Making Georgia’s democracy work: Western political conditionality and domestic agendas of Georgian political parties

Bidzina Lebanidze

External democracy promotion has not brought any tangible results to most countries in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), contrary to Western expectations. Georgia has been one of the few exceptions to that trend, however. The Black Sea country has advanced in terms of good and democratic governance over the last ten years and, even though the democratization process in Georgia remains unfinished, the country has experienced a number of democratic breakthroughs and, overall, democratic quality has increased. This policy brief explores how democratic conditionality – a key instrument of democracy promotion that has been frequently applied by the US and the EU (defined in the policy brief as the “West”) – has been shaping the process of democratization in Georgia; analyses the trends over the last ten years; and offers recommendations to democracy-promoting actors on how to further improve their conditionality-based strategies in Georgia – and to Georgian ruling and opposition parties on how to deal with external democratizing pressure.

 

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