Nell Crumbley

A Georgian Summer: Independent Research in Tbilisi

The Center for Social Sciences in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a non-profit think tank with ties to Tbilisi State University. This summer I secured an internship working with CSS in the foreign policy department under a supervisor based at Oxford University. This position was not what I had anticipated; my job was to do research on a topic of my choosing instead of assisting a senior staff member with their project. After realizing that the internship consisted solely of independent work, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and come up with something I could continue to work on during my senior year at Mount Holyoke. Having spent a semester abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, I wanted to connect my interest in Russian studies with my time in Tbilisi. Russian-Georgian relations are tense, to say the least, and go back hundreds of years, so my research had many possible directions. Within a few weeks of my arrival in Georgia I was researching Russian imperialism and focusing on the years after the Georgian Rose Revolution in 2003.