New Publications: July 2014

Project “Georgica” presents the brief overview of publications about Georgia issued in July, 2014.

Academic Articles

Berglund, C. (2014). Georgia between Dominant-Power Politics, Feckless Pluralism, and Democracy. Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, vol. 22, n. 3.

This article charts the last decade of Georgian politics (2003-2013) through theories of semi-authoritarianism and democratization. It first dissects Saakashvili’s system of dominant-power politics, which enabled state-building reforms, yet atrophied political competition. It then analyzes the nested two-level game between incumbents and opposition in the run-up to the 2012 parliamentary elections. After detailing the verdict of Election Day, the article turns to the tense cohabitation that next pushed Georgia in the direction of feckless pluralism. The last section examines if the new ruling party is taking Georgia in the direction of democratic reforms or authoritarian closure.

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Papava, V. (2014).  Georgia’s Economy: The Search for a Development Model. Problems of Economic Transition, vol. 57, n.3, 83-94. 

Since its declaration of independence, Georgia has failed to create an economic system that can provide the basis for stable economic development. The expectations and reforms undertaken after the “Rose Revolution” have not been met. What has developed as a result is a poor country’s consumer economic model. After the opposition victory in Georgia’s October 2012 parliamentary elections, another opportunity to create and develop a competitive real sector has appeared, but taking advantage of it will require a free trade regime with the European Union (and in the slightly more distant future, with the United States) and the resumption of trade with Russia. Concerted government action is necessary to implement these tasks.

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Serrano, S. (2014). The Georgian Church: Embodiment of National Unity or Opposition Force? Russian Politics and Law, vol. 52, n. 4, 74-92. 

The Georgian Orthodox Church is guided by the striving to embody the unity of the nation, but it constantly comes up against the diversity of society

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Sordia, G. (2014). Challenges of Minority Governance and Political Participation in Georgia. Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD), no. 64, 2-6. 

This article discusses state policies towards national minorities in Georgia. It explores the institutional framework of minority governance and identifies the main challenges the state is facing in the process of civil integration and participation of minorities. The analysis also assesses the National Concept on Tolerance and Civil Integration and Action Plan, the main document which regulates and defines state programs and activities in the field of minority integration.

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Metreveli, E. (2014). The Georgian State and Minority Relations. Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD), no. 64, 6-14.

The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between the Georgian state and its ethnic minority communities of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli. Specifically, the current issues and challenges hampering social cohesion are considered against the background of existing legacies and preconditions caused by the changing international environment.

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Oganesyan, M. (2014). Mixed Marriages in Georgia: Trends and Implications. Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD), no. 64, 14-17.

Mixed marriages is often regarded as an indicator of inter-group mixing and a group’s status within society. This article will examine major intermarriage trends in Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union by focusing on some of the key factors affecting mixed marriages and inter-group relations in the country.

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Minasian, S. (2014). Azerbaijan and Georgia: Assymetrical Relations. Central Asia and The Caucasus, Volume 15, Issue 2. 

The relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan are a key factor in regional politics and security in the Southern Caucasus. They strongly affect economic contacts and trade, as well as the implementation of all sorts of communication and energy projects. The two countries agree on many issues of regional policy, the way ethnopolitical conflicts should be settled, and the degree to which external actors could or should be involved. Turkey’s presence in bilateral Georgian-Azeri relations is another important factor that may end in a geopolitical triangle of sorts in the Southern Caucasus. On the other hand, these relations cannot and should not be described as a formalized full-scale political, let alone, military-political alliance with corresponding mutual obligations. The author discusses these and other aspects of bilateral relations, assesses the prospects for further cooperation, and points to the possible challenges and problems that might crop up later.

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Jijelava, D., & Vanclay, F. (2014). Social licence to operate through a gender lens: The challenges of including women’s interests in development assistance projects. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 1-11.

The paper analyses the concept of social licence to operate from a gender perspective. We examine the challenges associated with obtaining a gender-aware social licence for development assistance organizations working in conservative, traditional rural societies. We argue that during project activities, a development cooperation organization should take into account the contextual situation, especially in conservative societies, to ensure that women also benefit from their activities. Focusing on CARE International’s JOIN project in Georgia, we identify six challenges that aid agencies face: cultural protocols and gender roles reinforce and exacerbate women’s traditional disadvantage; the existing relationships between women and local authorities limits their opportunities; the limited mobility of women creates additional barriers; there is a gender disparity in access to information and resources; women are exploited as a means to access financial resources; and the out-migration of men means that many women are at risk of increasing vulnerability and may not benefit from development assistance projects.

