Faculty of Social and Political Studies was founded at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University in 2014 following the reforms of the Faculty of Social Studies, Business and Law. In 2015 the Faculty was dismantled and restructured Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Economics and Business. Further reorganization subdivided Department of Social Sciences into Department of Public Affairs and Political Studies and Department of Social Sciences. The Department of Public Affairs and Political Studies currently offers two undergraduate degree programs: International Relations and European Studies.
Development of the new degree programs was an innovative initiative, although a very challenging endeavour for the young team of scholars. There was no previous experience of teaching international relations not only at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University but also throughout Georgian universities.
A team of young and enthusiastic lecturers set an ambitious goal to develop curriculum packages under the mentorship of the qualified and experienced curators. The efforts focused on the advanced experience of the Western European and US universities and their adaptation to the local needs and conditions. With the joint efforts, the successive undergraduate degree program was validated in 2016, followed by even more scholarly work from the educators.
International Relations, as a fully fledged graduate and undergraduate degree program, required intense collaboration of the task force leader Irakli Manvelidze, Associate Professor and the team members, Revaz Diasamidze, Irakli Gorgiladze, Ineza Zoidze, Associate Professors: Natalia Lazba, Zaza Burkadze, Lasha Bazhunaishvili,
The grant project “Transnational Companies in the Transcaucasian States Policies and Economics: Problems, Tendencies, Prospects” which was implemented by Associate Professor Irakli Manvelidze immensely contributed to the development of the Department. His monographic work was published in 2009 and followed was the most positive reviews of the experts.
Many of the faculties obtained fieldwork and research experience and skills through the exchange programs at various European universities. The Faculty fellows, Associate Professors Irakli Gorgiladze, 2008, and Lasha Bazhunaishvili, 2009, were visiting Coimbra University and Hellenic University successively for the academic development. Extensive collaboration with Georgian universities also brought along a lot of positive impact to the successful development of the degree programs.
The Department is in collaboration with the leading high educational institutions, research centres and universities, such as Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University and Georgian Institute of Politics.
Back in 2009 BSU and Georgian Institute of Politics signed a Memorandum of Understanding, making a legal basis to implementing joint educational and research projects. Through the cooperation, the two institutions elaborated curricula for the PhD programme.
Jointly, the BSU and Georgian Institute of Politics have initiated foundation of the new regional research centre at BSU. The centre will concentrate on the interregional studies as well as on the interregional relations, involving current affairs of the Black Sea littoral countries.
The Department organized and held series of conferences:
2006 – ‘Democratic Transition and Challenges’
2009 – ‘New Geopolitical Contours of the Southern Caucasian States’
2010 – ‘Batumi 1921’
2015 – ‘Geopolitical Transformation in the Caucasus, 1917-1921’ and Achievements and Challenges of the E-governance’
Dissertations: defended for the PhD academic qualifications:
2009 - Natalia Lazba. Thesis title: ‘ Lebanon’s Problems Regarding Ethnic Confession and Ethnic Politics’;
2013 – Lasha Bazhunaishvili. Thesis title: ‘GOP Administration Policies towards Iran under Richard Nixon and Gerard Ford’.
At present, members of the Department involve Associate Professor Irakli Manvelidze, Associate Professor Ineza Zoidze, Associate Professor Irakli Gorgiladze, Assistant Professor Zaza Burkadze, Assistant Professor Natalia Lazba, Assistant Professor Lasha Bazhunaishvili, teachers: Gela Iremadze, Megi Phartenadze, Irakli Varshanidze, Zeinab Asanidze, Giorgi Jabnidze, Tornike Mjavanadze, Inga Tsintskiladze, Salome Kintsurashvili, Irina Tsintsadze.
In 2009 Department of Social Studies published a volume of papers, edited by Ioseb Sanikidze.
In Associated Professor Irakli Manvelidze edited for publication volumes of papers on Social Studies in 2009, 2015
The scholarly activities of the academic fellows are reflected in the numerous published monographs, coursebooks, papers as well as participation in the conferences nation-wide and internationally.
European Studies is the most recent educational program at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. It was launched in 2012.
It offers students best knowledge in the international economics, international law and politics. The students are also offered European languages.
The vision of Department emphasizes on its respect to the European values and prospects of their introduction to Georgia, as well as the popularization of Georgian values in the European countries; facilitation to the bilateral research development, such as European studies and Georgian studies.
The program implementation stipulates its goal as Georgia’s integration into Europe and popularization of European values in Georgia.