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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Author
  • Guenther Baechler
  • Veriko Shengelia
  • Giorgi Bakradze
  • Khatia Tsaava
  • Goga Sukhashvili
  • Irakli Jgharkava
  • Shota Katamadze
  • Mariam Gogotchuri
  • Tinatin Kebadze
  • Irakli Jintcharadze
  • Lasha Khutsishvili
  • Mery Julakidze
  • Givi Melkadze
  • Giorgi Machavariani
  • Andrei Sarychev
  • Giorgi Mekerishvili
  • Nino Abashidze
  • Aleqsandre Bluashvili
  • Rezo Geradze
  • Giorgi Bregadze
  • Aram Derdzyan
  • Astghik Mkhitaryan
  • Giorgi Kelbakiani
  • Giorgi Tsutskiridze
  • George Basheli
  • Ia Vardishvili
  • Robizon Khubulashvili
  • Tom Coupe
  • Adam Pellillo
  • Lasha Arevadze
  • Saba Devdariani
  • Nino Mosiashvili
  • Nikoloz Pkhakadze
  • Jan Klingelhofer
  • Martin Smith
  • Medea Davlasheridze
  • Tamari Giorgadze
  • Aram Grigoryan
  • Charles Johnson
  • Levan Bzhalava
  • Maya Grigolia
  • Izat Berenaliev
  • Lasha Lanchava
  • Nino Zambakhidze
  • Nino Doghonadze
  • Simon Appleby
  • Rafael Castro
  • Givi Kupatadze
  • Ruediger Heining
  • Mariam Zaldastanishvili
  • Zurab Abramishvili
  • Salome Goglichidze
  • Gigla Mikautadze
  • Hans Gutbrod
  • Kalman Mizsei
  • Ivane Pirveli
  • Irakli Galdava
  • Victor Kipiani
  • Florian Biermann
  • Irakli Shalikashvili
  • Olga Azhgibetseva
  • Phatima Mamardashvili
  • Eric Livny
  • Aleksandra Markovic
  • David Zhorzholiani
  • Nino Kakulia
  • Matsatso Tepnadze
  • Laura Manukyan
  • Irakli Barbakadze
  • Lika Goderdzishvili
  • Selam Petersson
  • Sophiko Skhirtladze
  • Irakli Kochlamazashvili
  • Levan Pavlenishvili
  • Jemal Tsintsabadze
  • Nika Molashvili
  • Gocha Kardava
  • Rati Porchkhidze
  • Mariam Galdava
  • Lasha Labadze
  • Muhammad Asali
  • Karine Torosyan
  • Levan Tevdoradze
  • Mariam Katsadze
  • Ana Burduli
  • Davit Keshelava
  • Giorgi Mzhavanadze
  • Elene Seturidze
  • Mariam Tsulukidze
  • Erekle Shubitidze
  • Guram Lobzhanidze
  • Mariam Lobjanidze
  • Mariam Chachava
  • Maka Chitanava
  • Salome Deisadze
  • Ia Katsia
  • Salome Gelashvili
  • Tamar Sulukhia
  • Norberto Pignatti
  • Giorgi Papava
  • Luc Leruth
  • Yaroslava Babych
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Best Pedagogy for Georgia!
Given Georgia’s dysfunctional educational sector, it is impressive how many Georgians excel intellectually. For example, ISET regularly sends some of its graduates to the best Ph.D. programs in the world, proving that many Georgians succeed in realizing their intellectual potentials despite unfavorable conditions. At the same time, we notice that a considerable share of students who get enrolled at ISET are not well-endowed with essential knowledge and competencies, lacking, for example, presentation skills, writing proficiency, and resourcefulness in discussion and argumentation.
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What Can Georgia Learn from Sweden’s Educational Disaster?
Between 2000 and 2012, Sweden fell in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by 16 places from the 7th to the 23rd rank, and in the 2015 PISA study, Sweden ranked 28th of 34 countries in mathematics! As the OECD writes: “No other PISA-participating country saw a steeper decline in student performance over the past decade than Sweden.” Who is to blame?
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Bashar al-Assad’s Three Puzzles
In 2007, an American businessman and friend of the then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, was visiting Damascus before continuing his journey to Jerusalem. On the morning of his departure to Israel, the Mukhabarat, Syria’s secret service, knocked at his hotel room. The Syrian agents calmed down the scared businessman – he was not to be taken to some torture prison, of which there were many in Syria.
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Has The Orthodox Church Been Too Successful?
For a long time, it has been taboo to criticize the Orthodox Church in Georgia. Quite recently, however, the clergymen themselves lifted this taboo by publicly carrying out their conflicts. The visit of Pope Francis in September 2016 sparked a plethora of mutual accusations. Archpriest Davit Isakadze was against the Pope’s visit and blamed the two other Archpriests Toedore Gignadze and Aleksandre Galdava for being sectarians and church enemies.
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Georgia's New European Modus Operandi
The above quote seems to fit the state of affairs in the European Union fairly well, as the EU’s crisis is continuing, getting deeper, and engulfing more actors than when it started. To name a few well-known events and stats: Greece probably had the first meaningful kick-off in the chain of developments when it faced threats to stability in its own financial system at the end of 2009. At that time, an unreported estimated deficit jumped from 7% of GDP to the first 13%, and then stabilized at 15% as the "new normal."
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Modern Quagmire and Georgia's Trump Card?
“The fundamental problem for Georgian security is that Russia holds all the major cards and no one is reshuffling the deck in Georgia’s favor”, writes Neil MacFarlane in his 2016 article on Georgia’s security situation. Georgia has a mighty neighbor that is not democratic, does not respect the right of self-determination of nations, and, most importantly, actually brings its military power to bear whenever Russian (legitimate or illegitimate) interests are not sufficiently honored.
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