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Eradze, I. (2014). Environmental Sustainability of Georgian Economic Policies in 2004-2013. Center for Social Sciences, Working Paper. 

The hereby study aims to analyze: How have the principles of sustainable development been followed in the process of Georgian economic development during Saakashvili’s government (2004-2013) in the framework of environmental sustainability and why? The main goal of the paper is to identify the understanding of development by Saakashvili’s government, analyze its compliance with sustainable development principles and study the reasons for their absence or existence.

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Modebadze, V., Sayın, F.M. & Yılmaz, R. (2014). Georgian–Turkish Relations since the Breakdown of Soviet Union. Çankırı Karatekin University Journal of The Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences. 4(1), 359-369.

This article analyzes Georgian – Turkish relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Georgia managed to establish relations with Turkey only after gaining independence. Nowadays Georgia has very close relations with its Southern neighbor. Due to its strategic location, Georgia occupies a significant place in Turkish foreign policy. Georgia is a necessary bridge connecting Turkey with Azerbaijan and Central Asian States. Furthermore, Georgia has become a key transit route for Caspian energy resources. For Georgia Turkey is a window to Europe and the largest trade partner. This article analyzes Georgian – Turkish relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Georgia managed to establish relations with Turkey only after gaining independence. Nowadays Georgia has very close relations with its Southern neighbor. Due to its strategic location, Georgia occupies a significant place in Turkish foreign policy. Georgia is a necessary bridge connecting Turkey with Azerbaijan and Central Asian States. Furthermore, Georgia has become a key transit route for Caspian energy resources. For Georgia Turkey is a window to Europe and the largest trade partner.

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Aliyev, H. (2014). The Effects of the Saakashvili Era Reforms on Informal Practices in the Republic of Georgia. Studies of Transition States and Societies, (6.1), 19-33.

Since the 2003 Rose Revolution, the Georgian government implemented a number of major institutional reforms which have succeeded in modernising Georgia’s state institutions, reducing corruption and ‘formalising’ the public sector. While the effects of Saakashvili’s reforms on state and institution-building, corruption and the rule of law have been examined by a large and growing body of academic literature, there has been little discussion about the impact of institutional changes on the previously widespread culture of informality in Georgia. This article explores the effects of Georgian institution-building from such aspects of informality as the use of informal networks and connections in exchanges of favours, gift-giving and other types of informal activities. The findings of this study, based on the analysis of recent surveys and in-depth interviews, conclude that the reforms succeeded in undermining the overall importance of informal practices in dealings with state bureaucracy, education system, healthcare, law enforcement, judiciary and some other areas previously dominated by informality. However, the reliance on informality did not disappear, and informal networks are still employed as coping mechanisms and as social safety nets.

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Think-Tank Reports

Dvali, A. & Badasyan E. (2014). Problems of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti and Foreign Policy Preferences of the Local Populations. Caucasian House. 

This paper discusses the basic problems of the regions populated by ethnic minorities, and the attitudes of the local population towards Georgia’s foreign policy. The research was conducted in two cities, Marneuli and Akhalkalaki. Interviewed respondents are representatives of local non-governmental organizations, the business sector, the media, religious institutions, political parties and local government. The study revealed the main factors that affect the formation of the foreign policy priorities of the respondents.

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Filed in: News

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Richard Bennet – Delivering on the Hope of the Rose Revolution: Public Sector Reform in Georgia, 2004-2009 Richard Bennet – Delivering on the Hope of the Rose Revolution: Public Sector Reform in Georgia, 2004-2009
David Rinnert – The Politics of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms in Development—Explaining Within‐Country Variation of Reform Outcomes in Georgia after the Rose Revolution David Rinnert – The Politics of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms in Development—Explaining Within‐Country Variation of Reform Outcomes in Georgia after the Rose Revolution
Kevin Tuite – Achilles and the Caucasus Kevin Tuite – Achilles and the Caucasus
Zaza Shatirishvili and Paul Manning – Why are the Dolls Laughing? Tbilisi Culture between “High Art” and Socialist Labor. Zaza Shatirishvili and Paul Manning – Why are the Dolls Laughing? Tbilisi Culture between “High Art” and Socialist Labor.

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