Context Collapse

Salon Series: The Digital Transformation of the Public Sphere

October 26, 2023

Program: Dr. Shota Gelovani is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Mannheim with a focus on political polarization and digital media. Currently, he is a fellow at the New Institute in Hamburg. In his doctoral thesis, titled “Bridging Social Cleavages via (Social) Media? A Comparative Study of how Social Media Influence Inter-Group Attitudes”, he studies the correlates of political polarization and ethnocentrism in three different country contexts: Georgia, Germany, and the United States. Shotas input will focus on Ethno-national exclusivism in Georgia, which, reinforced by a strongly religious culture, has become an integral part of the countries identity since it has re-gained independence in 1991. Similar to other Orthodox-majority countries, this exclusivism is underpinned by features such as the feeling of cultural superiority, validation of ethnic identity based on ancestry, and negative attitudes towards non-Christian ethnic groups, especially Muslims. In this context, it is important to understand the factors behind the rise of far-right movements in Georgia in 2017 to avoid drawing parallels with similar, yet quite different cases of far-right populism in Europe. While ethno-national exclusivism was manifest in the first years of independent Georgia, in 2017 it reemerged in a new context: an ethno-nationalist rally took place, demanding that foreigners’ (with an emphasis on Turks, Iranians, and Arabs) rights be restricted in Georgia.

Date and time: October 26, at 7pm. The official part of the event normally takes around two hours and will be followed by some informal drinks.

Location: We are meeting at the Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institute, Rothenbaumchaussee 36, 20148 Hamburg.

Registration: If you want to join this event, please register here. If you cannot attend, but want to be informed about upcoming events in the next months, please join our mailing list!

Call for contributions: Can you see yourself providing a short input as a basis for discussion? The success of the format is dependent on your contributions, and we are looking forward to your thoughts, insights, and perspectives!