+1 Recommend
1 collections

      Call for Papers: Hierarchies of domesticity – spatial and social boundaries. Deadline for submissions is 30th September, 2024Full details can be read here.

      Articles to be no longer than 6,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography) and submitted in two forms: an anonymised version in which all references to the authors’ institution and publications are omitted; and a full version including the authors’ titles and institutional affiliations. For complete instructions on style, formatting, etc., please consult: https://www.plutojournals.com/wp-content/uploads/WOLG-Instructions-for-Authors2023.pdf 

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      The Georgian logistics revolution: questioning seamlessness across the New Silk Road



            Georgia, the post-Soviet republic in the South Caucasus, is undergoing its own logistics revolution. The government has pledged to complete by 2020 a spatial plan which aims to turn the country into a transit corridor for the New Silk Road. While this development is still underway, logistics zones - infrastructural hubs, free industrial zones (FIZ), manufacturing areas and malls - are emerging across the Georgian space. The New Silk Road initiative is promoting a perspective of a world without barriers, where logistics is not a means but an end: a world in which connectivity is productive in itself and where geopolitical reasoning has succumbed to geoeconomic calculations. This article aims at problematising this view by providing a grounded analysis of the workings of logistical spaces in Georgia, exploring the discourses, frictions and histories which engender capital accumulation within and beyond the Georgian space.


            Author and article information

            Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation
            Pluto Journals
            1 April 2019
            : 13
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/workorgalaboglob.13.issue-1 )
            : 190-206
            © Evelina Gambino, 2019

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata

            Sociology,Labor law,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics
            New Silk Road,Georgia,geopolitics,Free Industrial Zones,labour,geoeconomics


            1. Adams, V., M. Murphy & A. Clarke (2009) ‘Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality', Subjectivity, 28 (1):246-65.

            2. Akhter, M. (2018) ‘Geopolitics of the belt and space, state and capital in China and Pakistan', in N. Rossiter & R. Samaddar (eds), Logistical Asia: The Labour of Making a World Region, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan:221-43.

            3. Arvis, J.F., D. Saslavsky, L. Ojala, B. Shepherd, C. Busch & A. Raj (2014) Connecting to Compete 2014: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy: The Logistics Performance Index and Its Indicators, Washington, DC: World Bank.

            4. Barry, A. (2013) Material Politics: Disputes Along the Pipeline, Hoboken: John Wiley.

            5. Bear, L.K. (2015) Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt along a South Asian River, Redwood City: Stanford University Press.

            6. Bear, L.K., A. Ho, A. Tsing & S. Yanagisako (2015) ‘Gens: A feminist manifesto for the study of capitalism', Cultural Anthropology. Accessed June 7, 2018 from https://culanth.org/fieldsights/652-gens-a-feminist-manifesto-for-the-study-of-capitalism.

            7. Benton, L. (2010) A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

            8. Bernes, J. (2013) ‘Logistics, counterlogistics and the communist prospect'. Accessed June 26, 2018 from https://endnotes.org.uk/articles/21.

            9. Charaia, V. & V. Papava (2017) ‘Belt and road initiative: Implications for Georgia and China-Georgia economic relations', China International Studies, 67:122-39.

            10. Chkareuli, T. (2018) ‘Georgia's deadly construction sites', OC Media. Accessed March 29, 2019 from https://oc-media.org/in-pictures-georgia-s-deadly-construction-sites/.

            11. Chua, C. (Forthcoming) “‘Sunny island set in the sea”: Singapore's land reclamation as colonial project’, in D. Cowen, A. Mitchell, E. Paradis & B. Story (eds), Infrastructures of Citizenship: Digital Life in the Global City, Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

            12. Chubabria, T. (2017). ‘In Georgia, labour exploitation still pays', Open Democracy Russia. Accessed September 22, 2017 from https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/in-georgia-labour-exploitation-still-pays/.

            13. Cowen, D. (2010) ‘A geography of logistics: Market authority and the security of supply chains', Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100 (3):600-20.

            14. Cowen, D. (2014) The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

            15. Cowen, D. & N. Smith (2009) ‘After geopolitics? From the geopolitical social to geoeconomics', Antipode, 41 (1):22-48.

