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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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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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 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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Polling Wars in Georgia: Can it undermine public trust?

Expert Comment #13 | October, 2020

In democracies, opinion polls are a vital tool which offers politicians, parties, legislators and policy-makers a unique glance at the views and preferences of the public. In recent months, the Georgian public has been bombarded with the results of various opinion polls. In addition to polls conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which have long provided the Georgian public and political actors with such data, a number of TV stations and political parties have decided to launch, and publish, the results of their own public opinion surveys. (more…)

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What Are the Political Perspectives for Non-liberal Groups in Georgia?

Expert Comment #12 | June, 2020

Possible political success of non-liberal groups with nationalist sentiments poses new challenges to important issues such as rule of law, minority rights, and Euro-Atlantic foreign policy orientation of the country. Given the context of fragile democratization of Georgia, such tendency is more noteworthy. (more…)

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The Rise of National-Populism: Implications for Georgian Democracy

Expert Comment #11 | June, 2020

Over the past decade, populist right-wing extremist groups have become increasingly vocal and visible in Georgia. Some of these groups exist as informal actors on social media, while others are formally registered as political parties, NGOs or media organizations. Although these groups differ in a number of ways, their common denominator is their ethno-religious focus, and anti-globalization, anti-liberal, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic sentiments. (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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What does the veto on opening talks with Albania and North Macedonia mean for the European aspirations of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine?

Expert Comment #9 | November, 2019

On October 15, EU ministers failed to agree to start the talks that could lead to Albania and North Macedonia joining the EU. While a handful of countries opposed the process with respect to Albania, only France vetoed opening talks with North Macedonia. After the meeting, France found itself in the spotlight as the only country that vetoed starting talks with both countries. The day after the meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron referred to the system for accepting new members as “bizarre” and called for reforming the procedure. (more…)

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Would temporary suspension of NATO’s Article 5 over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region eliminate Russia’s de facto veto on Georgia’s North-Atlantic aspirations?

Expert Comment #8 / October 2019

On September 10, while attending the 5th Annual Tbilisi International Conference organized by the McCain Institute and Economic Policy Research Center, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that the Georgian government (more…)

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