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Political Science News

Political Science Student Appointed Head of Commission

Posted Jun. 1, 2010

In summer of 2009, KSU graduate student Vasili Rukhadzke won US State Department funded IREX (International Research and Exchange Board) fellowship to study civil society in Georgia and to serve as a US Embassy Policy Specialist in the country. While doing his fellowship in the country, several Georgian news agencies interviewed him, which circulated on the Georgian radio and the print press. Rukhadze also wrote and published extensively on Georgian politics, state-building processes and national security issues in the Georgian press.

In March of 2010 he was offered to chair the State Commission for Studying the Historical Truth that the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili intended to establish to investigate historical abuses, which Georgia experienced in the 19-20th centuries under the Tsarist and the Soviet Russian occupations. In April the commission was inaugurated and Rukhadze traveled to Georgia where he was officially announced by President Saakashvili as its chair--an event widely broadcast on all Georgian TV and radio channels, print press and news-analytical websites.

In the beginning of June, Rukhadze will return to Georgia for the summer to head the commission and produce an official report. The project is of very high political importance for Georgian society and the country as a whole, which is involved in the complex process of post-Soviet state building. The Commission is comprised of approximately 30 people: Georgian historians, political scientists, economists, lawyers, linguists and the staff members. The Commission is thought as a mechanism of transitional justice. It is an undertaking of Georgian society to create a viable venue for a smooth transition from long occupations to a new era of democratic state building.

This project and the commission that Rukhadze will lead represents an attempt to build shared collective memory of a brutal past, a past that hunts this ancient, although newly liberated nation. According to Rukhadze, “The success of this project will be one very important brick in the foundation of modern-day Georgian state building.
For more information, contact Vasili Rukhadze at