WiP: In God’s Name: How the Post-Soviet Mafia Used the Church as the Source of Reputation in Georgia, October 16 – Ana Kvintradze

American Councils and CRRC are proud to present the 7th talk in the Fall 2013 Works-in-Progress Series:

Ana Kvintradze 

“In God’s name: How the Post-Soviet Mafia used the Church as the Source of Reputation in Georgia”
Wednesday, 16 October, 2013 at 6:15pm

ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, GEORGIA

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a number of actors started to engage in the “power struggle” for the opportunities in shaping the new order in successive states. One of those actors was the organized crime groups united under the trademark name of vory-v-zakone (thief in law), originally the prison fraternity which had a significant influence on Georgian transition period after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As the establishment of reputation is one of the vital accomplishments for the operations of organized crime groups, this research analyzes the case of the post-Soviet mafia in Georgia and its association with the Orthodox Church as its strategy for establishing its reputation. The findings are based on a qualitative in-depth case study and additional data sources, such as: the content analysis of the Church sermons over 20 years period, official Georgian statistics and nationwide surveys. The study findings suggest that this relationship between mafia and the Church was reciprocal. Given the authority of the Orthodox Church in the Georgian population, it provided unquestionable credibility to the post-Soviet mafia.

Ana Kvintradze is a graduate of the MSc in Sociology from the University of Oxford. She has finished her BA and MA in Sociology from Tbilisi State University and has worked for number of years in the Social Research field in Georgia. Her research interests include the post-Soviet transformations, construction of national identity, collective trauma and memory in the South Caucasus region.


W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). 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.