Georgia Turns to the West for Ideas

Amid political tensions, the former Soviet state says Russia no longer influences its universities

Charles H. Fairbanks Jr. sits among a tight circle of a dozen students, each bent over a thick volume of Plato's Republic. They are discussing, in English, the concept of the city-state guided by philosophers as part of a "great books" course.

Here at Ilia Chavchavadze State University, where Mr. Fairbanks teaches six months a year, a radical change is taking place. No longer do