Mariam Gabedava

Mariam Gabedava


Academic Biography:

  • born in 1983 in Kutaisi, Georgia
  • Bachelor’s Studies: International Relations, Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2000-2004; one year exchange at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA 2002-2003
  • Master’s Studies: Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 2004-2005; MPP Public Policy, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany, 2008-2010
  • Scientific Position(s): research assistant to Professor Alina Mungiu Pippidi, Berlin, Germany, 2010
  • Internship(s): Anti-Corruption Division of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris, France, 2009


  • Research and grants management specialist, East West Management Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Policy analyst/Senior analyst, Transparency International Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Specialist/Senior Specialist, Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reforms Coordination, Tbilisi, Georgia

Brief Description of the Doctoral Project:

“Could Religion Aid Party System Institutionalization? The Cases of Georgia and Poland.”

I propose to study how party system institutionalization is positively influenced by the Church. My hypothesis is that the Church aids issue polarization and party sorting, which, in turn, aid party system consolidation and maturation.
The argument for the cartel nature of parties means that the party system is consolidated so that the existing parties are happy to reinforce the status quo, and are guarding against the intrusion of new players. In this cynical environment the need for moral anchor naturally makes the Church a key actor, particularly in heavily religious environments. The issues that the religious institutions have moral authority on are rarely the most important to the electorate. But when the parties do not take substantially differing positions on major issues like economic policy, the electorate can focus on “easy issues”, understood on gut level, and feel very strongly about them. The divisiveness of such issues can increase their salience – promote electoral polarization and elevate them into the national discourse. This could result in election campaigns geared towards the non-median voters that stress the polarizing issues. Conversely, since the issue is new, non-median voters need not necessarily be targeted. Instead, the median voter may now face a choice on a previously ignored and now polarizing dimension, even if it’s not the most important. This may propel a fringe party into the political system and systemic volatility. However, I argue that this may not necessarily be a bad idea, making the electorate better sorted and the party system better representative.


  • Gabedava, Mariam and K. Turmanidze (2017) Iran’s Soft Power Policy in Georgia; In Religion and Soft Power in the South Caucasus, Ansgar Joedicke, ed. Routledge
  • Turmanidze, Koba and M. Gabedava (2014) Georgians in the Internet Age: The Profile. Caucasus Analytical Digest, N.61-62, 17 April, 2014
  • New Public Management in Georgia, Legal Entities of Public Law (MPP Thesis) May 2010, Berlin, Germany
  • Presidential Powers in Georgia (MA Thesis) May 2004, Budapest, Hungary

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