This issue of ScholarForum showcases a diverse range of opinions, thoughts, and essays from Scholarship Programs’ current grantees and alumni on the controversial issue of corruption and governance and on the richly diverse and ancient lands of the Caucasus.
From views on the ultimate effects of brain drain in Belarus, to an overview of stifling injustices in Burma, our contributors span the globe in highlighting shortcomings in governance structures and the effects of corruption on ordinary citizens.
Essays on various aspects of life in the Caucasus appear from a number of voices, and not always from citizens of the region. While a critical eye is cast on the role of women in Armenian NGO sector by a local scholar and on the system of education in rural and urban Georgia, scholars from the Balkans and Moldova highlight the effects of international law on Abkhazia’s secession and the strength of Georgian identity on the political changes up to and after the Rose Revolution.
Visually, the edition features images of both ancient ruins and lush fields in Georgia, as well as everyday life in Azerbaijan. The struggles of those moving from a place they know as home are captured by Open Society Documentary Photography Project grantee Hayk Bianjyan.
Pages comprising the Academic Showcase allow Scholarship Programs’ recipients past and present to write abstracts or research summaries of their diverse work to date. This edition sees our Global Supplementary Grants scholars pursuing their PhD degrees in the United States present their research on human rights indicators and the effect of orphanages on the educational trajectories, while a former Undergraduate Exchange Program scholar summarizes her master's thesis research findings.