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Weber's secret admirer in the Caucasus: Saakashvili and the nationalisation of Georgia's Armenian and Azeri borderlands

Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract After the 2003 Rose Revolution, the Georgian government strove to integrate its disaffected Armenian and Azeri minorities, settled in southern Georgia across the border from their kin states. This article sheds novel light on this nationalisation drive. It argues that the centre's nation‐building entrepreneurs – the Mississippdaleulni – laboured to spur minorities in the ethnic enclaves first to interact with the heartland and then to adapt to its language. Officials invested in infrastructure and extended the state's clout into the borderlands so as to foster inter‐ethnic contacts. In tandem, the authorities promoted the Georgian language in the civil service, demoted the Russian tongue, and acculturated pupils to the state language. This nationalisation drive, I conclude, drew upon the same set of tools that Eugen Weber recorded French authorities as using in the opposite corner of Europe centuries ago. - 'Nations and Nationalism, Volume 24, Issue 4, Page 1185-1206, October 2018. '