17/10/2023 GIP

Navigating the Nexus: Aligning Values and Interests in Georgian Foreign Policy

On October 13, the Georgian Institute of Politics and the KAS South Caucasus Office held the public discussion “Navigating the Nexus: Aligning Values and Interests in Georgian Foreign Policy.”

This edition of KAS-GIP Foreign Policy Talks featured a debate paper authored and presented by two prominent international experts working in Georgia, Prof. S. Neil MacFarlane, Oxford University, and Prof. Stephen Jones, Harvard University.

The discussion focused on the following questions:

  • Can a small country not protected by the NATO security umbrella nor by membership of the European Union afford to follow a value-based foreign policy?
  • Is the pragmatic foreign policy justified, and what are the risks or benefits of such an approach?

Professor Neil MacFarlane suggests that, given Russia’s increasing aggression in Ukraine and the absence of allied protection mechanisms, Georgia should strive to maintain a delicate balance between the West and Russia.

According to Professor Stephen F. Jones, particularly during significant geopolitical changes, there are more viable approaches than maintaining a neutral stance between Russia and the West. An independent and democratic Georgia cannot thrive within Russia’s evolving or reemerging international order by simply adopting a policy of balance. Instead, Georgia should capitalize on Russia’s weakening influence in the South Caucasus and pursue a foreign policy that centers on forming coalitions with Black Sea region countries, ultimately leading the nation towards membership in the European Union and NATO.

After the authors’ presentation, the meeting continued with a discussion format, where invited speakers and the audience engaged in a collective discussion.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,