Transcontinental and cross-border trade in Eurasia

Researcher: Zviad Mirtskhulava

Topic

After the collapse of the Soviet Union many Georgians started to trade. Some of these peope found ways to go abroad. This was the starting point of a huge system of trade networks. Georgian traders created their own informal trading routes, which extend around the world, and which include connections to Asia in particular. Some of these traders work as wholesalers, others sell their goods on local markets, others, again, work as mediators. Some oft he traders maintain permanent relations with international businessmen or factories, and manage their whole business simply with the help of their families. These people and their role in globalization is the topic of this research project. Mirtskhulava is thus going to investigate the traders’ mobility by following the traders from the beginning to their destinations in China and back again to Georgia.

Questions/hypothesis

The aim of the proposed research project is to study the ways in which trade channels between Georgia and China come into being and how traders make use of them. How do traders manage their business abroad, who is involved, and which are the challenges they have to deal with.

Methods/data

Anthropological field research will be conducted by implementing classical fieldwork methods like participant observation. Furthermore archive work and interviews shall provide additional information.

Collaboration with other group members and contribution to the joint project

Collaboration is planned with all research group members. The research is a PhD project and will be supervised by Ketevan Khutsishvili, John Schoeberlein and Susanne Fehlings.