The ISET Policy Institute is one of the first university-based think-tanks in the South Caucasus. It is based at the International School of Economics (ISET) of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) in Georgia. Established in May 2011, ISET-PI builds upon ISET’s academic strength and TSU’s tradition of excellence and social engagement.
ISET itself is a young institution (it was founded in 2006), and while the idea of setting up a think-tank at the school has been floating around for a long time, it took several years before the school grew enough muscle to create an independent policy unit. ISET-PI hired some of the best ISET’s graduates in the capacity of research associates. ISET resident faculty and members of the ISET international community contribute their time as policy advisors and consultants. ISET-PI is headed by Eric Livny, who also serves as ISET’s executive director.
The Policy Institute is physically located on the ISET premises in the Vera district of Tbilisi and enjoys uninhibited access to ISET’s modern academic infrastructure, faculty, staff and students. Very importantly, ISET-PI inherited from the school a small but valuable research portfolio, including the now famous Khachapuri Index project. From inception, ISET-PI has received core support from the Open Society Institute’s Think Tank Fund. It is also a member of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE ) network, including such established centers of excellence in economics teaching and research as NES/CEFIR (Moscow), KIE/KSE (Kyiv), and BICEPS/SSE (Riga).