            16. Cuppini, N., M. Frapporti & M. Pirone (2015) ‘Logistics struggles in the Po valley region: Territorial transformations and processes of antagonistic subjectivation', South Atlantic Quarterly, 114 (1):119-34.

            17. Curcio, A. (2017) ‘Practicing militant inquiry: Composition, strike and betting in the logistics workers struggles in italy', Ephemera. Accessed March 29, 2019 from http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/practicing-militant-inquiry-composition-strike-and-betting-logistics-workers-struggles.

            18. Dittmer, J. (2010) Popular Culture, Geopolitics Identity, New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

            19. Dodds, K. & J. Sidaway (2004) ‘Halford Mackinder and the “geographical pivot of history”: A centennial retrospective’, The Geographical Journal, 170 (4):292-7.

            20. Easterling, K. (2005) Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerade, Cambridge: MIT Press.

            21. Easterling, K. (2014) Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, London: Verso.

            22. EMC (2018) ‘Deficiencies of the current labor safety reform in Georgia'. Accessed June 28, 2018 from https://emc.org.ge/en/products/shromis-usafrtkhoebis-mimdinare-reformis-naklovanebebi.

            23. German, T. (2008) ‘Corridor of power: The caucasus and energy security', Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 2 (2):64-72.

            24. Gilbreath, J. & T. Khalvashi (2013) ‘Georgia: Hard money, hard times', Eurasianet. Accessed December 12, 2018 from https://eurasianet.org/georgia-hard-money-hard-times.

            25. Grant, B. (2009) The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

            26. Grappi, G. (2016) Logistica, Roma: Ediesse Edizioni.

            27. Grappi, G. (2018) ‘Asia's era of infrastructure and the politics of corridors: Decoding the language of logistical governance', in B. Neilson, N. Rossiter & R. Samaddar (eds), Logistical Asia: The Labour of Making a World Region, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan:175-98.

            28. Gregson, N., M. Crang & N.A. Costantinos (2017) ‘Holding together logistical worlds: Friction, seams and circulation in the emerging “global warehouse”’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35 (3):381-98.

            29. Gvinjilia (2018) ‘ვისი ვალი გვაქს? დეპუტატი მევახშეება და ჩვენი მევალეები’ [Whose debt do we carry? The loan-shark MPs and our other creditors], Indigo. Accessed December 21, 2018 from http://indigo.com.ge/articles/community/visi-vali-gvakvs-deputati-mevaxsheebi-da-chveni-sxva-mevaleebi?fbclid=IwAR2i89T2SDVQ07appIXCpiIkmK3Z5bEwkF7JRUI_G5VcyI2uJt7DnGasKuA.

            30. Hualing Group (2015) Kutaisi Free Industrial Zone. Accessed June 6, 2018 from http://Hualing.ge/language/en/Hualing-free-industrial-zone/.

            31. Hualing Group (2017) Concept of the Free Zones. Accessed January 1, 2019 from https://hualingfiz.ge/about/concept-free-zones/.

            32. Japaridze, S. (2017) The Oligarchs’ Constitution. Accessed June 29, 2018 from https://jacobinmag.com/2017/06/georgia-constitution-georgian-dream-taxes-article-94.

            33. Kanngieser, A. (2013) ‘Tracking and tracing: Geographies of logistical governance and labouring bodies', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31:594-610.

            34. Khalili, L. (2016) ‘Coercion and capital in the making of Arabian transport infrastructures', Lecture at the Centre for American Studies and Research, University of Beirut, January 26, 2018.

            35. Khalvashi, T. (2015) Peripheral Affects: Shame, Publics and Performance on the Margins of the Republic of Georgia, PhD Dissertation, Copenhagen: Copenhagen University Press.

            36. Khalvashi, T. (2018) ‘The horizons of medea: Economies and cosmologies of dispossession in Georgia', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 24:804-25.

            37. Khelaia, N. (2018) ‘Georgia's last popular presidential elections', Left East. Accessed December 29, 2018 from http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/georgias-last-popular-presidential-elections-interview-with-nino-khelaia/?fbclid=IwAR1KF5i6iFEs2B0XPZW9YVgNrhW3i8O7VhALrhsx8pNuop4IOtApC2-nEck.

