Call for Applications, Alternative Economics – FES Fall Academy 2018 in Kvareli, Georgia


The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office jointly with the Berlin School of Economics and Law invites young economists and social scientists between 18 and 35 years from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to apply for the Fall Academy which will take place from 20th till 23rd of September 2018 in Kvareli, Georgia. 

The Fall Academy will focus on Economic Development Strategies in the South Caucasus and will offer a stimulating discussion platform and meeting place for young scholars of social and economic studies.

Background Information:

After the fall of the Soviet Union the three South Caucasian countries have experienced significant socioeconomic fluctuations and while the political paths taken since the early 90’s were not identical, the liberal economic model (with different levels of concentration) can be identified in all three of them. Even though Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have achieved diverse levels of the post-soviet transition as well as have reached different degrees of global integration, poor socioeconomic conditions are common in each country. High unemployment rates, trade and budget deficits, income inequality and poverty induced by not only bad governance and weak institutions but predominantly by the lack of the industrial policy call for an in-depth scrutiny of the problem. The studies have shown that the application of the orthodox economic strategies have not resulted in inclusive and sustainable development of the transitional countries. On the contrary, marginalization of the role of the state and the enhancement of the market-oriented policies have deepened the gap between rich and poor and have increased social injustices. The social and economic problems the three South Caucasian countries are facing cannot be regarded only as the aftermath of the post-soviet de-industrialization processes - the analysis should rather address and challenge the current economic model itself. 

Goal of the Program: 

Staying in line with the broader academic and political discourses on developmental state on the one hand and market economy on the other, the objective is to firstly identify and analyze social and economic challenges that each South Caucasian country is facing and secondly to propose policy recommendations.

The Fall Academy is primarily aimed at around 15 early career researchers who deal with following topics:

  • Financial systems (creating sufficient credit for development and stable assets for households)
  • Industrial policy and economic and social upgrading
  • Wage bargaining/minimum wage/trade unions
  • Trade/integration into world economy/FDI
  • Gender policy
  • Income inequality/wealth distribution/poverty
  • Monetary/fiscal policy/exchange rate
  • Global value chains
  • Shadow interventionism/ informal governance

Selected applicants will have an opportunity to present and discuss their papers, policy recommendations and get a feedback from senior scholars and invited speakers. The Academy will offer workshops and training courses on enhancing presentation and social media skills. Participants will receive certificates issued by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office at the end of the program. 

Requirements for Participation:

  • Citizenship of Armenia, Azerbaijan or Georgia
  • Between 18 and 35 years of age
  • Good command of English language
  • Early career researcher with the background in Economics, Sociology or Political Economy
  • Interest in heterodox economic concepts

Application Process:

In order to apply please submit max. 1 page abstract discussing one of the above proposed topics no later than 27 th of June together with a motivation letter and a CV at: event@fesgeo.ge . Please indicate the following subject: FALL ACADEMY 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be notified at the end of July.