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Biden’s Vision for Global Democracy After Afghanistan: What Does Georgia Need to Consider?

Nino Samkharadze

Joe Biden’s vision for Global Democracy is so important in the US foreign policy strategy that it is even referred to as the “Biden Doctrine”(Brands 2021). However, even in the new administration’s first few days, many had already begun voicing their doubts (Adler and Wertheim 2020). Needless to say, the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan further complicated Washington’s grand plan (Biden 2020) to lead an “Alliance of Democracies”. (more…)

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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). (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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…)

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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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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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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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Who Supports National Populism in Georgia? Drawing Parallels with the West

Nino Samkharadze

Understanding the rise in support for right-wing populism across Europe and the nature of right-wing populist support across social, economic and political lines, is an important topic for analysis. During the 2020 parliamentary election campaign in Georgia various political actors conducted gatherings to demonstrate the numbers of their supporters. One such group, The Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG), which is the right-wing populist actor, often inflated numbers of their supporters and their level of youth support. (more…)

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Eurosceptic, therefore, Pro-Russian?

Givi Silagadze

One can hardly find an organization in Georgia, political or otherwise, which openly declares that it is pro-Russian. However, the public realm as well as the media and NGO sectors are full of labels like pro-Russian, pro-Kremlin and pro-Putin. Often, Eurosceptic populist parties with ethno-nationalist inclinations are characterized by these tags but the argumentation behind the labeling is not always apparent. (more…)

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USA Foreign Policy in Transition: How a Biden Administration Impacts Georgia

Nino Samkharadze

The dramatic 2020 USA presidential elections are finally over with Joe Biden having defeated Donald Trump. [i] A new administration means new conditions for USA foreign relations in general, and of importance to us, Georgia. This piece focuses on the revitalization of traditional alliances, the promotion of democratic values beyond the USA, and Biden’s expected stance with Russia, all of which impact strategic relations between Washington and Tbilisi. (more…)

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