This article explores the impact of spatial location – place – on people’s attitudes by examining whether support for Stalin is concentrated in his birthplace: Gori, Georgia. Using a variety of multivariate statistical methods, including propensity score-matching, we examine a recent survey indicating high levels of admiration for Stalin in his home country. We explore two main questions: First, is there a “hometown effect” – do people in Gori love Stalin unconditionally because they came from the same place? Second, is Gori so exceptional from the rest of Georgia? We conclude that there is indeed a stronger level of support for Stalin in Gori, but when shifting scales and looking within the category, we find that the highest admiration stems from the town’s rural outskirts.

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Keywords Stalin, Gori, hometown effect, Georgia, propensity score-matching, spatial location
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Journal Caucasus Survey
Kabachnik, P., & Gugushvili, A. (2015). Unconditional love? Exploring hometown effect in Stalin's birthplace. Caucasus Survey, 3(2), 101–123. doi:10.1080/23761199.2015.1044305