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Why do Georgian Political Parties Struggle to Negotiate? Structural Disincentives to Compromise-Based Politics

Salome Minesashvili

The recent political crisis following the contested election results of October 2020 drove both the opposition and the ruling party into a deadlock for several months, with respective displays of drastic demands and stiff resistance. The fact that they have gone through several rounds of meetings – albeit only with international facilitation – shows that both sides considered some type of agreement, at least ostensibly. (more…)

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Georgia After Karabakh: New Realities Demand New Answers

Dr. Grigol Gegelia

The Second Karabakh War has fundamentally reshaped the politics of the South Caucasus. While the influence of Russia and Turkey has expanded further, Iran has sought to secure its share of regional power, and Georgia has remained traditionally passive and neutral. (more…)

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Euroscepticism and religion in Georgian far-right groups’ political agenda

Working Paper, May 2021 / #13

Similar to other European countries, Georgia has seen a rise in far-right movements with a specific political agenda. Three far-right political parties, characterized by public demonstrations and radicalism, are particularly similar in rhetoric and messaging. Their main messages are built on the narrative of defending the Georgian nation from degradation and threats to Christianity. (more…)

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The First 100 Days of Georgian Dream Government: Reality and Challenges

Authors: Bidzina Lebanidze, Elguja Khokrishvili, Salome Kandelaki, Nino Samkharadze, Givi Silagadze

Georgia’s parliamentary elections in 2020 resulted in a new political crisis, which further complicated the grave situation in the country resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. In the context of the present crisis, the newly elected government is facing particular problems. It should both overcome the political crisis and improve the troubled socio-economic situation caused by the pandemic. Under these difficult circumstances, political parties also have an important role to play in creating a stable political environment and putting the country onto a normal development track by working with the Government.
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Georgia’s future with the European Union

Jelger Groeneveld

Since the 2003 Rose Revolution subsequent Georgian governments have strongly expressed their ambitions of western integration, specifically membership of NATO and the EU. These aspirations have been welcomed in Brussels and Washington, while membership remained a divisive issue within NATO and off the table in the EU. Since, Georgia has gradually become the spearhead of the EU’s eastern Neighbourhood policy, the Eastern Partnership, sealing an Association Agreement in 2014 and obtaining visa free travel to the EU Schengen zone in 2016. (more…)

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What are the prospects of the National Anti-Corruption Agency in Georgia?

Working Paper, April 2021 / #14

A draft law on the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Agency was submitted to the Parliament of Georgia in September 2020. In cooperation with Transparency International Georgia, the bill was drafted by five independent MPs in response to the challenge of political corruption in Georgia. The bill’s envision of the agency model draws on the experience of Singapore, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Consequently, it is presented as an effective mechanism to cope (more…)

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Media coverage of the ultranationalist groups in Georgia: Mapping the structure of the discourse

Working Paper, April 2021 / #15

This paper analyzes the patterns of media coverage of Georgian ultranationalist groups and their discourse as covered by the three Georgian mainstream TV channels: Rustavi2, Imedi TV, and the 1st Channel of the Georgian Public Broadcaster. It examines whether and how much the ultranationalist narratives penetrate media discourse in Georgia, whether the media gives space to the counter arguments to ultra-nationalism, and who are the actors who set the discursive agenda around these issues. (more…)

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Governmental Entities of Abkhazia and the Former Autonomous District of South Ossetia in Tbilisi: Power and Legitimacy in Exile

Working Paper, March 2021 / #12

The purpose of this research is to cast some light on the formation and maintenance of the governmental entities, which have been displaced from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, the two breakaway regions of Georgia. This research contains a detailed study of the history, structure, and function of these entities, which continue their activities in displacement: the Government of Abkhazia, the Supreme Council of Abkhazia, and the Administration of South Ossetia. (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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Between Rhetoric and Action: Right-wing Populism in Georgia’s Parliamentary Life

Nino Samkharadze

Throughout the world, populism is on the rise in both governments and various political institutions. There are approximately five times the amount of populist forces leading political institutions today than there were in post-World War II Europe (Kyle & Meyer 2020). At the same time, the only parliamentary actor considered populist in Georgia is the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) (Silagadze 2020). (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 Contested Triangle of Disinformation, Democratization and Populism in Georgia

Nino Gozalishvili

Freedom of expression is one of the essential pillars of democracy as we know it. Thus, normatively, democracies should not only pursue this value but also guarantee it to every citizen. However, free speech does not embrace just one definition:  different actors take the stage to interpret it in different ways.  In this milieu, “giving people a voice” has lately been seized by populist actors, an emergence of which has been observed in Georgia, as well. (more…)

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