Empires of Conquest and Civilization in Georgian Political and Intellectual Discourse since Late Nineteenth Century
This paper explores understandings of the concept of empire in Georgian political intellectual discourses in the pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet Georgian contexts. Beginning with an elaboration of contemporary political and scholarly understanding of empire, the paper then – drawing on the approaches of intellectual and transnational history – distils two meanings: empire of conquest and of civilisation. Both meanings are mainly attributed to the Russian State in its political incarnations as an empire, as the fulcrum of the Soviet Union and more recently as an entity in search of a Eurasian Union. The paper argues that while for most of the nineteenth century, the concept of empire embodied by the Russia state was invested with both meanings, particularly by the end of the Soviet period, it came to be singularised to that of conquest. More generally, it suggests that in contemporary context in which empire as a political entity is discredited morally and legally, it is easier to detect political entities when they act as empires of conquest as opposed to those in the name of civilisation or other universalising values.
Adamson, W. L. (1980) Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci’s Political and Cultural Theory. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Asatiani, G. (1982) Sataveebtan (At the Origins). Tbilisi: Sabchota Sakartvelo.
Asatiani, S. (2014) Georgian Society at A Crossroad of Values. InAsatiani, S. and N. Lejava (eds.) South Caucasus at A Crossroad: Thorny Realities and Great
Expectations. Tbilisi: Heinrich Boell Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office. 77-83.
Balouziyeh, J. (2014) Russia’s Annexation of Crimea: An Analysis under the Principles of Jus Ad Bellum. LexisNexis. http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsrooom/international-law-blog/archive/2014/04/14, July 2,Accessed: 14-04-2014.
Behr, H. and Y. A. Stivachtis (2016) Revisiting the European Union as Empire. London, UK: Routledge. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315745411
Birnbaum, M. (2013) In Bosnia, Turkey Brings Back a Gentle Version of the Ottoman Empire. The Washington Post, March 24, http://www.washingtonpost.com
Böröcz, J. (2001) Empire and Coloniality in the ‘Eastern Enlargement’ of the European Union. In Böröcz, J. and M. Kovácz (eds.) Empire’s New Clothes:
Unveiling EU Enlargement. Central Europe Review. 4-50.
Böröcz, J. (2010) The European Union and Global Social Change. A Critical Geopolitical-Economic Analysis. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge. doi:
Bakradze, A. (2006) Mkhakhe Shedzakhili. In Mitsishvili, I. (ed.) Pikrebi Sakartveloze [A Bitter Cry. In: Speculations about Georgia]. Tbilisi:
Gamomtsemloba ‘Intelekti’. 225-253.
Brisku, A. (2013) Empires without Cosmopolitanism? Locating Cosmopolitanism in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman and Russian Empires. InGarcía-Salmones,
M. and P. Slotte (eds.) Cosmopolitanism in Enlightenment Europe and Beyond. Brussels: Peter Lang. 125-140.
Brisku, A. (2013) Bittersweet Europe: Albanian and Georgian Discourses on Europe, 1878-2008. New York, NY Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books.
Cecire, M. (2014) Georgia’s Fifth Column Stirs. The American Interest, May 19, http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/05/19/Georgias-fifth-
column-stirs Accessed: 1-07-2014.
Charles, H. (2011) Social Catastrophe Follows French Imperialist Intervention in Ivory Coast. World Socialist Web Site, April 21, http://www.wsws.org/en
Chavchavadze, I. (1987) Publitsisturi Tserilebi (Publicist Letters). Tbilisi: Sabchota Sakartevelo.
Chkenkheli, A. (1920) Evropis Damokidebuleba Sakartveloze (Europe’s Attitude towards Georgia). Sakartvelos Respublika, January 11.
Clot, A. (2005) Suleiman the Magnificent. London, UK: Saqi.
Cox, R. W. (1996) Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method. In Cox, R. W. and T. J. Sinclair, Approaches to World Order.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 124-143.
Cox, R. W. (2004) Beyond Empire and Terror: Critical Reflections on the Political Economy of World Order. New Political Economy, 9(3): 307-323. doi:
Cooper, R. (2002) The Postmodern State. In Leonard, M. (ed.) Re-ordering the World. London, UK: The Foreign Policy Centre. 11-20.
Cunningham, F. (2013) France War in Mali: Neo-Imperialist Grab Dressed up in ‘War on Terror’ Rhetoric. PressTV, January 23, http://www.presstv.com
Davutoglu, A. (2001) Strategik Derinlik, Turkiye’nin Uluslararasi Konumu. Istanbul: Kure Yayinlari.
De Waal, T. (2012) Worrying about the Wrong Neighbour. The National Interest, November 16, http://nationalinterest.org Accessed: 13-07-2013.
