Georgi Derluguian takes a grand, historical-sociology and anthropologically inspired look at the history of social evolution, examining behaviours that counter the aggrandisement of ‘chiefs’ – elites who have established themselves as rulers by imposing themselves upon the collective power of humanity. He draws hope that through a combination of social initiative and the staying power of big organisations, we might yet become better equipped to deal with our problems.
Derlugian is currently an associate professor of Social Research and Public Policy at New York University Abu Dhabi and his area of specialty is in ethnic violence, guerrilla movements and revolutions.
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 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.