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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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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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“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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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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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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How negative are elections, and does it matter? Mapping the use of negative campaigning in elections across the world.

Dr. Alessandro Nai[1]

The report by an international monitoring commission for the 2018 Presidential election in Georgia concluded that the November runoff “was marred by harsh rhetoric”, and that “the negative character of the campaign on both sides undermined the process.”[2]

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Polarization: What do we know about it and what can we do to combat it?

Dr. Fernando Casal Bértoa[1]

A specter is haunting Europe, the specter of polarization. In the last decade vote for anti-political-establishment parties, being them populist, radical and/or extreme has exponentially increased. And with it the distance between political parties and the irreconcilable differences (either ideological, personalistic or both) among voters.

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Georgia and the EU’s Eastern Partnership: a Swedish Perspective

Martin Kragh[1]

The ‘hybrid war’ waged by Russia against Ukraine since 2014, which was preceded by the short-lived Russia-Georgia War in 2008, has exposed the wider conflict between the respective goals and ambitions of the EU and Russia in their shared neighbourhood. The Kremlin’s belligerence towards Ukraine brought to the fore limitations of the EU’s traditional foreign policy approach – characterized by an emphasis on shared values, international law and norms, and a technocratic approach to reform, and forced EU governments to address the unintended geostrategic implications of the Eastern Partnership program covering Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Open Government Partnership (OGP) through the citizens’ lens – Why do we need OGP more than we think?

Ketevan Goletiani

According to the 2018 Freedom House report, Georgia remains classified as a hybrid regime with an aggregated score of 64 out of 100. Despite improvements in recent years, the country has faced setbacks in democratic development in terms of informal governance; the impact of oligarchic actors in the policy-making process; government interference with judicial independence, etc. Political corruption also remains a problem: the lack of measures to address high-level corruption resulted in a slight decline of public confidence in anticorruption institutions in 2017. (more…)

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