State Building and Democratic Transformations

State Building and Democratic Transformations

Eka Tkeshelashvili

Minister of Justice of Georgia (2007) Attorney General (2008) Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008) Deputy Prime Minister (2010)

Course description & goal

The main theme of the course is the state building process. It provides an overview of various schools of thought on democracy and explores its nexus with state building process.  The main question underling the course is  on what makes democracies to deliver. Throughout the duration of the course students are encouraged to explore complexity of what constitutes state building process, what are internal as well as external drivers presence or absence of which define its overall success or failure, what is the nexus between institutional development of a state and its successful democratic transformation.

The main goal of the course is to enable students to comprehend mechanics of transformational processes, important nexus between state building, good governance and consolidation of democracy. The Course aims to develop leadership skills of students both at strategic as well as operational levels. It encourages them to understand the role of personal leadership in transformational processes, by showcasing how right choices at the right time can become game changers for the overall development of a given state.

Real case studies are being reviewed throughout the duration of the course. The main simulation exercise takes place at the end of the course. The group is divided into the teams which are entrusted with presentation of their vision on how to solve a complex problem provided in the case study. Simulation is encouraging students to work as a team and enables them to be exposed with the complex nature of problems in public governance.

While developing their concept for the solution of the problem they have to take into account issues related to the financial as well as human resource restrains, coordination among various state institutions, involvement in the process of internal as well as external stakeholders, to be well aware of political sensitivities and agendas of their superiors, as well as to integrate in their presentation their approach on strategic communication.

Course length and structure:

Course duration is one week and it is composed of three lectures. Each lecture is three hours long with one fifteen minutes break in-between. Course is mainly focused on interactive discussions, analysis of concrete case studies as well as one simulation exercise.

Instruction language:

Russian (reading materials in English), based on the level of English proficiency of the group preferred instruction language is English


Course is interactive, requiring critical thinking as well as comprehensive analysis of complex issues and processes related to state building and democratic transformations.

By the end of the course students will gain:

Understanding of complexity of state building process, the role of leadership and strategic vision during the process of democratic transformations;

Knowledge of major schools of thought about democracy, essential elements of state building processes, concepts of what constitutes good governance in a democratic society;

Ability to critically analyze key elements related to the solution of a given problem at a strategic as well as operational level, ability to define and to lead the process of delivering targeted result; ability to manage the teamwork.

Basic skills to formulate strategic concept as well as action plan aimed at the solution of the problem;

Self-confidence in being persuasive in communicating and lobbying for the implementation of their vision of the solution of a given problem.


Lecture 1.Democracy and State Building
Lecture 2. Transitions, good governance – drivers of change
Lecture 3. Simulation Case

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