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Observers praise Georgia’s fight against COVID-19, criticize Orthodox Church

Expert Polls #11, Georgian Institute of Politics, March 2020

The Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) conducted its eleventh expert poll from March 23 to 25. Forty Georgian and international scholars and political observers answered questions about the recent COVID-19 pandemic and Georgia’s resilience against it. The responses positively assessed the measures taken by the Georgian government and healthcare system and identified the non-compliance of the Georgian Orthodox Church and some citizens with quarantine and state of emergency rules as the most serious challenges.

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Rethinking EU Responses To Global And Diffuse Risks

Kornely Kakachia, Bidzina Lebanidze
Originally published by EU-LISTCO

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Cultural values or economic insecurity: What predicts mass support for right-wing populists?

Salome Minesashvili

Nation-wide surveys show that around 7% of Georgians identify with right-wing populist political parties. Among these parties, the Alliance of Georgian Patriots is already represented in the legislative body. What predicts support for such parties among individuals residing in Georgia? There are two major theories for the rising right-wing populism in the Western countries: cultural backlash and economic insecurity.  (more…)

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Large parties versus small parties in Georgia: Do party manifestos vary across parties?

Levan Kakhishvili

The manifestos of Georgian political parties are often overlooked by researchers. The documents are important because they offer insights into how parties position themselves and to what extent these positions are consistent with their claimed ideologies, however. An analysis of party manifestos and the results of the 2016 election can provide a baseline for the upcoming 2020 elections—as well as insightful recommendations for the competing political parties. (more…)

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Public Trust Towards Democracy and State Institutions: Influence of Populist Nationalist Groups

Gvantsa Davitashvili

Democratization of Georgia is challenged, inter alia, due to declining public trust to democracy and state institutions. In this discourse, increasing and intensive activities of populist nationalist groups introduce additional threat to development of democratic processes in the country. (more…)

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Who is (not) populist in Georgia? Making sense of the buzzword

Givi Silagadze

Despite its worldwide significance, the usage of the term “populism” globally as well as in the Georgian context seems to be far from unequivocal. The label “populism” might be employed to denote diverse phenomena including demagoguery, careless policies aimed at reaping electoral benefits, overpromising, popular behavior by politicians, frequent reference to “the ordinary people,” criticism towards “the elites”, etc.  (more…)

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Resilience and democracy: Can a pragmatic EU still promote democracy in Georgia?

Bidzina Lebanidze

Strengthening resilience in EU neighborhood states is a cornerstone of Brussels’ new ambitious global agenda. It aims to strengthen the states and societies that make up the EU neighborhood so they can better cope with challenges and crisis and adapt to fast changing political, social and economic environment. (more…)

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Deconstructing Modern Georgian Populism: Narratives from Political Parties to Social Movements

Nino Samkharadze

There has been a significant surge of populist rhetoric since 2012 within political-civil space, which is expressed in electoral success of populist parties and stirred up activities of populist social movements. Within the current populist environment, it can be distinguished parties and non-party actors with the similarities and differences in their narratives. (more…)

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Observers Warn Georgia’s Democracy is Deteriorating

Expert Polls #10, Georgian Institute of Politics, December 2019.

The Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) conducted its tenth expert poll from December 6 to 20. Twenty-three Georgian and international scholars and political observers answered questions about democratization and recent political dynamics in Georgia. The responses confirmed the overall negative view on Georgia’s political climate. Experts also had some   surprising responses in their assessments of political institutions and actors.  (more…)

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Proposal of Georgian Think Tanks on the Future Strategic Direction of the Eastern Partnership

The proposed publication was prepared by five Georgian think tanks analyzing Georgia-EU relations. The initiative was backed and coordinated by EU Integration Program of Open Society Georgia Foundation. This is the united effort of representatives of Georgian think tank community to respond to Eastern Partnership Structural consultation launched by European Union in 2019. (more…)

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Georgia’s Dangerous Slide Away From Democracy

Kornely Kakachia, Bidzina Lebanidze
Originally published by Carnegie Europe

It’s a repetition Georgia could do without.

This strategically important country in the Caucasus has been beset by yet another political crisis. This time, the catalyst was the government’s failure to follow through on its promise to reform Georgia’s electoral system. (more…)

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Democratic backsliding in Georgia?

Levan Kakhishvili
Originally posted by Institute for European Politics (IEP)

There is a long tradition in Georgia of reforming the electoral system. Each government has tried to adjust the system in a way that would help to guarantee the preservation of its own power. In June 2019, against the background of public protests, the current ruling party, Georgian Dream (GD), promised that it would amend the constitution in order to hold the 2020 parliamentary elections with a fully proportional voting system, including a natural barrier. (more…)

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