• Kornely Kakachia is Professor of Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and Director of Tbilisi based think tank Georgian Institute of Politics. His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was a recipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Black Sea Security program, (2009–2010) Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In his capacity as an expert on Georgian Domestic and Foreign policy, Kakachia has appeared on BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Le Monde, Figaro, VOA, as well as on Georgian radio and television stations to comment on Georgia’s foreign policy, regional security and other issues.

  • Shota Kakabadze is a Junior Policy Analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics. He is a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Tartu (Estonia). Shota has obtained his Masters degree in the European Union – Russia Studies from the same university. During his doctoral studies he has been a Swedish Institute Research Fellow at Uppsala University Institute of Russia and Eurasian Studies, as well as a Junior Researcher of International Relations at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. His main research interest includes discourses on national identity, foreign policy, Eastern Partnership. He has published several academic articles and a book chapter on Georgian national identity/foreign policy relationship.

12/09/2022 Kornely Kakachia

What’s Behind Georgian Dream’s Anti-Western Rhetoric and Foreign Policy Behavior

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Authors

  • Kornely Kakachia is Professor of Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and Director of Tbilisi based think tank Georgian Institute of Politics. His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was a recipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Black Sea Security program, (2009–2010) Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In his capacity as an expert on Georgian Domestic and Foreign policy, Kakachia has appeared on BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Le Monde, Figaro, VOA, as well as on Georgian radio and television stations to comment on Georgia’s foreign policy, regional security and other issues.

  • Shota Kakabadze is a Junior Policy Analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics. He is a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Tartu (Estonia). Shota has obtained his Masters degree in the European Union – Russia Studies from the same university. During his doctoral studies he has been a Swedish Institute Research Fellow at Uppsala University Institute of Russia and Eurasian Studies, as well as a Junior Researcher of International Relations at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. His main research interest includes discourses on national identity, foreign policy, Eastern Partnership. He has published several academic articles and a book chapter on Georgian national identity/foreign policy relationship.


Publish Date:
12-09-2022

The solidarity exhibited by the West in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has opened up a historical window of opportunity for some of the European Union’s eastern neighbors. This means that Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia now have a chance to accelerate the process of their European integration. However, while the three countries have long been seen as a single group (all three have Association Agreements with the EU) recent events have threatened to break the trio apart. While Kyiv and Chisinau were granted candidate status by the European Commission, this was postponed for Tbilisi. In this context, Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party has adopted a paradoxical strategy. On the one hand, the party states that it remains committed to Euro-Atlantic integration and, on the parliamentary level, it has already started work on fulfilling the conditions set by the EU for candidate status. Conversely, however, the rhetoric of the ruling party is at odds with this stated aim. Senior party figures have responded to Western criticism of alleged democratic backsliding in the country by levelling wild accusations such as the claim that the West is demanding that Georgia engages in the war with Russia (Interpressnews 2022). US and EU representatives have repeatedly denied these claims (Civil.ge 2022).[1]

Such rhetoric deals serious damage to the national interests of the country and threatens Georgia with gradual alienation from its strategic partners, potentially leaving it to face Russia alone. Understanding these risks, many in Georgian society wonder what benefit Georgian Dream seeks to gain by entering into open confrontation with US and EU officials. President Zourabichvili, who was elected with the support of the ruling party, has also noted that the rhetoric of the Georgian Dream is not conducive to obtaining candidate status and gives rise to numerous questions (Parulava 2022). Considering the allegations of democratic backsliding in the country and the postponement of its candidate status, the unleashing of such unprecedented aggressive discourse against Georgia’s closest partners raises questions about the loyalty of Georgian Dream to the foreign political course that has been pursued by the Georgian people for decades.

[1] Interestingly, the founder of Georgia Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has not contradicted particularly outlandish anti-Western accusations made by a group of MPs who left the ruling party but whom many commentators suspect are still acting on behalf of Georgian Dream. Furthermore, Irakli Kobakhdize, the party chair of Georgian Dream has made 57 critical comments about the West since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war as opposed to only nine critical statements about Russia as the aggressor (Kincha 2022).

Policy Memo #58 | September 2022

 

Photo Credit: INFORMATION CENTER ON NATO AND EU

Authors

  • Kornely Kakachia is Professor of Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and Director of Tbilisi based think tank Georgian Institute of Politics. His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was a recipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Black Sea Security program, (2009–2010) Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In his capacity as an expert on Georgian Domestic and Foreign policy, Kakachia has appeared on BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Le Monde, Figaro, VOA, as well as on Georgian radio and television stations to comment on Georgia’s foreign policy, regional security and other issues.

  • Shota Kakabadze is a Junior Policy Analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics. He is a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Tartu (Estonia). Shota has obtained his Masters degree in the European Union – Russia Studies from the same university. During his doctoral studies he has been a Swedish Institute Research Fellow at Uppsala University Institute of Russia and Eurasian Studies, as well as a Junior Researcher of International Relations at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. His main research interest includes discourses on national identity, foreign policy, Eastern Partnership. He has published several academic articles and a book chapter on Georgian national identity/foreign policy relationship.

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Kornely Kakachia

Kornely Kakachia is Professor of Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and Director of Tbilisi based think tank Georgian Institute of Politics. His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was a recipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Black Sea Security program, (2009–2010) Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In his capacity as an expert on Georgian Domestic and Foreign policy, Kakachia has appeared on BBC, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Le Monde, Figaro, VOA, as well as on Georgian radio and television stations to comment on Georgia’s foreign policy, regional security and other issues.