Event Date(s)
Pullman Tbilisi Axis Towers

June 13-14, 2024
The year 2024 promises to be full of tectonic geopolitical changes and paradigmatic overturns in understanding the general fabric of politics (local, national, or global). With the upcoming eighty-three national elections in seventy-eight states, 2024 is marked to be a monumental year not only for “testing democracies” but also for scrutinizing the “new normalcy” in global politics. Met with the nearly unprecedented representation of the radical powers and ideas, political scientists and decision-makers, among others, are now to be particularly observant of the novel challenges to the democratic standards globally as they are reinterpreted and misappropriated by the authoritarian and illiberal powers worldwide. Societies, states, and institutions will bear the effects of these changes that are mainly linked to the rise of global authoritarianism and its claim of all-encompassing dominance.

Elections in the US and Europe, Ukraine’s fight for national survival against the Kremlin’s armies, and the quest for future integrational strategies in the South Caucasus and the wider Black Sea region beg for proper analysis and policy suggestions. The forthcoming conference promises a nuanced exploration of global dynamics, addressing challenges faced by democracies amidst evolving global political and youth radicalization trends. Participants will engage in insightful discussions on the intricate interplay between authoritarian and democratic forces within the shifting landscape of the New World Order. The discourse will extend to opportunities and challenges associated with European enlargement. A dedicated segment will provide a timely update on security matters, particularly focusing on developments in the Black Sea region as well as that of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. The conference also seeks to explore the intricate interplay between global political dynamics and the electoral landscape in Georgia. The final roundtable brings together political decision-makers to engage in a dynamic discourse on the impact of global rivalries on Georgia’s upcoming elections.

Please note. that the number of guests for the conference is strictly limited. Attendance is only possible for individuals who have successfully registered and received a confirmation of their registration.

You can view conference pictures on our FB page.

Panel I – Security Update: Russia and the Black Sea Region Two Years After the Ukraine War 

This panel will provide a comprehensive update on the security landscape in the Black Sea region, with a particular focus on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Experts will evaluate the strategic shifts, military developments, and geopolitical consequences of the war. The discussion will also cover regional security initiatives and the role of international actors in promoting stability.

Radicalization Research Presentation & Panel Discussion – Challenges to Democracy: Unraveling Global Trends in Radicalization

 Research Presentation:

Nino Gozalishvili will present results of the extensive research conducted by the Security, Policy & Nationalism Research Center (UGSPN) unveiling the tendencies of radicalization amongst the Georgian young adults. Drawing on first-hand qualitative data, the study offers insights into the motivational factors influencing youth, mechanisms of (self-)recruitment and mobilization, and provides best international practices alongside tailored recommendations for de-radicalization. 

Challenges to Democracy: Unraveling Global Trends in Radicalization:

This panel will focus on the rising trends of radicalization within Western democracies and Eastern European countries like Georgia, analyzing how these movements threaten democratic norms and influence electoral outcomes worldwide. We will explore the factors driving radicalization among youth, including their motivations and the recruitment strategies employed by radical groups. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of media communications online, which have facilitated the spread of radical right ideologies. The discussion will be particularly relevant given the 2024 electoral landscape, marked by a significant number of national elections and the increasing presence of radical right-wing parties. By examining these issues, the panel aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how radicalization impacts democratic processes and what this means for future political stability globally.

Panel III – Unlocking Opportunities for All: European Enlargement and Expanding Horizons

Exploring the prospects and challenges of European enlargement, this panel will analyze the political, economic, and social implications for both current and potential member states. Participants will discuss the integration processes, policy frameworks, and the broader impact of European Union expansion on regional stability and development.

Panel IV – Global Electoral Dynamics: Navigating the Interplay Between Authoritarian and  Democratic Forces in the New World Order

Keynote Speaker –  João Gomes Cravinho – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal

Panel Discussion: In this election super-year of 2024, marked by eighty-three national elections in seventy-eight states, this panel will explore the global rise of populism, nationalism, and authoritarian policies. Participants will analyze how these trends are reshaping electoral landscapes worldwide, challenging democratic norms, and influencing governance. The discussion will focus on the interplay between authoritarian and democratic forces, examining the strategies used by authoritarian regimes to impact elections and the measures democracies can adopt to counter these influences and protect electoral integrity.

Round Table Discussion: Georgian Politics, Risks, Perceptions and Reality

This roundtable will bring together political decision-makers to discuss the implications of global rivalries on Georgia’s electoral landscape. The conversation will highlight how international political dynamics shape local elections, the challenges faced by Georgian democracy, and potential policy responses to ensure free and fair electoral processes amidst external pressures.

Invited Speakers

Dr. Mustafa Aydin

Mustafa Aydın is a Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University (Istanbul), and the President of International Relations Council of Turkey. Previously, he worked at Ankara University (1994-2005) and Economy and Technology University (2005-2009), and was the Rector of Kadir Has University between 2010 and 2018. Professor Aydın was guest researcher and/or lecturer at Michigan (1998), Harvard (2002, Fulbright fellow), and Athens (2003, Onassis Fellow) universities, as well as at Richardson Institute for Peace Studies (1999, Unesco Fellow), the EU Institute for Security Studies (2003) and the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (2018). He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Art, Greek-Turkish Forum, Global Relations Forum, European Leadership Network, International Studies Association, Turkish Atlantic Council, and the Turkish Political Sciences Association. He was member of Economy and Foreign Policy Study Group of the President of Turkey (2003-2009), Co-Coordinator of the International Commission on Black Sea (2010); and Director of International Policy Research Institute (2005-2011). Prof. Aydın’s areas of interest include international politics, foreign policy analysis, security issues related to Central Asia, Caucasus, the Black Sea and the Middle East, as well as Turkish foreign and security policies. Some of his works are International Security Today; Understanding Change and Debating Security (with K. Ifantis, 2006); Turkish Foreign and Security Policy (2006); Turkish Foreign Policy; Old Problems, New Parameters (2010); and Non-Traditional Security Threats and Regional Cooperation in the Southern Caucasus (2011)

Graham Brookie

Graham Brookie is the Atlantic Council’s vice president for technology programs and strategy, as well as the senior director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), based in Washington, DC. 

