EDSN 2019 Conference on Democracy and Security

June 3, 2019


Holiday Inn Tbilisi

Join the Center for Social Sciences and the Eurasia Democratic Security Network (EDSN) for its 2019 conference on democracy and security in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Featuring a slate of distinguished speakers — including the 2018-19 cohort of EDSN fellows, prominent guest speakers, and invited experts — the 2019 conference will explore and articulate the linkages between democracy and security, with a particular emphasis on the practical policy issues in the broader Eurasia region and the wider world.

Panelists include:

  • Amb. Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia
  • Dr. Rosaria Puglisi, NATO Liaison Office in Georgia
  • Elizabeth Rood, Charges D’Affaires, U.S. Embassy Georgia
  • Dr. Maryna Vorotnyuk (EDSN Fellow and Central European University)
  • Dr. Kornely Kakachia (TSU and Georgian Institute of Politics)
  • Mihai Popsoi (EDSN Fellow and MP, Parliament of Moldova)
  • Dr. Giorgi Khelashvili (Advisor to Speaker, Parliament of Georgia)
  • Ana Tsurtsumia (EDSN Fellow and Program Manager at EWMI/ACCESS)
  • Dr. Anna Dolidze, High Council of Justice of Georgia
  • Tigran Grigoryan (EDSN Fellow and Founder, National Revival Party)
  • Babken DerGregorian, Acting Minister of Diaspora of Armenia

Download Conference Agenda

EDSN is a project of the Center for Social Sciences (Tbilisi) made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Zelenskiy faces tough choices amidst high expectations

By Maryna Vorotnyuk

On April 21, Ukraine held the second round of presidential elections where Ukrainian citizens had to choose between the incumbent president Petro Poroshenko and the popular comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelenskiy. With 73 percentof the vote, Zelenskiy secured a landslide victory across an absolute majority of Ukrainian regions. Zelenskiy is widely believed to reflect the voices of so-called “protest voters” – those who are dissatisfied with the way the state, from the economy to the public sector, is performing. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose political and ideological preferences remained intentionally vague, rode in on a wave of public dissatisfaction with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. He offered himself as an anti-system alternative – honest and unstained by political experience. Although he is allegedly supported by powerful Ukrainian oligarch and Poroshenko’s arch-rival Igor Kolomoisky, Ukrainian voters obviously believed that Zelenskiy was the lesser of two evils.

Continue reading Zelenskiy faces tough choices amidst high expectations