Zero-tolerance schooling: education policy, crime, and democracy in post-Soviet Georgia

Tangiashvili, N. and Slade, G. (2014) Zero-tolerance schooling: education policy, crime, and democracy in post-Soviet Georgia. Post-Soviet Affairs, 30(5), pp. 416-440. (doi: 10.1080/1060586X.2013.833400)

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This paper explores the consequences of the massive investment in criminal justice in Georgia following the Rose Revolution of 2003. We argue that this resulted in “governing through crime” – the outflow of criminal justice practices and logics into other unrelated policy spheres. We demonstrate this by looking at responses to the issue of safety in schools. We show that up to 2007, despite a moral panic surrounding school violence, policy-makers were able to resist knee-jerk punitive reactions in favor of evidence-based, preventive approaches in the relatively transparent atmosphere of Mikheil Saakashvili's first term. By 2008, however, schools increasingly began to become the objects of central government intervention and education policy became harsher and more punitive. In 2010, Police Academy-trained School Resource Officers were introduced into all schools throughout Georgia, with troubling consequences for both teachers and students. The paper shows that this move was primarily the result of the more interventionist, executive-driven, and opaque policy-making process in Saakashvili's second term, which left unchallenged the circulation of personnel, expertise, and policy from the hypertrophied criminal justice institutions into the education sphere.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Slade, Dr Gavin
Authors: Tangiashvili, N., and Slade, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Post-Soviet Affairs

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