10/01/2020 magda

Analysing Illiberal Tendencies in Georgia

Project Duration: 01.2020 || 02.2021

Status: Ongoing

Donor: Open Society Georgia Foundation

Budget: $39,980.00

For a few years, the rise of populism has been identified as one of the main challenges to democracies worldwide. While they are not new for Georgia, the extreme right-wing movements have become especially active in the country over the past three years. Georgian right-wing populist parties and movements are also picking up points on migrants and basic arguments against liberalism that are similar to those being used by right-wing populist parties across the West. While far right groups in Georgia remain rather marginal, they are increasingly making advances and the potential for them to gain momentum is vividly present.  

Project goal: Revealing the factors causing the emergence of far-right radicalization in Georgia 

Project objective 1: Analyzing the key patterns of illiberal tendencies and movements in Georgia; 

Project objective 2: Raising awareness of the identified causes of radicalization among the broader society. 

Activities: 

A1. Series of public discussions featuring the following topics: 

  • Kick-off discussion to address the following questions: How to define modern populism? What are the trends and how does Georgia fit them?  
  • Is being nationalist mean Eurosceptic?  
  • Social roots of Georgian illiberal groups; 
  • Religious conservatism in Georgia: independent actor or part of the right-wing groups? Paradox of church popularity vs their own. 
  • Impact of populist and nationalist groups on the society: do their agendas resonate within the Georgian public? To what extent do they manage to alter public opinion and affect polarization? 
  • Media coverage of the illiberal, populist groups in Georgia: network analysis. 
  • Relations with political parties, and their response to illiberal groups. 
  • Political agenda of illiberal groups; 
  • International relations of religious conservatives groups. 

A2. Public outreach campaign 

The public outreach campaign will use innovative tools to communicate the messages based on analytical publications and promote discussions among the wider audiences, including:   

  • Video interviews with the invited international speakers invited, putting the challenges of Georgia into a wider international context: at least 4. 
  • Expert comments published compiling short analysis on selected questions by 4-5 Georgian and international experts: at least 3.  
  • Animated videos to promote online public discussion regarding the reasons behind the rise of the far right activism: 2 videos. 
  • Op-eds published in Georgian and international media. 
  • Movie screenings, selecting films that touch upon the project’s themes. Movie screenings will be followed by moderated discussions. 

A3. Closing conference organized in Tbilisi to present the project results. Tentative date: January 2021. 

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