In the Caucasus We Count

WiP: IDPs and Structural Vulnerability in Georgia, 19 March - Erin Koch


American Councils, ARISC and CRRC present the sixth talk in the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Series!

Erin Koch, University of Kentucky
'We are existing, not living': Protracted Displacement and Structural Vulnerability in Georgia'

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 at 6:15pm
EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

This talk focuses on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in post-Soviet Georgia to examine lived experiences with protracted displacement and marginalization. It draws on ethnographic research conducted in the summers of 2010 and 2011 with IDPs living in western Georgia who were displaced by civil war between Georgia and Abkhazia in 1993 and who have been living in limbo since then.The talk focuses on their efforts to navigate changing state strategies for housing relocation and to secure their new “rights” to durable housing, and argues that the lives of IDPs living in protracted displacement in Georgia are shaped by a form of sanctioned abandonment that cements their structural vulnerability, making it virtually impossible for the to fulfill the neoliberal expectations of the government and NGOs in achieving social mobility.

Erin Koch is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Her cultural and medical anthropology research in Georgia focuses on infectious disease, the global health industry, and social-structural vulnerability among disenfranchised populations.


W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to