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Biden’s Vision for Global Democracy in a post-Afghanistan: What Does Georgia Need to Consider?

Nino Samkharadze

Joe Biden’s vision for Global Democracy is so important in the US foreign policy strategy that it is even referred to as the “Biden Doctrine”(Brands 2021). However, even in the new administration’s first few days, many had already begun voicing their doubts (Adler and Wertheim 2020). Needless to say, the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan further complicated Washington’s grand plan (Biden 2020) to lead an “Alliance of Democracies”. (more…)

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Georgia’s European Perspective: Expert Interview with Professor Dr. Tanja A. Börzel

Interview by Shota Kakabadze, GIP Junior Policy Analyst

“I think Georgian society, and I’m saying Georgian society, I’m not talking about politicians here, has to make up its mind. It cannot have both the cake and eat it at the same time. If you want to be part of Europe and the European Union, you have to accept European values.”

Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel is Professor of Political Science and holds the Chair for European Integration at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin. (more…)

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Geopolitical Implications of Nagorno Karabakh War for Georgia: Expectations from Great and Small Powers

Expert Comment #18 | July, 2021

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno Karabakh region culminated in a fierce military confrontation in October 2020. Dubbed the “Second Nagorno-Karabakh War”, the fighting ended with the November Agreement, according to which Armenia returned a part of the disputed enclave to Azerbaijan; this was then followed by internal political destabilization in Yerevan. The 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War unveiled the complexity of the long-running conflict and the interests of the major powers: Russia and Turkey emerged as the regional power brokers, while the West – i.e. the EU and the USA – showed themselves to be decidedly inactive. (more…)

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Polarization and Fragmentation of Georgian Political Landscape: Implications for Democracy Expert Interview with Dr. Fernando Casal Bértoa

Interview by Teona Zurabashvili, GIP Junior Policy Analyst

‘’Democracy is not a zero-sum game. The opposition also has the right to govern; they also have the right to win… In Georgia, the government should know that opposition is not their enemy or adversary. That’s one of the serious problems of Georgia. And that’s why democracy is not consolidated. (more…)

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Georgia After the Mission in Afghanistan: How to Reclaim Relevance in NATO’s Current Agenda

Nino Samkharadze

The decision of the USA and NATO to end an almost 20 year-long mission in Afghanistan poses additional challenges to Georgia’s path of Euro-Atlantic integration. Ending the mission, and withdrawing US and NATO forces will reduce Tbilisi’s direct military engagement with NATO. At the same time, the results of NATO summits held in June 2021 do not suggest there is much hope for deepening Georgia’s ties with NATO or furthering Georgia’s path towards Euro-Atlantic integration (NATO 2021a). This poses a question: at this stage of NATO-Georgia relations what kind of space and opportunities exist for Tbilisi to reclaim relevance in the Brussels agenda? (more…)

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GEODEM 2021 Conference Notes – Public Polls, Elections and Populism: Why Don’t We Trust the Political Processes in Georgia?

In the lead up to the 2021 elections, immaturity and unpredictability continue to be major characteristics of Georgian politics. Despite the hopes that Georgia would reaffirm its commitment to the path towards a consolidated liberal democracy, the 2020 parliamentary elections and the subsequent political crisis, once again, revealed a recurring plague of Georgia’s democratization efforts: the failure to conduct democratic elections that are uncontested and resolve political tensions rather than fuel them. As a result, while Georgia approaches its 30th anniversary of independence, (more…)

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The “German Question” that Baffles EU’s Neighbors: Can Berlin Become a New Center of Gravity for Associated Countries?

Bidzina Lebanidze

Since at least the US ”pivot“ to Asia under the administration of Barack Obama the Associated countries in the Eastern Partnership (EaP)[1] initiative have found themselves stuck in a political and security limbo, defined by a resurgent Russia, the declining role of the US and an EU struggling to cope with its new role as a geopolitical actor. Neither the turbulent years under Donald Trump nor a return to normalcy under Joe Biden have changed much for Kyiv and Tbilisi. Recent evidence shows that reorientation of US’s foreign policy away from a focus on Europe and towards Asia is a systemic change, not a personal choice, and will not be reversed anytime soon. (more…)

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Georgia’s Current Path to Democracy: Where Do We Stand and How Should We Improve? Expert Interview with Professor Julie A. George

Interview by Nino Samkharadze, GIP Junior Policy Analyst

“I think the Georgian revolutions aren’t good for democracy. You need “boring” institutional politics. You don’t need more parties in Georgia. You need better parties” (more…)

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Party Identity as the Basis for Splinter Party Electoral Success

Teona Zurabashvili 

The experience of splinter parties discussed in the memorandum shows that in order to achieve electoral success, splinter parties should form their independent party identity and synchronise it with their main political objectives. If the goal of forming Giorgi Gakharia’s splinter party is to remove other large opposition parties from the political arena and establish itself as an alternative force, in accordance with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s plan, the current political climate does not favour this. A combination of factors such as, political legacy, the party leader’s image, and policy positions of mainstream political parties, make it less likely to have a (more…)

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Right-wing Populism in Associated Countries: A Challenge for Democracy

DENIS CENUSA, TAMTA GELASHVILI, ANNA MEDVEDEVA

This policy paper provides a structured comparative analysis of the nationalist populist actors, discourses and strategies in three Associated[1] Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. It assesses the challenges of the radical right, nationalist populist groups on democratic developments in the Associated EaP countries: – the role of external actors, the tactics and policies used and how to deal with and manage this threat. The study was prepared by a group (more…)

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Monitoring the Implementation of the Code of Conduct by Political Parties in Georgia

This Document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the GIP and can under no circumstance be regarded as reflecting the position of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The 2020 Parliamentary elections were crucial not only as they triggered the political crisis of the immediate post-election period, but because they determined the political dynamics for the long-term development of the country. (more…)

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What Georgia should Expect from the U.S. New Administration?

Expert Comment #17 | June, 2021

Democracies all over the world have shared a wave of optimism emanating from Washington in the wake of Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House. A less mercurial man than his predecessor and with vastly greater political experience, Biden is looked on with hope that his new administration will restore the role of the U.S. as an active promoter – and defender – of liberal democracy. This latter point has been an encouraging sign for former Soviet states that have since turned their aspirations westward, as has a statement that the President has already made: “the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions… are over”. (more…)

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