Political Stability: the Georgian Way

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-1-53-62

V. ╠ukhanov (vadim_muhanov@inbox.ru),
University MGIMO, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., 119454, Moscow, Russian Federation; 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
A. Skakov (skakov09@gmail.com),
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12, Rozhdestvenka Str., 107031, Moscow, Russian Federation; 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The article analyzes political processes in Georgia, the dynamics of its political system, the role of Bidzina Ivanishvili as an “informal leader of the country.” Stepping into the shade, Ivanishvili remains the most influential and powerful person in Georgia, which without any serious loss allowed him to clear the coalition “Georgian Dream” of former political allies who became a burden to it. The research examines the process of its reformatting from a motley coalition into a political party controlled by one leader, as well as conditions that resulted in the victory of the ruling party (“Georgian Dream”) at parliamentary elections in October 2016, and the split of the main opposition force – the “United National Movement”. The main task of the ruling party and the ruling elite after the victory is the adoption of a new Constitution changing the electoral system and the President election system. In these circumstances, the dialogue with Russia having distinct “red lines” was put into cold storage. Some kind of normalization was achieved in 2012–2015 by stimulating the activation of economic contacts between Russia and Georgia. In the near future, there is no reason to expect any positive changes in bilateral relations. Furthermore, the socio-economic situation in Georgia is rather unstable, which is associated with devaluation of the lari, high fiscal deficit, lack of economic growth, high dependence of the Georgian economy on external factors, growth of external debt. A positive factor is the tourism boom, in particular owing to Russian tourists. Within the last three years, a huge tourist flow actually covered Georgia, with unprecedented numbers compared to the whole previous post-Soviet period. It is evident, however, that political stability achieved at the moment is fragile and temporary. In addition, there is public demand for the emergence of a “third force”. In this context, even the least important incident can play the role of a detonator. 

Keywords: Georgia, parliamentary elections, constitutional reform, Saakashvili, Ivanishvili, Georgia–Russia relations 


1. Fabrissio Vielmini: Where are We Going with this Stupid Confrontation? Golos Armenii, 18.06.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://golosarmenii.am/article/54650/fabrissio-vielmini-kuda-my-idem-s-etoj-durackoj-konfrontaciej? (accessed 18.06.2017).

2. END and Block Burchuladze Will Have to Cooperate in Parliament. Gruziya Online, 22.08.2016 (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://www.apsny.ge/2013/exp/1471926649.php (accessed 12.05.2017).

3. Unanyants Vladimir. Razval oppozitsii kak vozmozhnost’ dlya novogo starta [The Collapse of the Opposition as an Opportunity for a Fresh Start]. Ekho Kavkaza, 01.11.2016. └vailable at: http://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28089080.html.01.11.2016 (accessed 12.05.2017).

4. Skakov A. Yu., Mukhanov V. M. Vnutripoliticheskaya situatsiya v Gruzii [The Internal Political Situation in Georgia]. Postsovetskie gosudarstva: 25 let nezavisimogo razvitiya. Cbornik statei v 2-kh tt. T. II. Yuzhnyi Kavkaz [Post-Soviet States: 25 Years of Independent Development. A Collection of Articles in 2 Vols. Vol. II. The Southern Caucasus]. Moscow, IMEMO, 2017. ­­. 42-65.

5. Mukhanov V.M., Skakov A. Yu. Vybory v Gruzii 2016 g. i perspektivy rossiisko-gruzinskikh otnoshenii [Elections in Georgia, 2016 and Prospects of Russian-Georgian Relations]. Kontury global’nykh transformatsii: politika, ekonomika, pravo. Postsovetskoe prostranstvo kak sfera konflikta i dialoga, 2016, no. 5, vol. 9, pp. 77-94.

6. Skakov A. Yu. Parlamentskie vybory v Gruzii [Parliamentary Elections in Georgia]. Zapad – Vostok – Rossiya. 2016. Ezhegodnik IMEMO. Moscow, 2017, pp. 102-106.

7. Nodia Gia. Razbrod v “Natsional’nom dvizhenii” [The confusion in the “National movement”]. Novost.ge, 06.12.2016. └vailable at: http://novost.ge/2016/12/06/%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4-%D0%B2-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BC-%D0%B4%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B8/ (accessed 13.05.2017).

8. The National Movement Was Divided. Civil.ge, 12.01.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://civil.ge/rus/article.php?id=28824.12.01.2017 (accessed 12.05.2017).

9. Ablotiya Tengiz. Konstitutsionnyi bokserskii ring [Constitutional Boxing Ring]. Ekho Kavkaza, 01.05.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28462120.html (accessed 13.05.2017).

10. Plieva Nana. Gruziya v ozhidanii tret’ei sily [Georgia in Anticipation of the Third Force]. Ekho Kavkaza, 02.11.2016. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28091710.html (accessed 12.05.2017).

11. Paresishvili Mziya. Prezident Gruzii ob”yavlyaet boikot “mechtatelyam” [The President of Georgia Announces a Boycott of the “Dreamers”]. Ekho Kavkaza, 13.12.2016. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28174378.html (accessed 12.05.2017).

12. Unanyants Vladimir. Delo o tsianide: sledstvie zakoncheno, otkroite! [The Case of the Cyanide: the Consequence is Finished, Open Up!] Ekho Kavkaza, 05.05.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28470450.html (accessed 13.05.2017).

13. Bochorishvili Keti. Osennie vybory: sud’ba reformy i shansy kandidatov [Fall Elections: the Fate of Reforms and the Chances of Candidates]. Ekho Kavkaza, 27.04.2016. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28453859.html (accessed 12.05.2017).

