Department of Social Geography



1. Vazha Neidze - Head of Department, Chief Researcher

2. George Meladze - Senior Researcher
3. Nana Nadareishvili - Senior Researcher
4. Mzia Tutberidze - Researcher
5. George Khomeriki - Researcher
6. Nana Kvirkvelia - Researcher
7. Givi Tavadze - Researcher
8. Sofiko Jvarsheishvili - Researcher
9. Alexander Berianidze - Assistant

Department of Social Geography is one of the oldest structural units of the Institute, which was originally created as a Department of Regional Economic Geography and then was named the Department of Economic Geography in 1945 just at entry of the Institute of Geography into the system of Academy of Sciences of Georgia. At the initial period the  Department of Economic Geography consistently was led by Nadim Nizharadze, Giorgi Gekhtman, Luarsab Karbelashvili, and  since 1953 during 25 years - by Giorgi Gvelesiani; in fact, under his leadership and main core of the researchers of the Department has been created (K. Antadze, M. Bokeria, N. Doreuli, N. Devidze, Zh. Zonenashvili, V. Kakabadze, R. Kverenchkhiladze, E. Kobakhidze, V. Neidze, E. Kochkiani, T. Ghvinianidze, M. Shengelaia, G. Tsagareli, V. Khukhunaishvili, V. Jaoshvili and others), which created the economic - geographical researches of regional and branch directions of agriculture and population of Georgia. In the last century the research of all historical - geographical areas of Georgia, its economic regions and industrial sites took place in the Department. Expeditions were organized outside of Kakheti (1953), Kvemo Kartli (1954), Tbilisi and its surrounding regions (1955), Zemo Imereti (1956 BC), Kvemo Imereti (1957), Racha-Lechkhumi (1958), Apkhazeti (1959), Achara (1960), Guria (1962), Samegrelo (1962) and Svaneti (1964) regions. In 1965-1968 the field trips pf the expedition groups were organized in different districts.

The following period was devoted to the economic - geographical study of Chiatura - Zestaponi (1969), Kutaisi (1970), Tbilisi - Rustavi (1972 BC) industrial sites, Samtskhe - Javakheti (1973), Kakheti (1974), Shida Kartli (1976), Kvemo Kartli (1977), the eastern Caucasus (1979), which is realized in a serial collective monographs (see the list in the annex). The monographs were of scientific - educational and also the practical value, as far as they facilitated the understanding of the correct distribution of industrial forces in the territory of our country, revealing of the natural - economic resources and their utilization.

Investigations of population and cities were conducted as well by the Department, which was proceeding under the supervision of Vakhtang Jaoshvili, the Academy member – correspondent, and the Doctor of Geographical Sciences.  In order to develop the topic on demo geography (Geography of Population) and geo urbanistics (Geography of Cities), the laboratory of population was set up, which has obtained the international recognition.

By initiative of Emil Kobakhidze, the Doctor of Geographical Sciences, in 1977 a Thematic Group of the  Recreation Geography was established at the Department,  which in 1980 was transformed into a laboratory and the papers created by him were devoted to the researches of  country,s resorts, cottage sites, and economic - geography of tourism.

The laboratory regional geography created by Roman Kverenchkhladze, the Doctor of Geographical Sciences, studied the different economic - geographical issues of different branches of economy in regional context. The following two collected papers were created under his leadership:

1. Regional Geography, Tbilisi, 1983 (in Russian language).

2. Regional Geography, Tbilisi, 1999.

Vazha Neidze, the Academy Doctor of Geography, developed the issues of the Geography of Sports; he worked out the second part of the geography of Georgia - "The social - economic geography", Tbilisi, 2003; under his leadership the following four Grant themes of the Academy of Sciences were implemented in 1997-2005:

1. Eurasian transport corridor (the segment of Georgia). Factors of sustainable functioning - 1997-1999.

2. The social - economic and geopolitical problems of development of border regions. 2000-2001.

3. The administrative districts and cities (Geographical Handbook). 2002-2003.

4. Formation of the regional centers. Social - geographical research. 2004-2005. 


The Heads of the Department:

1. Giorgi Gvelesiani - the Head of the Department of Economic Geography - 1953-1978.

2. Vakhtang Jaoshvili - the Head of the Laboratory of Geography of Population - 1969-1977, the Head of the Department of Social - Economic Geography - 1978-1990.

3. Emil Kobakhidze - the Head of the Laboratory of Recreational Geography - 1977-1990, the Head of the Department of Social - Economic Geography - 1990-1991.

4. Roman Kverenchkhiladze - the Head of the Laboratory of Regional Geography - 1979-1989.

5. Vazha Neidze - after being the Head of the Department of Social - Economic and Political Geography”, the Head of the Department of Social Geography since 1991 until now. 

Among the members of the Department four defended the Doctoral Degree and 15 - the Candidate Degree. 


Main scientific directions of the Department: 

1. The complex economic-geographical and social - geographical study of Georgia and its regions.

2. The geographical research of population, settlements (towns and villages) and urbanization of Georgia.

3. Special researches of the branch geography (industry, agriculture, transport, social infrastructure, tourism and resorts, Protected Areas and sports of Georgia).

4. The important topic: study of the mountain areas, the Black Sea coast, problems of social - economic development of the border regions, administrative - territorial organization of the country,  the political - geographic and social - economic problems of Georgia as an independent country.

5. Creation of maps of social - economic content for scientific publications and publication of atlases of different purposes (national, regional, thematic, training).

6. Contact with the governmental (Ministry, Department, Parliamentary Committee, the Commission and others.), non-governmental or private organizations, which is expressed by the participation in their program, planning, designing or other works and consultation and expert co-operation.

7. Creation of study (high education, school) and reference geographical papers.