Iva Lomidze

Ilia State University-University of Münster


  • BA Studies: Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Sociology; Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. 2012-2016;
  • MA Studies: Master of Development Studies program, major in sociology; Lund University, Sweden. 2017-2019
  • Exchange Student at Lund University, Sweden; 2015-2016;
  • Invited Lecturer at Ilia State University; Teaching an undergraduate course Theories of Development; 2019-present;

The problem of difference is one of the central concerns of the ongoing debates between the proponents of deliberative and agonistic models of democracy. Agonist democrats criticize deliberative democracy for ignoring community-specific differences and plural forms of life, forcing identity-based difference to merge into one homogenous political project, and indicate the ontological impossibility of the power-free constitution of social relations organized by rational consensus. As an alternative to the political model based on public deliberation, agonistic democrats, mostly drawing on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notion of language games but also on post-structuralist theory and post-modern philosophy, reject the universally applicable rules either on substantive or procedural levels, and celebrate the understanding of politics as a context-specific, game-like terrain where struggles for recognition and formation of identities are the agonic game of freedom.

The offered research takes its starting point in the claim that while rejecting the notions of universal justice and universal reason and indicate problematic aspects of deliberative democracy in many important areas, the model of agonistic democracy fails to normatively ground the possibility of adjudication of difference and is unable to define how can just/legitimate claims be distinguished from unjust/illegitimate claims. In this sense, agonistic democracy creates a danger to encourage injustice and intolerance with the name of pluralism. To solve the shortcoming of the models of deliberative and agonistic democracy in relation to the problem of difference that is the main purpose of the offered research project, I will analyze: How can the idea of democratic representation of difference and pluralism be normatively grounded in a way that while avoids universal procedural or substantive norms, does not encourage injustice and intolerance? The central suggestion is that moral particularism criticizing meta-ethical and meta-epistemological prejudices of rationalism and defining reason as a “contingent matter” reliant upon the particular context, could provide an ontological ground to solve the problem of the adjudication of the difference without maintaining universally applicable moral principles.

  • 11/07/2016 – conference for undergraduate students in social science, ilia state university, Georgia

Topic: mythologization of political discourse: the case of Georgia

  • 15/10/2019 – conference visible and invisible religion – socio-political and cultural dimensions of religion in Georgia

Topic: Georgian Orthodox Church and Development Politics 

  • Swedish Institute (SI) Scholarship for MSc in Development Studies (120 ECTS) at Lund University, Lund, Sweden;
  • Erasmus Mundus scholarship for one semester exchange studies (30 ECTS) at the department of sociology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden;

I am pleased to be part of the An International Interdisciplinary Structured Doctoral Program “Democracy, Human Rights and Religion”.