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Polling Wars in Georgia: Can it undermine public trust?

Expert Comment #13 | October, 2020

In democracies, opinion polls are a vital tool which offers politicians, parties, legislators and policy-makers a unique glance at the views and preferences of the public. In recent months, the Georgian public has been bombarded with the results of various opinion polls. In addition to polls conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which have long provided the Georgian public and political actors with such data, a number of TV stations and political parties have decided to launch, and publish, the results of their own public opinion surveys. (more…)

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How the far-right in Georgia might impact the political agenda this October?

Adriana Stephan

Far-right groups have the potential to influence political agendas through narratives that hold both resonance and normative impact. Even absent formal political power or access to mainstream media, far-right groups can shape public discourse. Growing distrust towards political institutions, a highly-polarized political atmosphere, and an increasingly fraught information space provide fertile ground for far-right narratives to thrive in the runup to and during the October parliamentary elections. (more…)

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Georgian party political discourse on foreign policy non-alignment: How has the meaning changed since 1992?

Levan Kakhishvili

Issues related to foreign policy become salient on a regular basis in pre-election contexts in Georgia. Against the background of the upcoming parliamentary elections in October 2020, however, at least three parties have started to advocate for military neutrality or non-alignment as an optimal option for Georgian foreign policy. These parties include Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) (see, Patriots.ge 2020), United Georgia (UG) (see, Liberali 2016), and Free Georgia (FG) (see, Freegeorgia,ge 2020). (more…)

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Game of (open) Doors: NATO-Georgian Relations and Challenges for Sustainable Partnership

Kornely Kakachia, Bidzina Lebanidze, Shalva Dzebisashvili 

Since the 2008 Russia-Georgia War NATO-Georgia relations have been in limbo. While NATO has never formally closed its doors on Georgia, the alliance has become more skeptical of enlargement and warier of Russian interests. While Georgia’s practical NATO integration has continued to deepen, it still remains below the threshold of membership. This policy paper maps the main interests, mismatches, perceptions and misperceptions in the relations between NATO and Georgia. (more…)

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Youth Manifesto

The following manifesto was prepared within the framework of the project #GEOYOUTH2020 – “Engaging Youth in Politics in Georgia”, which was implemented by the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) in partnership with the German grassroots think tank Polis180 and with financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office. The initiative “Engaging Youth in Politics in Georgia” (May-September 2020) brought together over 150 participants across ten regional summits. (more…)

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5th Annual Democracy Conference (#GEODEM): Elections in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic: A new challenge for Georgia’s uncertain democracy? – Conference notes

This year is vitally important for Georgia’s democratic consolidation. The 2020 Parliamentary elections are a test which will determine the country’s political dynamic for the next decade. Despite the progress achieved with the help of the international community, several factors currently damage Georgia’s social-political environment. (more…)

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Do Ethnic Minorities Benefit from Georgia’s Europeanization?

Levan Kakhishvili

Georgia’s Europeanization has resulted in opportunities and both tangible and intangible benefits for Georgian society at large. However, as ethnic minorities are poorly integrated into Georgian social and political life, it is important to explore to what extent minority communities can access and enjoy these opportunities and benefits. This paper views Europeanization as formal rule transfer through a policy of conditionality and investigates how minorities perceive its consequences. (more…)

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Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Georgia: Barriers to Political Participation

Salome Kandelaki

The political integration of ethnic minorities is a complex process, and as Georgia remains a transitional democracy it still has a long way to go. Quality political participation of Azerbaijani and Armenian minorities at the national level remains a challenge. In Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions ethnic minorities have negligible impact on political decisions. Particularly, older generations of ethnic minorities, the majority of whom do not speak Georgian, are not informed about Georgia’s domestic or foreign policy priorities, and are subject to the unequal treatment. (more…)

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Establishing an Eastern Climate Partnership to Enhance Global Ambition: Lessons from EU-Georgia cooperation on climate change

Bram De Botselier

At a time when several countries that were key to the adoption of the Paris Agreement have a less favourable political context for climate action, the three associated EaP countries Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine show at least some political commitment to engage in global climate discussions. However, there is currently little cooperation between the EU and these countries in the field of international climate negotiations. (more…)

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Ethnic Minorities in the Context of Georgia’s European Integration: Is There a Room for Skepticism?

Nino Samkharadze

Ethnic minorities in Georgia maintain an ambivalent attitude towards European integration: on one hand, they value the practical improvements to their social and economic conditions which greater European integration promises. On the other hand, a majority of ethnic minority representatives feel skeptical towards European integration, which limits their engagement, including, by preventing various opportunities provided by the EU, such as visa liberalization, educational and economic programs. (more…)

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EU and Ethnic Minorities in Georgia: How to Counter Misinformation and Disruptive Communication

Salome Minesashvili

High public support is frequently claimed as a backbone of Georgia`s foreign policy direction and especially its ambition for membership in the European Union (EU). However, ethnic minorities in Georgia comprise a group whose unanimous approval the state’s foreign policy lacks. In comparison to ethnic Georgians, ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians in Georgia are significantly less supportive of Georgia`s potential membership in the European Union. (more…)

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Georgia’s Implementation of 20 Eastern Partnership Deliverables for 2020

The report “Georgia’s Implementation of 20 Eastern Partnership Deliverables for 2020” is prepared in the framework of the project “Assessing Georgia’s progress in 20 EaP Deliverables for 2020”, implemented by the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP), in partnership with the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia. (more…)

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