Duan, D. (2013) When Liberalism Meets the World. A Lesson from Alexis de Tocqueville. In García-Salmones, M. and P. Slotte (eds.) Cosmopolitanism in
Enlightenment Europe and Beyond. Brussels: Peter Lang. 73-89.
Dunn, J. (2005) Democracy: A History. New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Ekeldahl, C. M. and M. Goodman. (1997) The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze. London, UK: Hurst.
Fix, L. (2014) Georgia Knocking on Europe’s Door: Russia, Georgia and the EU Association Agreement. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Austvärtige Politik e.V., No.
Guzman, T. A. (2014) As War Lingers in Mali, Western Powers Target its Natural Resources. Global Research, January 17, http://www.globalresearch.ca
Accessed: 4-07- 2014.
Gvosdev, N. K. (2000) Imperial Policies and Perspectives towards Georgia, 1760-1819. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:
Hopkins, T. (2014) Ordering the World in the Nineteenth Century. In:Koskenniemi, M. and B. Stråth (eds.) Europe 1815-1914: Creating Community and
Ordering the World. Helsinki: Unigrafia Oy. 33-43.
Jersild, A. (2002) Orientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier, 1845-1917. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Jones, S. F. (2005) Socialism in Georgian Colours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Jones, S. F. (2013) Georgia. A Political History Since Independence. London, UK: I. B. Tauris.
Kann, R. A. (1980) A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
Kappeler, A. (2001) The Russian Empire: A Multiethnic History. Essex, UK: Pearson Education. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315736792
Kikodze, G. (1997) Dasavletis Karebi. In Khoperia, N. (ed.) Evropa tu Azia (The Doors of the West, in: Europe or Asia). Tbilisi: Literaturis Matiane. 330-332.
Landers, B. (2010). Empires Apart: A History of Russian and American Imperialism. New York, NY: Pegasusbooks.
Layton, S. (2005) Russian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin to Tolstoy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi:
Lazarus, N. (2011) The Postcolonial Unconscious. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511902628
Leonhard, J. and U. V. Hirschehouse (2012) Comparing Empires: Encounters and Transfers in the Long Nineteenth Century. Göttinghen: Vandenhoeck &
Lenin, V. I. (1948) Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. London, UK: Lawrence & Wishart.
Lieven, D. (2000) Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Nikoladze, N. (1997) Kartuli Mtserloba (Georgian Writing), Vol. 14. Tbilisi: Nakaduli.
Nikoladze, N. (1966) Rusetis Tskhovreba: Mimokhilva, Tkhzulebani, tomi mesame, 1872-1873 (Life in Russia: A Survey: In M. I. Kandelaki (ed.) Collected
Works, 1872-1873), Vol. 3. Tbilisi: Tbilisis Universitetis Stamba. 358-373.
Oskanian, K. (2013) FPC Briefing: Putin’s Eurasian Union – from Pre-Electoral Sideshow to Quest for Empire? The Foreign Policy Centre, July.
Patel, K. K. (2010) Transnational History. European History Online (EGO), Institute of European History (IEG), April 20, http://www.ieg-ego.eu/patelk-2010-en
URN: urn:nbn:de:0159-20100921314 Accessed: 29-04-2014.
Piketty, T. (2014) Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. doi:
Pitts, J. (2005) A Turn to Empire. The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. doi:
Pocock, J. G. A. (2003 ) The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9781400824625
Robakidze, G. (1997) Grigol Robakidzis Sitkva. InKhoperia, N. (ed.) Evropa tu Azia (Grigol Robakidze’s Speech, in: Europe or Asia). Tbilisi: Literaturis Matiane.
Saakashvili’s UN Speech. Civil.ge, September 26, 2013, http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=26492 Accessed: 27-09- 2013.
Saakashvili: Russian ‘Dying Empire Dreaming’ of Occupying Georgia. Eurasia Review, February 26, 2011, http://www.eurasiareview.com/26022011-
saakashvili-russian-dying-empire-dreaming-of-occupying-georgia/ Accessed: 11-09-2013.
Shekhovtsov, A. (2009) Alexandr Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism: The New Right á la Russe. Religion Compass, 3(4): 697-716. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-
Tocqueville, A. (2001) Writings on Empire and Slavery, ed. and transl. by J. Pitts. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
Tsereteli, M. (1990) Eri da Katsobrioba (The Nation and Humanity). Tbilisi: Tbilisis Universitetis Gamomtsemloba.
Van der Oye, D. S. (2010) Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration. New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press. doi:
Wendt, A. (2003) Why A World State Is Inevitable. European Journal of International Relations, 9(4): 491-542. doi:
Zielonka, J. (2010) Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Zhordania, N. (1990) Chemi Tsarsuli (My Past). Tbilisi: Sarangi.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work three months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. This acknowledgement is not automatic, it should be asked from the editors and can usually be obtained one year after its first publication in the journal.