            38. Khundadze, T. (2018) ‘Bank reforms touted by Georgia's prime minister-to-be could spell the end of predatory lending'. Accessed June 29, 2018 from http://oc-media.org/opinion-bank-reforms-touted-by-georgias-prime-minister-to-be-could-spell-the-end-of-predatory-lending/.

            39. Kinkle, I. (2012) ‘Chronopolitics: A conceptual matrix', Progress in Human Geography, 35:673-90.

            40. Levinson, M. (2006) The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the Economy Bigger, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

            41. Liu, W. & M. Dunford (2016) ‘Inclusive globalization: Unpacking China's belt and road initiative', Area Development and Policy, 1 (3):323-40.

            42. Mackinder, H. (1904) ‘The geographical pivot of history', Geographical Journal, 4 (xxiii):421-37.

            43. Manning, P. (2012) Strangers in a Strange Land: Occidentalist Publics and Orientalist Geographies in Nineteenth-Century Georgian Imaginaries, Brighton: Academic Studies Press.

            44. Marriott, J. & M. Minio-Paluello (2012) The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London, London: Verso.

            45. Massey, D. (1992) ‘Politics and space/time', New Left Review, 196:65-84.

            46. Mezzadra, S. & B. Neilson (2013) ‘Extraction, logistics, finance global crisis and the politics of operations', Radical Philosophy, 178:8-18.

            47. Mitchell, L. (2017) ‘Enough already with these rankings', Georgia Analysis Blog. Accessed March 29, 2019 from http://lincolnmitchell.com/georgia-analysis/2017/2/23/enough-already-with-the-rankings.

            48. National Development and Reform Commission People's Republic of China (2015) ‘Vision and actions on jointly building silk road economic belt and 21st-century maritime silk road'. Accessed October 8, 2018 from http://en.ndrc.gov.cn/newsrelease/201503/t20150330_669367.html.

            49. Neilson, B. (2012) ‘Five theses on understanding logistics as power', Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 13 (3):322-39.

            50. Poti FIZ (2016) Free Industrial Zone. Accessed June 22, 2018 from http://www.potifreezone.ge/.

            51. Reifer, T. (2004) ‘Labor, race, and empire: Transport workers and trans-national empires of trade, production, and finance', in G. Gilbert, G. Fernandez, V. Price, D. Smith & L. Trinh Võ (eds), Labor versus Empire: Race, Gender, and Migration, London: Routledge:17-36.

            52. Roitman, J. (2003) ‘Unsanctioned wealth; or, the productivity of debt in Northern Cameroon', Public Culture, 15 (2):211-37.

            53. Sharp, J. (2003) ‘Indigestible geopolitics: The many readings of the digest', Geopolitics, 8 (2):157-206.

            54. Toscano, A. (2015) ‘Landscapes of capital', Talk at the Johann Jacobs Museum, on the occasion of the exhibition and launch of Allan Sekula's Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum. Accessed June 22, 2018 from https://cartographiesoftheabsolute.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/landscapes-of-capital/.

            55. Tsereteli, M. (2014) ‘Georgia as a geopolitical pivot: Past, present and future', in S. Jones (ed.), The Making of Modern Georgia 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and its Successors, London: Routledge:74-94.

            56. Tsing, A. (2004) Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

            57. Tsing, A. (2009) ‘Supply chains and the human condition', Rethinking Marxism, 21 (2):148-76.

            58. Tsing, A. (2015) The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

            59. Wade, R. (2016) ‘Neoliberalism and industrial policy in Georgia'. Accessed June 29, 2018 from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/internationaldevelopment/2016/05/12/neoliberalism-and-industrial-policy-in-georgia-professor-robert-wade/.

            60. Weszkalnys, G. (2016) ‘A doubtful hope: Resource affect in a future oil economy: A doubtful hope', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 22 (S1):127-46.

            61. Zabakidze, M. & R. Beradze (2017) Georgia as a Transit Hub and its Increasing Potential in the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Tbilisi: PMCG Research.


            Comment on this article