Vasili Rukhadze

  • Visiting Lecturer

Vasili Rukhadze is a Visiting Lecturer of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He specializes in Comparative Politics and International Relations with area focus on the former Soviet Union and post-communist Eastern and Central Europe.

Dr. Rukhadze holds a Ph.D. in political science from Kent State University (2014) and an M.A. degree in political science from the City University of New York (2002). In 2007-2008, he was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, conducting academic research on the prospects of establishing new energy routes from the Caspian Sea basin to the European Union. In 2010, he served as a Chairman of the Georgian Truth Commission, overseeing a large scale research project, from its inception to its completion, about Georgia’s historical experiences under Tsarist and communist rule. In 2012-2018, he was a Political Analyst at the Washington, D.C. based research and analysis institution, Jamestown Foundation. Dr. Rukhadze is also the founder of Summer Institute of Politics in his country of birth, Georgia. The Institute is dedicated to training future democratic leaders in this post-Soviet nation.

Courses Taught

PS 1327 Politics of Revolution

PS 1386 Politics of Leadership

PS 1387 Politics of Water

PS 1431 Government and Politics of USSR and Russian Federation

PS 1510 Cold War

PS 1511 US Foreign Policy After WW II

PS 1521 Eastern Europe in World Politics

PS 1538 Politics of Oil

PIA 2306 Competing Perspectives on Global Energy

Education & Training

  • PhD, Kent State University, 2014

Representative Publications


The Causes of Post-Mobilization Leadership Change and Continuity: A Comparative Analysis of Post-Color Revolution in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. (2021).

Reflections from Washington: A Chronological Digest of Georgian Politics in 2012-2017. Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia: Glosa Publishing. (2017).

Tserilebi Amerikidan [The Letters from America]. Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia: Meridiani Publishing. (2017). 


"Sovereignty Issues in the Caucasus: Contested Ethnic and National Identities in Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia" (With Glen Duerr). Nationalities Affairs, 48: 30-47 (2016).

Working Papers

"Modern Urban Architecture in the Service of Semi-Authoritarian Regimes: Decoding the Unspoken Political Language in the Post-Soviet Georgia and Kazakhstan." To be Submitted to the Journal of Comparative Politics. (2022).

Research Interests

Regime Changes                                   Comparative Political Institutions

Democratization                                    Political Leadership

State-Building Processes                       Political Parties

Ethnic Conflicts                                     Energy Politics

Interstate Wars                                      Politics of Collective Memory