Interview with Fellow Tamar Gamkrelidze

Name: Tamar Gamkrelidze

Country: Georgia

Degree: MA in European Studies

Academic disci­pline: Political Science

Specia­li­sation: European identity and discourse theory

Topic of the doctoral thesis: The Role of Europe in the Identity Formation of Post-Soviet Georgia

How would you explain the topic of your disser­tation to a non-expert in the field? The topic of my disser­tation relates to identity formation of the Georgian people from 2004–2013. The thesis scruti­nises the political elites’ activities to redress national identity through intro­ducing the European project in post-Soviet Georgia. The main focus of my research is the discourse of the political elites which they used in order to persuade the Georgian people of the Europeanness of their country. The interest of the study is to see to what extent the political elites managed to Europeanise the national identity of Georgia within the given timeframe. With this aim, the doctoral project looks into public political narra­tives in order to explore how the political elites defined the concept of Europe and also how they connected Europe with the basic concepts of nation and state. The data generated through a discourse analysis will produce a picture of the political identity of Georgia.

I am writing a doctoral thesis because the topic I am working on inspires me every single day.

What are your expec­ta­tions from the EUCACIS programme? I expect the EUCACIS programme to introduce me to intel­lec­tuals willing to network, discuss and provide feedback on my research. This is because exchange of opinions and especially input from a colleague are an eye-opener, as it is through this process that unforeseen and new aspects of a topic emerge, thus keeping the research on the right track. Training and mentoring are another feature of the programme which promises to boost my knowledge as well as skills. The programme also assists fellows to become more disci­plined and dedicated to the writing process. Last but not least, parti­ci­pation in the confe­rences, which offer the oppor­tunity to mingle and talk with high profile political scientist in Europe, is a lifelong, invaluable experience.

In ten years, I see myself in academia, teaching and resear­ching on European identity and the EU external affairs, in parti­cular focusing on Eastern Partnership countries. In parallel to my career, I truly hope to start a family and have kids.

If I was not doing a PhD right now, I would hold an adminis­trative position either at an inter­na­tional organiz­ation or a govern­mental insti­tution.