Having first studied African languages and history at Moscow State University, Georgi Derluguian saw his first war in Mozambique in the 1980s. Having returned from Africa to Moscow in 1989, he saw with astonishment that parts of the unraveling Soviet Union were rapidly coming to resemble the Africa's politics of corruption as well as its civil wars. Georgi's first-hand study of Soviet collapse culminated in the award-winning monograph Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus (University of Chicago Press, 2005). Its main question was simple: What processes and contingencies transformed the provincial Soviet intellectuals, once enamored with French cinema and sociology, into the ferocious guerrilla fighters for the nationalist and religious causes?

In the past, Georgi taught as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Northwestern University. He was also a Visiting professor at Sciences Po and UniversitÈ de Bordeaux in France, as well as Tallinn Technological University in Estonia and Kiev State University in Ukraine.

Project Summary

The communist states were, in fact, the dictatorships of military-industrial development directly related to the twentieth-century world wars. But how could these ‘fortresses of virtue’ exist for such a long time? Why was their 1989 extinction so unexpected and rapid? What factors engendered such divergent outcomes as the wars of Yugoslavian Succession, the democratization of Central Europe, state pillage in Russia, and the authoritarian market miracle in China? A robust theory must be able to explain all of these outcomes with the same basic assumptions.

Major Publications

Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography (University of Chicago Press, 2005);

“The Trajectories of Gunpowder Empires on Europe’s Periphery, 1453-2000”, Social Evolution & History Vol. VI, no. 1 (March 2007);

“The Social Origins of Good and Bad Governance: Reinterpreting the 1968 Schism in FRELIMO”, in Eric Morrier-genoud (ed.) Nationalisms in Angola, Guine-Bissau, and Mozambique (Leiden: Brill, 2012);