Protracted displacement in Georgia: Structural vulnerability and "existing not living"

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13 Scopus citations


This article focuses on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in post-Soviet Georgia to examine lived experiences with protracted displacement and marginalization. I draw on ethnographic research that 1 conducted in summers 2010 and 2011 with IDPs living in western Georgia who were displaced by civil war between Georgia and Abkhazia in 1993 who have been living in limbo since then. I focus on their efforts to navigate changing state strategies for housing relocation and to secure their new "rights" to durable housing. Using Ian Hacking's concept of "making up people," I argue that the lives of IDPs living in protracted displacement in Georgia are "made up" by a form of sanctioned abandonment that cements their structural vulnerability, making it virtually impossible for them to fulfill the neoliberal expectations of the government and NGOs in achieving social mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by the Society for Applied Anthropology.


  • Georgia
  • Internal displacement
  • Structural vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences


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