Marketing Reforms: The Dimension of Narratives in Georgia’s Fight against Corruption
The multiple geographies approach, which combines the spatial-analytic and sociospatial perspectives, highlights the lack of homogenous experience for internally displaced persons across places. After laying out the significance of the multiple geographies approach, we show how geographical perspectives on the economic, material, and social circumstances of internally displaced persons in Georgia cast a different light on creating visibility for their experiences, possibilities for amelioration of circumstances, and the creation of spaces of displacement. We argue that data presentation in a categorical manner is useful for highlighting the forced migrant experience but that adding the sociospatial lens provides deeper insight into human security and people’s lived experiences. We do this through a discussion of the material and social life of internally displaced persons in collective centres as compared to those in private accommodation, by gender, and in different locations in Georgia. We argue that we are ultimately able to improve human security by refining our knowledge of the internally displaced persons’ experiences by highlighting spatial processes.
The article aims at analysing the transfer of anti-corruption norms and standards as well as the instrumental use of anti-corruption efforts in Georgia. Drawing on the literature on anthropology and development, I use Georgia as a case study to analyse how an anti-corruption discourse is translated into local agendas. In the first part, I analyse three different perspectives on the fight against corruption in Georgia. In the second part, I examine three different types of anti-corruption interventions to illustrate the various agendas pursued by actors in the anti-corruption field. First, I study the implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy as an example of a conflict between two actors (government and international organisation) to assert the pre-eminence of a particular anti-corruption expertise. Second, I examine the reform of the Chamber of Control of Georgia (CCG), in particular the confrontation between the CCG and the Ministry of Education (MoE) in 2007, as an example of how an external anti-corruption agenda is adapted to local political struggles. Third, I analyse civil society anti-corruption projects as examples of the attempt to maintain a particular donor discourse.
When most of Eastern Europe was struggling with dictatorships of one kind or another, the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) established a constitution, a parliamentary system with national elections, an active opposition, and a free press. Like the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, its successors emerged after 1991 from a bankrupt empire, and faced, yet again, the task of establishing a new economic, political and social system from scratch. In both 1918 and 1991, Georgia was confronted with a hostile Russia and followed a pro-Western and pro-democratic course. The top regional experts in this book explore the domestic and external parallels between the Georgian post-colonial governments of the early twentieth and twenty-first centuries. How did the inexperienced Georgian leaders in both eras deal with the challenge of secessionism, what were their state building strategies, and what did democracy mean to them? What did their electoral systems look like, why were their economic strategies so different, and how did they negotiate with the international community neighbouring threats. These are the central challenges of transitional governments around the world today. Georgia’s experience over one hundred years suggests that both history and contemporary political analysis offer the best (and most interesting) explanation of the often ambivalent outcomes.
After the end of the Cold War and the establishment of a unipolar international order, many scholars came to the conclusion that “balancing” as an instrument of state policy has disappeared. This research proves the opposite. First, it undertakes theoretical analysis of the “balancing dilemma” and defines the system of independent variables which can guarantee the absence of balancing. Second, the system is tested against empirical observations concentrating upon international developments since the September 2001. Research reveals that the current unipole could satisfy only part of non-balancing conditions, which is why a policy of balancing by a secondary power became observable. Third, the case of balancing (Russian foreign policy during and after the August 2008 Russia-Georgian conflict) is investigated. Fourth, the consequences of balancing are explored.
Over 200,000 people became internally displaced after several violent conflicts in the early 1990s in Georgia. For many internally displaced persons (IDPs), gender relations have been transformed significantly. This translates to many women taking on the role of breadwinner for their family, which often is accompanied by the process of demasculinization for men. In this article, we examine the construction of masculinities and analyze the gendered processes of displacement and living in post-displacement for Georgian IDPs from Abkhazia. We identify the formation of ‘traumatic masculinities’ as a result of the threats to, though not usurpation of, hegemonic masculinities. Drawing on interviews, we highlight how IDPs conceptualize gender norms and masculinities in Georgia. Despite the disruptions that displacement has brought about, with the subsequent challenges to IDPs’ ideal masculine roles, the discourses of hegemonic masculinities still predominate amongst IDPs. We further illustrate this point by identifying two separate gendered discourses of legitimization that attempt to reconcile hegemonic masculinities with the current contexts and circumstances that IDPs face. These new traumatic masculinities do coexist with hegemonic masculinities, although the latter are reformed and redefined as a result of the new contexts and new places within which they are performed.
The recent crisis in Ukraine cast a spotlight on those countries located between Russia and the EU, a region that had long existed beneath the radar of international politics. Indeed, even its name remains indeterminate: the term 'post-Soviet' is too encompassing (it could also designate Estonia or Tajikistan) while the notion of 'Eastern Europe' has long lost any geographical anchor. Instead, this space is often named after regional powers’ attempts to shape it: as the EU’s 'Eastern Neighbourhood' or as Russia’s 'Near Abroad'. The new region-building endeavour pursued by Russia through Eurasian integration frameworks is a crucial development in this regard.
On the 29 of May 2014, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which extends the provisions of the existing Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and comes into being in 2015. This integration regime has been lauded by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a new, better version of the European Union, and castigated by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as a new form of the Soviet Union. This report shows that it is neither. The EEU is a modern and far-reaching attempt at economic integration, but one that is weakened by internal and conceptual contradictions. What was designed as a geo-economic framework is increasingly becoming a geopolitical issue. In attempting to counter the influence of the EU’s alternative integration regime (the Eastern Partnership), Russia has shifted its diplomacy from persuasion to coercion, and Moscow is increasingly resorting to using the EEU as a foreign policy tool. The countries of the entredeux – literally, something placed between two things – are being forced to face to a geopolitical choice they had been trying to avoid, or at least to defuse. Divisive domestic politics, separatism, structural dependencies and the economic and political calculations of internal actors are key factors mediating and complicating their choice. This report focuses on these issues that are too often overlooked in the debate on Russia-EU regional competition.
Back in 2008 when the conflict between Russia and Georgia broke out, International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation initiated the most long-standing of dialogue efforts between Russian and Georgian high-profile political experts, named later, as per the site of the meetings, the Istanbul Process. GPPAC, as a global network of civil society organisations, working across conflicts on an international level, and perceived as being able to play an impartial role in facilitating the dialogue processes, supported and partnered this important initiative, offering a framework that provided the needed, politically neutral, environment for the Russian and Georgian sides to engage with each other.