions, and to integrate with Europe. I focus on five issues that underline these parallels.

• The transformation from revolutionary to ruling party
• The goals of social democracy (the role of ideology)
•  Institutional design: the choice of parliamentarism over presidentialism)
• The problems of multiethnic statehood and integration
• Geography and how it  shaped the DRG’s foreign policy strategies.

Major Publications

“Between Ideology and Pragmatism: Social Democracy and the Economic Transition in Georgia 1918-21,” Caucasus Survey (London) no. 2. April, 2014, pp.65-81.

“Democracy in Georgia: Da Capo?” Cicero Foundation, Great Debate Paper, No. 13/02, April, 2013, http://www.cicerofoundation.org/

“Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003: Enforcing Peaceful Change” in Adam Roberts, T. Garton Ash, Thomas Davies (eds.) Civil resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford: OUP, 2009, pp.317-334.

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