City as a geopolitics: Tbilisi, Georgia — A globalizing metropolis in a turbulent region
Tbilisi, a city of over a million, is the national capital of Georgia. Although little explored in urban studies, the city epitomizes a fascinating assemblage of processes that can illuminate the interplay of geopolitics, political choices, globalization discourses, histories, and urban contestations in shaping urban transformations. Tbilisi's strategic location in the South Caucasus, at the juncture of major historical empires and religions in Eurasia, has ensured its turbulent history and a polyphony of cultural influences. Following Georgia's independence in 1991, Tbilisi found itself as the pivot of Georgian nation-building. Transition to a market economy also exposed the city to economic hardship, ethnical homogenization, and the informalization of the urban environment. The economic recovery since the early 2000s has activated urban regeneration. Georgia's government has recently promoted flagship urban development projects in pursuit of making Tbilisi as a modern globalizing metropolis. This has brought contradictions, such as undermining the city's heritage, contributing to socio-spatial polarization, and deteriorating the city's public spaces. The elitist processes of decision-making and a lack of a consistent urban policy and planning regimes are argued to be among major impediments for a more sustainable development of this city.
In the transition to a market economy, the Russian workforce underwent a wrenching period of change, with excess supply of some industrial skills coexisting with reports of skills shortages by many enterprises. This paper uses data from the Russia Competitiveness and Investment Climate Survey and related local research to gain insights into the changing supply and demand for skills over time, and the potential reasons for reported staffing problems and skills shortages, including labor turnover, compensation policies and the inhibiting effects of labor regulations. It discusses inservice training as an enterprise strategy for meeting staffing and skills needs, and presents evidence on the distribution, intensity and determinants of in-service training in Russia. It investigates the productivity and wage outcomes of in-service training, and the supportive role of training in firms’ research and development (R&D) and innovative activities. A final section concludes with some policy implications of the findings.
Up to now, the Russian banking market has not been opened up completely for foreign banks. This refers mainly to the still existing restriction to set up branches in the Russian Federation that will even remain in force after the accession to the WTO. There is a fear by many incumbent Russian banks of being crowded out by foreign banks entering the market with low-interest offers for business and consumer loans. Studies of foreign bank entry in other transitions countries have shown that this fear is reasonable. However, from an economic point of view the entry of foreign banks has increased the overall efficiency of the banking markets in those regions and led to a healthy concentration process. Both effects could also take place on the Russian banking market that is characterised by a comparably low borrowing to the private sector and a very high number of small banks.
This article addresses these questions by reviewing the potential effects of fo-reign bank entry in banking markets of transition countries. This is followed by an analysis of the current situation on the Russian banking market which has some peculiarities in comparison to the banking markets of e.g. former socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This is mainly due to the size of the country and the existence of large state owned banks which are dominating the market.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.
The present book is the result of the project International Comparative Study on Education, Career and Migrant Strategies of School Students from Rural Areas in Transition Countries initiated by UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED) and the Center for Applied Economic Research, National Research University Higher School of Economic (HSE) of Russia in 2010.
The article aims at analysing the transfer of anti-corruption norms and standards as well as the instrumental use of anti-corruption efforts in Georgia. Drawing on the literature on anthropology and development, I use Georgia as a case study to analyse how an anti-corruption discourse is translated into local agendas. In the first part, I analyse three different perspectives on the fight against corruption in Georgia. In the second part, I examine three different types of anti-corruption interventions to illustrate the various agendas pursued by actors in the anti-corruption field. First, I study the implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy as an example of a conflict between two actors (government and international organisation) to assert the pre-eminence of a particular anti-corruption expertise. Second, I examine the reform of the Chamber of Control of Georgia (CCG), in particular the confrontation between the CCG and the Ministry of Education (MoE) in 2007, as an example of how an external anti-corruption agenda is adapted to local political struggles. Third, I analyse civil society anti-corruption projects as examples of the attempt to maintain a particular donor discourse.
A sustainability perspective is a practical today's goal for collaboration of state, business and society. The special role within this triad belongs to business companies, which integrate the sustainability principles into their strategies to improve organizational processes and long-term growth. Quality management system (QMS) is an important tool to ensure sustainability through business performance. According to the International standard organization survey of QMS, more than 1 million certifications issued in 178 countries by 2010. The position according to which corporate management of sustainability by the help of QMS, which corresponds to international standard ISO 9000 is presented in the paper. The aim of the paper is to examine the factors, which affect organizational decision of the companies in the emerging countries to implement QMS ISO 9000. The impact of internal and external factors which influence managerial decision of QMS implementation is analyzed in the paper. Specifically, the similarities and differences between the motivations of companies from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), new members of the EU countries and countries of the Southern Europe (which aren’t the members of the EU) within the implementation of the QMS ISO 9000, are discussed. The empirical cross-country analysis is based on 2002–2009 data from the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS), conducted by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Binary logistic regression was used to analyze the data. The study identifies the role of economic development and institutional environment in the QMS ISO 9000 implementation. There are highlighted three “portraits” of companies, which implemented QMS: (a) from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries; (b) from the new EU members countries; (c) from the Southern Europe countries, which aren’t the members of the EU. The results show that QMS ISO 9000 implementation leads to increase of competitive ability and investment attractiveness of the company, to improvement of product quality and stakeholders communications, to human resources development. These business processes improvements, as a QMS implementation result, can potentially activate the company’s sustainable effects and then - national and global sustainability transformations.
The historical changes in Central and Eastern Europe demanded suitable paths for the transition from centrally planned to market based economies. The lack of relevant experience added to the challenge, giving rise to the incalculable risks of implementing untested policies. By focusing on monetary policy, trade, and convergence, this volume addresses some of the most urgent economic policy issues in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
Back in 2008 when the conflict between Russia and Georgia broke out, International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation initiated the most long-standing of dialogue efforts between Russian and Georgian high-profile political experts, named later, as per the site of the meetings, the Istanbul Process. GPPAC, as a global network of civil society organisations, working across conflicts on an international level, and perceived as being able to play an impartial role in facilitating the dialogue processes, supported and partnered this important initiative, offering a framework that provided the needed, politically neutral, environment for the Russian and Georgian sides to engage with each other.
In order to remain competitive, firms need to keep the quantity and composition of jobs close to optimal for their given output. Since the beginning of the transition period, Russian industrial firms have been widely reporting that the quantity and composition of hired labour is far from being close to optimal. This paper discusses what kinds of firms in the Russian manufacturing sector are unable to optimize their employment and why. The main conclusion is that the key issue is an excess of non-viable firms and a shortage of highly efficient firms because of weak selection mechanisms. The major solution is seen in creating institutional conditions that stimulate a more efficient reallocation of labour. The analysis presented in this paper is based on data from a large-scale survey of Russian manufacturing firms.