Policy Memos

External Forces, Nationalism, and the Stagnation of Democratization in Georgia

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Since the so-called Rose Revolution, Georgia has been a promising testing ground for theories of international influence on democratization. The Georgian government was a collection of young “democrats,” heavily dependent on foreign (most importantly American) political, economic, technical, and moral support. However, Georgia slipped ever backwards in democracy rankings. What went wrong? Is there anything external actors could have done, or could do now, to support Georgian democratization? This paper tries to analyse whether foreign contributions were important for the democratization process in Georgia and why this most likely candidate for democracy promotion backtracked on democracy. It concludes with a discussion of the Barack Obama administration's chances for improving the prospects for Georgian democracy. [...]

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