In his role as vice president, Brookie oversees the Atlantic Council Technology Programs (ACtech)—including DFRLab, the GeoTech Center, the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, the Democracy + Tech Initiative, and a newly formed Capacity Building Initiative. These programs work together to shape an era of increasing geopolitical competition and rapid technological change. The core of ACtech’s approach is technical research that can inform policy and build communities of action. Brookie also oversees the coordination of the Council’s broader technology-related work, investment in expanding expertise, and collaboration across the Council’s sixteen programs and centers. 

Brookie joined the Atlantic Council in 2017 and was named director of the DFRLab when it was launched as a center. The DFRLab has distinguished itself as a pioneer in open-source research, working at the intersection of governance, technology, security, and social media. Brookie grew the DFRLab from a start-up to a global leader with over three dozen staff across seventeen countries, a capacity-building practice that has connected and empowered over four thousand emerging experts in over 150 countries, and a policy practice named the Democracy + Tech Initiative, which has shaped how digital technologies are designed, funded, and governed launched in 2019.  

Prior to joining the DFRLab, Brookie served in various positions at the White House and National Security Council. His longest role in government was as the adviser to the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism (APHSCT), the US president’s top aide for cybersecurity, counterterrorism, intelligence, and homeland security issues. His most recent government role was as an adviser for strategic communications with a focus on digital strategy, audience engagement, and coordinating a cohesive record of former US President Barack Obama’s national security and foreign policy. He also worked in the East Asia, Middle East, and North Africa directorates at the National Security Council. 

Brookie graduated cum laude with degrees from American University in Washington, DC. He also completed the London School of Economics’ general course. He is a native of Durango, Colorado

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the U.S. National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies and a Non-Resident Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). His research focuses on Russian foreign policy, Eurasian geopolitics, and the role of history and memory in international relations. He is the author of the books Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security (Yale, 2022) and Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009, 2012). He also writes frequently for Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks and other outlets.

Dr. Mankoff was previously a senior fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS and served as an adviser on U.S.-Russia relations at the U.S. Department of State as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. From 2008 to 2010, he was associate director of International Security Studies at Yale University and an adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also held the John M. Olin National Security Fellowship at Harvard University (2006-07) and the Henry Chauncey Fellowship at Yale University (2007-08). Dr. Mankoff received undergraduate degrees in international studies and Russian from the University of Oklahoma, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Yale University. He is a Truman National Security Fellow and a past Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Constantin Iordachi

Prof. Dr. habil. Constantin IORDACHI is Professor of history at the Central European University, Budapest; editor-in-chief of CEU Review of Books, co-editor-in-chief of the journal East Central-Europe (Leiden: Brill); and consultant editor of Fascism: Comparative Fascist Studies (Leiden: Brill). He has published widely on comparative history in Central Europe, mostly on citizenship, the history of fascism and the Holocaust, and the collectivization of agriculture and has (co-)edited over twenty collective volumes. His most recent publications include:  The Fascist Faith of the Legion “Archangel Michael” in Romania, 1927–1941: Martyrdom and National Purification (Routledge,, 2023) - Hungarian edition: A fasiszta Vasgárda Romániában, 1927–1941. Karizma, politika, erőszak (Budapest: L'Harmattan, 1st ed. 2017, second ed. 2018);  andLiberalism, Constitutional Nationalism, and Minorities: The Making of Romanian Citizenship, c. 1750–1918 (Brill, 2019); “Intermediaries as Change Agents: Translating, Interpreting, and Expanding Socialism,” The Russian Review 1 (2023) 1-14 (with Shaw, Charles); and “’Why We Have Become Revolutionaries and Murderers’: Radicalization, Terrorism, and Fascism in the Ustaša–Croatian Revolutionary Organization,” Terrorism and Political Violence (2022) (with Goran Miljan). Iordachi is also a member of the Academic Committee of the House of European History, Brussels, and a member of the Academia Europaea-The Academic of Europe. In the current academic year, Iordachi is a Senior Fellow at The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies.

Amb. Gigi Gigiadze

Gigi Gigiadze joined the Economic Policy Research Center as Senior Fellow in March 2021. In 2001 he graduated from Georgian Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University with the Master’s Degree in international relations. Throughout different periods he studied in Germany and in 1999 as the recipient of the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. scholarship spent one academic year at the University of Hamburg where he studied political and social sciences.

As a career diplomat Gigi Gigiadze has 24 years of working experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Since 2000 he held different positions at the Ministry’s European Affairs Department, where he was in charge of bilateral relations with the West European countries and later became the head of the same department.

Between 2014-2016 in the capacity of the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Gigi Gigiadze was in charge of the bilateral relations with the neighboring countries, European countries and the European Union. At the same time, he was chief negotiator of the Georgian side with the European Union on the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP).

During his extensive diplomatic career Gigi Gigiadze served in the Georgian diplomatic missions in Athens and Berlin, where he was in charge of political as well as consular issues. Until March 2021 Gigi Gigiadze was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Iceland with residence in Copenhagen.

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