Elites and “Elites”: Transformations of Social Structures in Post-Soviet Armenia
and Georgia
This volume is the result of a joint, Armenian-Georgian anthropological survey of the
concept of “elites” in contemporary Georgia and Armenia. The survey has embraced a set
of topics related to the process of the formation of new national elites in the course of the
construction of the nation-states, genealogy and typology of new elites, mechanisms and
principles of organization of power, old and new hierarchical structures, and their continuity
with the cultural heritage of previous periods of history. Being both very much alike
and very much distinctive from each other, Armenia and Georgia have developed social
structures similar by form, yet discrepant through their inner interplay of meanings, interpretations
and correlations of the parts of these structures. This study of elites, elitism and
the elitist involves different social (and also ethnic and religious) groups, which have been
affected by the process of reconfiguration of social structures.
The present study was conducted with the support of the Academic Swiss Caucasus
Net (ASCN). ASCN is a programme aimed at promoting the social sciences and humanities
in the South Caucasus (primarily Georgia and Armenia). Its different activities foster the
emergence of a new generation of talented scholars. Promising junior researchers receive
support through research projects, capacity-building training and scholarships. The programme
emphasizes the advancement of individuals who, thanks to their ASCN experience,
become better integrated in international academic networks. The ASCN programme
is coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe
(IICEE) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). It was initiated and is supported by
Gebert Rüf Stiftung.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily
represent opinions of Gebert Rüf Stiftung and the University of Fribourg.
Language editor: Nazareth Seferian
Cover photo: © Zaven Khachikyan