14. Slovinskaya Anastasiya. Obzor gruzinskoi pressy [Review of the Georgian Press]. Ekho Kavkaza, 07.02.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28295173.html (accessed 12.05.2017).

15. Moniava Dmitrii. Delo Mukhtarly: bor’ba za initsiativu [Case Mukhtarly: the Struggle for the Initiative]. Ekho Kavkaza, 20.06.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28569441.html (accessed 25.06.2017).

16. Nodia Gia. Svoboda, narkotiki i vybory [Freedom, Drugs and Elections]. Ekho Kavkaza, 19.06.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28564815.html (accessed 25.06.2017).

17. Kalandiya David. Koronatsiya nachinaetsya [The Coronation Begins]. Ekho Kavkaza, 22.06.2017. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28573616.html (accessed 25.06.2017).

18. Melikyan Dzh. Obzor situatsii v Gruzii v dekabre 2015 goda (vnutrennyaya politika) [Overview of the Situation in Georgia in December 2015 (Domestic Policy)]. Fond “Noravank”, 21.02.2016. └vailable at: http://www.noravank.am/rus/articles/detail.php? ELEMENT_ID=14372 (accessed 15.05.2017).

19. Oragvelidze I. Padenie lari grozit kreditnym krizisom [Gel Drop Threatens Credit Crisis]. Ekho Kavkaza, 25.11.2016. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28139759.html (accessed 15.05.2017).

20. Oragvelidze I. Dollarovye kredity mozhno budet perevesti v lari [Dollar Cedits Can Be Transferred in the Gel]. Ekho Kavkaza, 29.11.2016. └vailable at: https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28146546.html (accessed 15.05.2017).

21. Paresishvili M. Obzor gruzinskoi pressy [Review of the Georgian Press]. Ekho Kavkaza, 29.11.2016. └vailable at: http://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/28146432.html (accessed 15.05.2017).

22. Silaev N. Yu. Gruziya v 2015 godu. Opyt analiticheskogo obzora [Georgia in 2015. Experience of Analytical Review]. Mezhdunarodnaya analitika, 2016, no. 2(16), pp. 97-112.

23. Kolichestvo turistov v Gruziyu sokratilos’ v I kvartale na 2% [The Number of Tourists in Georgia Has Decreased in the First Quarter By 2%. Sputnik-Gruziya, 01.05.2015 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://sputnik-georgia.ru/economy/20150501/217583420.html (accessed 15.05.2017).

24. In 2016 Georgia Was Visited By a Record Number of Russians. RIA Novosti, 04.01.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://ria.ru/tourism/20170104/1485150556.html (accessed 15.05.2017).

25. Georgia is Preparing to Welcome a Record Number of Tourists. Turister.ru, 17.04.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://www.tourister.ru/world/asia/georgia/news/12423 (accessed 18.06.2017).

26. The Number of Russian Tourists in Georgia Increased by a Quarter Kavkazskii uzel, 02.05.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/302007/ (accessed 18.06.2017).

27. The Number of Visitors to Georgia Tourists in 2016 Up 19%. Novosti-Gruziya, 04.01.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://www.newsgeorgia.ge/48160-2/ (accessed 20.05.2017).

28. Dvali G. Gruziya stala odnim iz samykh populyarnykh turisticheskikh napravlenii [Georgia Became One of the Most Popular Tourist Destinations]. Kommersant, 10.01.2017. └vailable at: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3187848 (accessed 15.05.2017).

29. Georgia’s Foreign Debt Reached 109% of GDP. Novyi Region, 26.01.2017 (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://www.nregion.com/news.php?i=55256#.WT0QsBRi5qJ (accessed 15.05.2017).

30. Skakov A. Yu., Mukhanov V. M. Rossiisko-gruzinskie otnosheniya [Russian-Georgian Relations]. Postsovetskie gosudarstva: 25 let nezavisimogo razvitiya. Cbornik statei v 2-kh tt. Tom II. Yuzhnyi Kavkaz [Post-Soviet States: 25 Years of Independent Development. A Collection of Articles in 2 vols. Vol. II. The Southern Caucasus]. Moscow, IMEMO, 2017, ­­. 66-74.

31. Georgia Increased Its Export of Wine to Russia. Rossiiskaya gazeta, 03.07.2016 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://rg.ru/2016/03/07/gruziia-uvelichila-postavki-vina-v-rossiiu.html (accessed 02.11.2016).

32. Mirzayan G. Steklyannyi potolok. Budut li normalizovany otnosheniya mezhdu Rossiei i Gruziei? [The Glass Ceiling. Will Normalized Relations Between Russia and Georgia?] Lenta.ru, 07.06.2015. └vailable at: https://lenta.ru/articles/2015/06/07/gruzia/ (accessed 15.05.2017).

33. In Georgia, the Record-High Flow of Russian Tourists. Gazeta.ru, 01.02.2016 (In Russ.) └vailable at: https://www.gazeta.ru/lifestyle/news/2016/02/01/n_8195207.shtml (accessed 15.05.2017).

34. Remittances from Russia to Georgia Increased. Noev kovcheg, April 2017, no. 4(291) (In Russ.) └vailable at: http://noev-kovcheg.ru/mag/2017-04/all/ (accessed 15.05.2017). 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Mukhanov V., Skakov A. Political Stability: the Georgian Way. World E˝onomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, No 1, pp. 53-62. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-1-53-62

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Current Issue
2023, vol. 67, No. 2
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Critical Materials’ Supply Chains and US National Security 
  • Civilizational Challenges to Russia’s Sustainable Development  
  • Latin America: in Search of Own Way 
  • On Certain Research Approaches to the World Information and Communication Order 
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.