INDEPENDENCE AS AN "INVENTED TRADITION" IN GEORGIA'S POLITICAL IDENTITY (2014-2016)
Maxim Kirchanov, Ph.D. (Hist.), Assistant Professor, Department of Regional Studies and Economics of Foreign Countries, Faculty of International Relations, Voronezh State University Federal State Budgetary Institution of Higher Professional Education (Voronezh, Russian Federation)
The author analyzes the “independence” concept as an “invented tradition” in Georgia’s political life. The collective political ideas integrated into the emergence and development of political and ethnic identities are regarded as “invented traditions.” The “invented tradition” of independence in present-day Georgia is realizing the continuity of the historical forms of Georgian statehood, of which the Georgian Democratic Republic (1918-1921) is part. The media, political class, and intellectual communities have invented, together with other groups, the traditions accepted in Georgia today. By “inventing traditions,” Georgia (very much like any other recently emerged nation-state) superimposes contemporary collective ideas on its past. “Invented traditions” rely on history to create new political rituals and traditions. Symbolic and sacral levels of independence as an “invented tradition” are products of the imagination of Georgian intellectuals and politicians.
Keywords: Georgia, invention of traditions, “invented traditions,” constructivism, independence, identity.