Call for Applications for the Fall Academy 2019 in Kvareli, Georgia


The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Caucasus Office jointly with the Berlin School of Economics and Law invites young economist and political scientists between 18 and 35 years from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to apply for the Fall Academy which will take place October 3-6, in Kvareli, Georgia.

The Fall Academy 2019 will focus on Economic Development Strategies in the South Caucasus and will offer a stimulating discussion platform and meeting place for young scholars of political and economic studies.

Background Information:

Recent events such as global financial crisis has substantially challenged mainstream economics and at the same time created an opportunity for the increased state activism in the economy. Neoliberal economic principles such as trade liberalization, labor market deregulation, or privatization raises some major concerns, both from a theoretical as well as from a sustainable economic growth perspective. Firstly, imposing trade liberalization to the countries at the early stage of the economic development means that these countries most certainly will end up engaged in the asymmetric distribution of power of the international trade, and/or in uneven competition, as they lack the industrial capacities and technologies. Secondly, none of the now developed countries has developed under free-trade. Thirdly, the asymmetric architecture of the international trade is cemented in the WTO trade regime itself. Various studies have shown that economic and social upgrading cannot be successfully achieved without active involvement of the state. Hence, the debate no longer is about whether the governments should be involved or not but how the governments should be involved. Moreover, sustainable economic upgrading is not feasible without social upgrading, and as one does not automatically lead to another, an active role of the state through industrial policy must entail realization of it.

Against this backdrop, the FES Fall Academy 2019 aims to tackle economic initiatives carried out by the governments in the three South Caucasian countries in areas such as: trade liberalization, foreign direct investment, technology innovation, infant industry protection and SME’s, and try to come up with strategies for industrial policy. The Academy aims to initiate questions such as:

  • Should economic and social upgrading be left to ‘unfettered markets’ or should there be an active role of the state, hence industrial policy?
  • What impact does free trade have on the economy and its dynamics in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia?
  • To what extend is it feasible to introduce industrial policy under free trade and unregulated capital inflow regime?
  • What are political preconditions and challenges for introducing industrial policy?

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 of the academy is to identify and analyze political and economic challenges in each South Caucasian country and come up with strategies for inclusive economic development. The main focus of debate will be industrial policy and economic and social upgrading.

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

  • Industrial policy
  • Economic and social upgrading
  • International Trade
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • SME’s and infant industries

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 background in Economics 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 31st of July together with the letter of motivation and a CV at: event@fesgeo.ge . Please indicate the following subject: FALL ACADEMY 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified latest begging of September.