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Media coverage of the ultranationalist groups in Georgia: Mapping the structure of the discourse

Working Paper, April 2021 / #15

This paper analyzes the patterns of media coverage of Georgian ultranationalist groups and their discourse as covered by the three Georgian mainstream TV channels: Rustavi2, Imedi TV, and the 1st Channel of the Georgian Public Broadcaster. It examines whether and how much the ultranationalist narratives penetrate media discourse in Georgia, whether the media gives space to the counter arguments to ultra-nationalism, and who are the actors who set the discursive agenda around these issues. (more…)

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Governmental Entities of Abkhazia and the Former Autonomous District of South Ossetia in Tbilisi: Power and Legitimacy in Exile

Working Paper, March 2021 / #12

The purpose of this research is to cast some light on the formation and maintenance of the governmental entities, which have been displaced from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, the two breakaway regions of Georgia. This research contains a detailed study of the history, structure, and function of these entities, which continue their activities in displacement: the Government of Abkhazia, the Supreme Council of Abkhazia, and the Administration of South Ossetia. (more…)

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Extreme Political Polarization: Implications for Georgian Democracy

Expert Comment #16 | March, 2021

The 2018 presidential election campaign and the subsequent political developments brought to the fore the extreme political polarization present in Georgia, a divide which has been steadily deepening ever since. Despite a pluralist and diverse media environment, both the 2018 presidential and 2020 parliamentary elections were characterized by negative campaigning, harsh rhetoric, and visible partisan bias of the country’s private broadcasting channels – all of which  made it difficult for voters to make an informed choice. (more…)

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Between Rhetoric and Action: Right-wing Populism in Georgia’s Parliamentary Life

Nino Samkharadze

Throughout the world, populism is on the rise in both governments and various political institutions. There are approximately five times the amount of populist forces leading political institutions today than there were in post-World War II Europe (Kyle & Meyer 2020). At the same time, the only parliamentary actor considered populist in Georgia is the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) (Silagadze 2020). (more…)

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Should Georgia Apply for EU Membership in 2024?

Expert Comment #15 | February, 2021

A plan to submit a formal application for EU membership by 2024 was announced recently by the ruling Georgian Dream party. The decision was announced a few weeks before the parliamentary election, during the election campaign, and was later confirmed by a parliamentary resolution. Setting a deadline for EU application is an ambitious move, especially considering the current enlargement fatigue in the EU. (more…)

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The Contested Triangle of Disinformation, Democratization and Populism in Georgia

Nino Gozalishvili

Freedom of expression is one of the essential pillars of democracy as we know it. Thus, normatively, democracies should not only pursue this value but also guarantee it to every citizen. However, free speech does not embrace just one definition:  different actors take the stage to interpret it in different ways.  In this milieu, “giving people a voice” has lately been seized by populist actors, an emergence of which has been observed in Georgia, as well. (more…)

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2020 Deliverables: How Strong is Strong Enough for Georgian Economy?

Tinatin Akhvlediani

In 2016, the EU and the EaP countries agreed on an ambitious agenda to deliver strengthened  economies by 2020. In line with this agenda, Georgia has developed an institutional and regulatory framework as foreseen by the Deliverables and has attracted mostly positive marks for its progress on reaching the 2020 Targets. However, in practice, the operational environment for the new regulatory frameworks remains weak and the country struggles to reap the benefits of aligning its laws with the EU. (more…)

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One Step Forward – One Step Back: The Dilemma of State Resilience in the Absence of Coordinated Policy

Shalva Dzebisashvili

The following work is an attempt to provide a detailed review and assessment of Georgia’s security system in the context of resilience – a concept that has become highly prominent lately. The importance of this concept derives not only from objective circumstances (noticeably the worsened military-political (security) environment), but also the recognition of this principle as a cornerstone of security and defense capabilities by the EU and the North-Atlantic Alliance. (more…)

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Georgia After the 2020 Parliamentary Elections: Expert Interview with Dr. Neil MacFarlane

Interview by Nino Samkharadze, GIP Junior Policy Analyst

As for EU policy towards Georgia, I personally think that the evolution of your relationship will be a long process. And the best thing that Georgians can do to push that along is internal development of internal institutions. (more…)

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The perspective of the far-right political parties in Georgia after 2020 elections

Expert Comment #14 | January, 2021

Up to ten right-wing conservative parties participated in the 2020 Parliamentary elections of Georgia, but according to the official reports of the Central Election Commission (CEC), only one of them – Alliance of Patriots of Georgia managed to cross the minimal threshold with 3.14% (60,480 votes). Similar to other opposition parties, two of the most prominent right-wing political parties – Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, whose representatives were the members of the previous parliament (with 88,097 votes, 5.1% in 2016 elections) (more…)

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The Judiciary Reform in Georgia and its Significance for the Idea of European Integration

Tinatin Erkvania, Bidzina Lebanidze

The efficient functioning of the judiciary and justice system remains the Achilles’ heel of Georgia’s political system. While four recent waves of reforms have formally improved and refined the quality of the judiciary institutionally, these reforms have not influenced the efficiency and transparency of the judicial system in any practical sense. (more…)

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Who Supports National Populism in Georgia? Drawing Parallels with the West

Nino Samkharadze

Understanding the rise in support for right-wing populism across Europe and the nature of right-wing populist support across social, economic and political lines, is an important topic for analysis. During the 2020 parliamentary election campaign in Georgia various political actors conducted gatherings to demonstrate the numbers of their supporters. One such group, The Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG), which is the right-wing populist actor, often inflated numbers of their supporters and their level of youth support. (more…)

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