Tbilisi’s protests and the Georgian Dream Political paradox

By Lincoln Mitchell

The protests and political drama that have engulfed Tbilisi over last week or so has highlighted all of the flaws of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party (GD). While the image of a pro-Kremlin Russian parliamentarian holding court in Georgia’s legislature was to many Georgians a troubling symbol, that event, and the political outrage it evoked, is less emblematic of Russian sway as much as a reminder of Georgia’s fraught and paradoxical political balancing act.

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When corruption trumps geopolitics: lessons from the Moldovan election

By Mihai Popsoi

In international circles, Moldova is frequently described as a country torn between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic West, where the push-pull of geopolitical competition is the defining feature of national policy and politics. Yet, while geopolitics may fill the headlines and fuel sombre discussions in Western capitals, the flawed recent elections in Moldova reveal a simpler truth: that political expediency and corruption often wins over strategic and geopolitical orientation.

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Armenia is a Russian ally and EEU member, so how did it pull off a democratic revolution?

By Dr. Karena Avedissian

For Armenia, a Russian ally, a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and once regarded as increasingly autocratic, the 2018 Velvet Revolution was a remarkable achievement.

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What can Moldova Learn from Georgia?

By Mihai Popsoi

After having visited Georgia several times since my first visit in 2016, I am in awe with the sheer splendor of the country’s booming new architectural landmarks. The controversial former president Mihail Saakashvili undeniably left a mark by embarking on a rapid modernization process that entailed drastic anti-corruption reforms as well as large investments in infrastructure. All over Georgia one can see the glass monuments to transparency, accountability and revival starting from the new offices of the Legislature, Presidency, Courts, Police Stations etc. One can discuss the aesthetics and the architectural value of the new edifices, but their symbolic importance for the young and ambitious country is unquestionable. Meanwhile, in stark contrast, Moldova has struggled for almost five years to renovate its parliament and failed to renovate the presidential office for almost a decade following the riots of April 2009. The Moldovan President Igor Dodon had to ask the Turkish President Erdogan not just to rebuild the Presidential Office, but also pay for the furniture.                

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Mobilizing Emojis: The HAHA Campaign to Counter the Recognition of Abkhazia

By Ann Tsurtsumia-Zurabashvili

Being primarily an issue of foreign policy, the local dimension of the counter-recognition policy has remained rather overlooked. How ordinary Georgian citizens react to new external contacts of Abkhazia might be meaningless for the big picture, but it sheds light to the sentiments of societies living on both sides of the division line.     

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Nagorno-Karabakh’s Hot Political Summer: A Revolution That Didn’t Happen

By Tigran Grigoryan

Editor’s Note: The author’s use of unqualified place names in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is a reflection of his analytical perspective, and does not necessarily represent the official view of EDSN, CSS, or its affiliates.

The velvet revolution in Armenia was a political earthquake which few had anticipated. In less than a fortnight, the popular movement led by Nikol Pashinyan managed to mobilize the overwhelming majority of Armenian society in a dramatic struggle against the autocratic and corrupt regime of Serzh Sargsyan. The movement reached its initial goal on April 23, when Sargsyan announced his resignation. The following two weeks were marked by political instability caused by the reluctance of the ruling regime’s representatives in the Parliament to satisfy the protesters’ demands and elect Nikol Pashinyan the new Prime Minister of Armenia. However, On May 8, the revolutionaries prevailed and Pashinyan became the new leader of the republic.

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Brexit and the Eastern Partnership – opportunities as well as risks?

 

By Alexander Nice

Barring any last-minute drama, the United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European Union in just a few months’ time, on 29th March 2019. Brexit represents a fundamental challenge to the European Union, which will lose its second biggest economy and a critical security actor. It also poses a serious questions over the future of the EU itself. It has shown that the direction of travel for EU states is not foreordained; countries can leave as well as join the bloc; and “ever-closer Union” is not inevitable. Moreover, the concerns that drove the UK to leave the EU –over immigration, sovereignty and democratic control – are not unique to British voters.

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Tulevik ilma e-ta: Eesti roll ELi idapartnerluses

By Emmet Tuohy

Ametlikult, Euroopa Liidu idapartnerluse poliitika sai ametlikult alguse 2009. aastal Praha tippkohtumisel ELi liikmesriikide heakskiitmisega—sealhulgas üks, mille nimi algab E-tähega—ning hõlmab koostöö suurendamist kuue idanaabriga: Armeenia, Aserbaidžaan, Gruusia Moldova, Ukraina ja Valgevene. Continue reading Tulevik ilma e-ta: Eesti roll ELi idapartnerluses

Astroturf or Grass? Civil Society, the EU, and the Eastern Partnership

By Emmet Tuohy

In the post-Communist political philosophy tradition, the concept of “civil society” (an ostensibly flourishing collection of independent organizations freely able to pursue their interests, ranging from activist groups to bird-watching clubs, from academic institutions to bricklayers’ unions) is distinguished from “political society,” i.e., that dominated by the personnel and ideology of the state itself.

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