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The Turkey-Russia Power Play Unfolding: Can Georgia Weather the “Frenemies” Trap?

Ivanna Machitidze

The developments resulting from Russia and Turkey’s turbulent relations have been shaping the political, economic and security landscape in the post-Cold War South Caucasus for three decades already. For Georgia it is a necessity to pursue a delicate maneuver due to the circumstances of its strategic partnership with Turkey, while simultaneously struggling to address Russia’s assertive and uncompromising stance towards Tbilisi. (more…)

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Is Georgian Populism Eurosceptic?

Givi Silagadze

The proliferation of populist actors in the political systems of European countries in the last two decades has been accompanied by the rise of Euroscepticism. The tandem of populism and Euroscepticism, as some scholars refer to it,[1] has proven to be at odds with liberal-democratic norms and might potentially remold the dynamics of national party competition, especially with respect to the European Union. (more…)

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Securing Energy Supply to Turkey: Should Ankara Continue to Invest into Azerbaijan’s Energy Sector?

Vugar Bakhshalizada

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Turkey developed strong relations with newly independent states in the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan became the main destination for Turkish investments in the region due to Azerbaijan’s significant amount of proven hydrocarbon resources. To this end, Turkey has invested around $11.8 billion in Azerbaijan, including $9.1 billion to oil and gas development (Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 2018). (more…)

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Regional Cooperation in Electricity Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for Georgia

Mariam Chachua

This policy brief analyzes multiple paths Georgia may take to strengthen its energy security and enhance regional cooperation in the electricity sector. The growing demand for electricity has gradually increased the country’s dependency on imported energy and must prioritize investment into power generation. Because it is a small country with limited access to global energy markets, Georgia must be able to provide state-level guarantees and be able to ensure regional cooperation in order to attract necessary investments (more…)

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Election of the dialogue-minded Bzhania – nothing new or turning point in Abkhaz-Georgian relations?

Expert Comment #10| May, 2020

On March 22, 2020, opposition candidate and former chief of the Abkhaz security service Aslan Bzhania won the so-called ‘snap presidential elections’ in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. The elections constitute the culmination of months-long political turmoil characterized by heated street protests, the alleged poisoning of Aslan Bzhania, the resignation of Putin-favorite Raul Khajimba and heavy Russian involvement in the process. (more…)

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“Every Cloud has its Silver Lining” – How is the Far Right Deploying the Coronavirus Outbreak in Georgia?

Nino Gozalishvili

The outbreak of COVID-19 has dominated global social and political discourses; including the discourse of far right actors. In their responses to phenomena such as (political) crises and the degree of socioeconomic integration – far right actors demonstrate a leverage to frame the pandemic and utilize exclusionary right-wing policy proposals. Globally, populist far right groups use, “a crisis of public knowledge,” in order to gain recognition and public legitimacy.[1]   (more…)

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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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