10/10/2019 magda

Confronting the Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Project Duration: 10.2019 || 09.2021

Status: Completed

Donor: National Endowment for Democracy


Budget: 155,806 USD

The project “Analyzing Democratic Challenges” explores how polarization, populism and lack of trust in institutions affect democratization in Georgia. As political and societal polarization deepens, democracies are under stress around the world. While political rivalry is part of the game in democratic system, in Georgia it has turned into extreme polarization, rather than pluralism, limiting the public narrative and manifesting beyond political groups. It has caused decline of public trust in the media, considered as a “source of disinformation” by part of the society; and the civil society organizations, especially think tanks, that face the challenges of “post-truth” era. Through interlinked activities, GIP will analyze the underlying causes of polarization in Georgia and its impact on the functioning of democracy.  

Project objectives: 
  • To better understand the rise of populist groups in Georgia and their impact on democratization. 
  • To identify and promote strategies and policy solutions to strengthen trust in Georgian political institutions 
  • Producing series of policy briefs and analytical papers on populism, polarization and its challenges to Georgia’s democracy. 
  • Hosting the International Conference on Democratization in Georgiawhere panel discussions are based on a series of policy briefs and conducted research. 
  • Conducting surveys of experts with respondents from political parties, academia, think tanks, and civil society. 
  • Conducting comparative analysis of the rise of populism in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to identify best practices in promoting democratization in their countries in the face of similar domestic and external challenges. 
  • GIP will hosting a policy colloquium with leaders of the main political parties prior to the elections 
  • Monitoring the policies of the winning party or coalition and producing a report following the new government’s first 100 days in office.