Georgia: A Political History since Independence
The revival of geopolitics after the collapse of the USSR, combined with a renewed interest in nationalism, contributed to a wave of Western studies of Georgia as a source of ethnic conflict, Great Power politics, and energy competition. These themes, though important, are one-sided, according to the speaker. Georgian political culture, social relations, local government, employment - the daily bread of political life - have been overshadowed by the sensational antics of Georgia’s elites. Tip O’Neill’s dictum that “all politics is local” takes us beyond abstract formulae here at home, but we often fail to apply it to the study of foreign states. Jones will argue that we cannot explain Georgian politics or effectively explore the challenges it presents for Western policy-makers without understanding the transformation of Georgians’ own world, and the rise of new interests, values, and groups.
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The Kennan Institute speaker series is made possible through the generous support of the Title VIII Program of the U.S. Department of State.