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 


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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

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