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GEODEM 2021 Conference notes – Public Polls, Elections and populism: Why Don’t We Trust the political Processes in Georgia?

In the lead up to the 2021 elections, immaturity and unpredictability continue to be major characteristics of Georgian politics. Despite the hopes that Georgia would reaffirm its commitment to the path towards a consolidated liberal democracy, the 2020 parliamentary elections and the subsequent political crisis, once again, revealed a recurring plague of Georgia’s democratization efforts: the failure to conduct democratic elections that are uncontested and resolve political tensions rather than fuel them. As a result, while Georgia approaches its 30th anniversary of independence, (more…)


Georgia After the Mission in Afghanistan: How to Reclaim Relevance in NATO’s Current Agenda

Nino Samkharadze

The decision of the USA and NATO to end an almost 20 year-long mission in Afghanistan poses additional challenges to Georgia’s path of Euro-Atlantic integration. Ending the mission, and withdrawing US and NATO forces will reduce Tbilisi’s direct military engagement with NATO. At the same time, the results of NATO summits held in June 2021 do not suggest there is much hope for deepening Georgia’s ties with NATO or furthering Georgia’s path towards Euro-Atlantic integration (NATO 2021a). This poses a question: at this stage of NATO-Georgia relations what kind of space and opportunities exist for Tbilisi to reclaim relevance in the Brussels agenda? (more…)


The “German Question” that baffles EU’s Neighbors: Can Berlin become a new center of gravity for Associated countries?

Bidzina Lebanidze

Since at least the US ”pivot“ to Asia under the administration of Barack Obama the Associated countries in the Eastern Partnership (EaP)[1] initiative have found themselves stuck in a political and security limbo, defined by a resurgent Russia, the declining role of the US and an EU struggling to cope with its new role as a geopolitical actor. Neither the turbulent years under Donald Trump nor a return to normalcy under Joe Biden have changed much for Kyiv and Tbilisi. Recent evidence shows that reorientation of US’s foreign policy away from a focus on Europe and towards Asia is a systemic change, not a personal choice, and will not be reversed anytime soon. (more…)


Georgia’s Current Path to Democracy: Where Do We Stand and How Should We Improve? Expert Interview with Professor Julie A. George

Interview by Nino Samkharadze, GIP Junior Policy Analyst

“I think the Georgian revolutions aren’t good for democracy. You need “boring” institutional politics. You don’t need more parties in Georgia. You need better parties” (more…)


Party Identity as the Basis for Splinter Party Electoral Success

Teona Zurabashvili 

The experience of splinter parties discussed in the memorandum shows that in order to achieve electoral success, splinter parties should form their independent party identity and synchronise it with their main political objectives. If the goal of forming Giorgi Gakharia’s splinter party is to remove other large opposition parties from the political arena and establish itself as an alternative force, in accordance with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s plan, the current political climate does not favour this. A combination of factors such as, political legacy, the party leader’s image, and policy positions of mainstream political parties, make it less likely to have a (more…)


Right-wing populism in Associated countries: A Challenge for Democracy


This policy paper provides a structured comparative analysis of the nationalist populist actors, discourses and strategies in three Associated[1] Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. It assesses the challenges of the radical right, nationalist populist groups on democratic developments in the Associated EaP countries: – the role of external actors, the tactics and policies used and how to deal with and manage this threat. The study was prepared by a group (more…)


Monitoring the Implementation of the Code of Conduct by Political Parties in Georgia

This Document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the GIP and can under no circumstance be regarded as reflecting the position of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The 2020 Parliamentary elections were crucial not only as they triggered the political crisis of the immediate post-election period, but because they determined the political dynamics for the long-term development of the country. (more…)


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…)


Compendium of Policy Documents

Levan Kakhishvili, Salome Minesashvili, Bidzina Lebanidze, Shota Kakabadze

The Georgian Institute of Politics is delighted to present Compendium 2021, the latest of our annual collection of policy documents dedicated to Georgia’s political processes, challenges, and prospects. (more…)


Radicalization of Georgian Party Politics: in Search of Long-term Stability

Bidzina Lebanidze

The recent post-election crisis highlighted the role of political radicalization as a major challenge for Georgia’s fragile democracy. Political radicalization in Georgia undermines the process of democratic consolidation and weakens state institutions in the country by contributing to mistrust among political actors, political disengagement of the electorate, polarization of political trust, and a general lack of political legitimacy. The polarization of political trust and a lack of political legitimacy of key state institutions – first of all, the judiciary and central election commission (CEC) leave the country without effective crisis mediating institutions (more…)


The European Union’s New Role in Georgia: Successful Mediation and a Way Ahead

Levan Kakhishvili

Consolidation of democracy is a lengthy and turbulent process, in which political crises can be a recurrent phenomenon. For Georgia, aiming to apply for the membership in the European Union (EU) by 2024, it is politically costly to let crises become unmanageable. However, the current political crisis, which started in (more…)


Quest for Credible Elections in Georgia: Is “E” the answer?

Shota Kakabadze

This policy paper discusses the idea of employing internet voting in elections in Georgia and all the advantages and disadvantages this offers. It engages with detailed analysis of the Estonian case as the only country that has been using E-voting nationwide for fifteen years, and then discusses its application in the Georgian context. (more…)