Georgia’s Orthodox Church was critical to the formation of the country’s identity and restoration of lost statehood in the 1990s. Today, Georgia must reconcile its conservative views with its ambitions for European integration.
The traditional geopolitical boundaries that have defined the South Caucasus in the post-Cold War era are shifting as the region becomes increasingly connected to the eastern Mediterranean and wider Middle East.
Ethno-nationalist tendencies dating back to the Soviet period have alienated Georgia’s ethnic minority groups. Integrating them into the country’s political, economic, and cultural life is essential for successful nation-building in Georgia.
Divisive public discourse in Georgia about the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has hurt broader peacebuilding prospects and obscured the issues faced by the communities in these territories.
Georgians’ collective memory has been shaped by pride in their struggle for independence since 1989 and fear of existential threats. This narrative has overshadowed other domestic challenges and increased Georgia’s reliance on individual leaders.
The similarities in images of protesters camped in tents in Armenia and Georgia over the past few months amid political crises in both countries have been striking. They are signs of the political openness and liberalization in both the states.
Despite its ambitions, modern Georgia continues to wait for Europe’s full embrace. To turn romantic notions into more concrete realities, the next generation of Georgians must carve out a special place for themselves on the margins of Europe.
For almost two decades, Georgie has been lauded as one of the region’s shining star democracies. However, a closer look at political developments since its 2003 “Rose Revolution” reveals repeated swings between democratic promise and authoritarian backsliding.
When it should be dealing with issues of global importance, Georgia’s government seems intent on shredding the country’s democratic credentials and waging an acrimonious political civil war on its domestic opponents.
The coronavirus has been a wake-up call for global civil society. It will come out of the pandemic looking very different—and this change will be a significant factor in a now highly fluid international politics.