In November of 2003, a stolen election in the former Soviet republic of Georgia led to protests and the eventual resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze was replaced by a democratically elected government led by President Mikheil Saakashvili, who pledged to rebuild Georgia, orient it toward the West, and develop a European-style democracy. Known as the Rose Revolution, this early twenty-first-century democratic movement was only one of the so-called color revolutions (Orange in Ukraine, Tulip in Kyrgyzstan, and Cedar in Lebanon). What made democratic revolution in Georgia thrive when so many similar movements in the early part of the decade dissolved?
Lincoln A. Mitchell witnessed the Rose Revolution firsthand, even playing a role in its manifestation by working closely with key Georgian actors who brought about change. In Uncertain Democracy, Mitchell recounts the events that led to the overthrow of Shevardnadze and analyzes the factors that contributed to the staying power of the new regime. The book also explores the modest but indispensable role of the United States in contributing to the Rose Revolution and Georgia’s failure to live up to its democratic promise.
Uncertain Democracy is the first scholarly examination of Georgia’s recent political past. Drawing upon primary sources, secondary documents, and his own NGO experience, Mitchell presents a compelling case study of the effect of U.S. policy of promoting democracy abroad.
Mitchell, L. A. (2009). Uncertain Democracy: US Foreign Policy and Georgia’s Rose Revolution. University of Pennsylvania Press.