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Nationalism as resistance to economic globalization and as a vehicle for development in the Republic of Georgia Hernandez, Andreas

Abstract

This thesis explores nationalism in the Republic of Georgia in the context of the worldwide emergence of diverse coalitions of movements coming together to work towards social goals and to counter the excesses of economic globalization. The common contemporary notion that nationalism is a reactionary force is challenged. Through interviews and a survey, nationalism in Georgia is examined as a form of resistance to economic globalization and as a movement actively working in a non-violent manner towards political, cultural and social welfare goals. The mechanisms by which neoliberalism came to Georgia without popular will or consent are also analyzed. Accompanying this is an examination of the effects of the coming of neoliberalism to Georgian social welfare. Of particular importance throughout this work is the intimate relationship between the social, cultural and political spheres in Georgia. The implications of the Georgian situation for the global network of grassroots movements, global social welfare and to the profession of social work are examined. Nationalism in Georgia is identified as a potential powerful ally in the global grassroots movement working against the excesses of economic globalization and for social, cultural and political justice. It is concluded that social work must, in the new context of globalization, work internationally and supranationally with the global network of movements, as the former terrain of contest for social welfare, the nation-state, is in decline.

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