Global financial crisis had impact on macroeconomic situation of Georgia by decreasing export and changing other indicators related to crisis. Consequently, in response to the challenges of the financial crisis, scientific research of fiscal policy will be rather important in order to carry out such measures which will ensure fitting fiscal instruments with other fields of the state policy what implies, on the one hand, using the tax system for establishing new work places in separate sectors and regions as well as overcoming poverty, making decentralization reforms and, on the other hand, searching the ways for hardening the fiscal policy from the point of view of monitoring, planning, spending and auditing public expenses. In the process of the research are used general scientific methods (systemic, structural, functional) and private methods (graphic and those of conformity). Official statistical data existing in the country as well as the data and evaluations officially published by international organizations are also used.
Three revolutions, one after another, replaced the three post-communist leaders of Georgia: (1) the Round Table and Zviad Gamsakhurdia replaced the communists; (2) Gamsakhurdia's cabinet was replaced by Eduard Shevardnadze, and (3) Mikhail Saakashvili removed Shevardnadze from his post. Each of them changed the fortunes of the country and the nation, but only the last event was tagged as a "revolution." It is obviously viewed as the most important among the three and prompts us to ask whether it is absolutely correct to describe Saakashvili's coming to power as a revolution. Is it not a ploy designed to boost the importance of the regime change in the eyes of the world community and the local population? To answer these questions we should answer another, broader, question: Did the regime change that removed Eduard Shevardnadze and became known as the Rose Revolution have the characteristics of a revolution? By revolution we mean the very specific and profound impact a regime exerts on social order-it is much more than a conflict that replaces the government. A revolution brings about changes in the political, economic, spiritual, and social spheres of the nation's life, which take some time to become obvious and are never immediately manifest the very day after forces come to power which choose to call themselves "revolutionary." The events of November 2003 in Georgia were called a revolution immediately after the coup was completed. During the three years that separate us from that time enough material has been accumulated to assess the nature of the changes that have taken place and were brought about by Mikhail Saakashvili's coming to power. The Rose Revolution is a term prompted by the immediate impressions of the non-constitutional power change in Georgia. A revolution is not merely a particular method of regime change-it is an event of profound importance for the country's economic, social, and political life. Those Western authors who have devoted much time to the theory of revolution and who have written extensively on the subject 1 interpret it as a particular method of regime change that brings more radical results than other seemingly similar actions. A revolution means replacement of the top leaders accomplished by a mass illegitimate movement that results in deep-cutting changes.
Pt. 1. The best of times, the worst of times : 1985-1995. Georgia : a divided nation -- Prelude to revolution -- Populism in Georgia : the Gamsakhurdia phenomenon -- The interregnum -- pt. 2. State and society : 1995-2011. Democracy from below? -- The state -- The economy -- The myth of Georgian nationalism -- National security and foreign policy
There is the opinion that the method by which a political leader is replaced, or his own attitude to his possible loss of power, is part of his political heritage and affects the country’s democratic development. If the first leader of a newly formed political system is replaced, this heritage becomes even more important. The point is amply illustrated by fifteen years of Georgia’s political independence. It changed its political leaders twice, each time with violence and violations of the Constitution. Each time the change was carried out under democratic banners, and each time authoritarian trends in the country’s political system became more pronounced: after coming to power each of the new leaders wanted to preserve it. To achieve this, they sought for economic domination to get a grip on badly needed material and financial resources. So each of the new leaders tried to place private business under his political control. The Georgian Constitution, however, guarantees protection of private property; the new leaders are also limited by the liberal Constitution in many other respects, the country’s financial and political dependence on the West, and its desire to integrate into the European structures. This forces each of the new leaders to use methods which will not damage the country’s democratic image. Political pressure on the business community became especially obvious after the Rose Revolution; today it is barely concealed and rather harsh.
Reconciliation is a mechanism of conflict settlement and normalization of relations between former opponents. This process facilitates a return to the pre-conflict situation, which explains why I have undertaken to discuss national reconciliation within the John Lederach transformation model, according to which national reconciliation is intended to transform negative relations into positive or, at least, till the soil for such transformation. Here I will discuss reconciliation as a process through which mechanical harmony is transformed into organic. This is a process in which the vertical relations between the conflicting sides become horizontal and the success of which is indicated by the changes in the sides’ behavior, actions and, generally speaking, relations.
The balance between civil and military structures is central to understanding the development of Georgian statehood since the beginning of the 20th century. The first modern independent Georgian state was established after the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Democratic Republic of Georgia declared its independence in May 1918. In February 1921, the young republic was incorporated into the Soviet state and had no separate army of its own. Since regaining its independence in 1991, Georgia has experienced multiple administrations, and despite significantly different policies on the military, the overall pattern has been one of civilian (though not always democratic) control. Georgian militias and paramilitaries, between 1918 and 1921 and again between 1991 and 1995, played important roles in determining political power at times of revolutionary or constitutional crises. Since 1991 there have been three presidents - Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnadze, and Mikheil Saakashvili - with strong executive authority. In 2013, the position of president was made semi-ceremonial and a prime-ministerial system was instituted. Since 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. Bidzina Ivanishvili was the first and the most powerful. All of Georgia's leaders have shifted from a Soviet to pro-Western orientation. Since the second half of the 1990s, the relationship with NATO has grown closer, which has had a major impact on the structure of the Georgian armed forces and on their relationship with Georgia's civil authorities. The 2008 war with Russia had a major impact on the Georgian military, and, since then, the level of professionalization of the Georgian armed forces has increased dramatically. Samuel Huntington, Eric Nordlinger, and other Western students of civil-military relations have pointed to the important balance required between civil and military authorities for a stable democracy. Georgia still displays continuing features of nepotism, clientelism, corruption, and dominant political personalities, which has significant consequences for the independence of the Georgian military and for civil-military relations more generally. Western states such as the United States and Germany, and international organizations like NATO continue to urge reform and provide training to the Georgian armed forces
For a long time now elections in Georgia have been a source of political crises rather than a mechanism of democratic power change. In recent Georgian history, in fact during the entire period of its independence, the government in power has never been changed through elections. The only exception so far were the very first multiparty parliamentary elections of 28 October, 1990 when the national political force, The Round Table-Free Georgia, headed by Zviad Gamsakhurdia replaced the ruling Communist Party. Later President Gamsakhurdia was overthrown. For some time after the regime change the ruling party led by Eduard Shevardnadze won all the successive elections until he, in turn, was removed from power by the revolution of 2003. After that the republic's election tradition underwent certain changes predated by the political crisis of the fall of 2007, which reached its height on 7 November when the demonstration of the opposition forces was dissipated and a state of emergency declared. The West insisted on a pre-term presidential election being held on 5 January, 2008 followed by parliamentary elections on 21 May. The elections did not replace the leadership, however they prompted those in power to bring new people into the upper echelons and carry out partial election reform. On the other hand, these elections revealed with unprecedented clarity the degree to which the republic's political system had been transformed and its trend toward non-liberal democracy.
Of all the post-Soviet states, the challenge of managing ethnic diversity has perhaps been the most problematic in Georgia. Following the secessions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the early 1990s, Georgia has recent experience not only of the radicalization of ethnic relations but also of defeat in violent ethnic conflict. Current debates surrounding the conceptualization and management of ethnic diversity are thus inseparable from urgent questions concerning the future of the Georgian state, and explanations of the conflicts and questions of power and domination. Perceptions of the issue are further overshadowed by memories of the chauvinist rhetoric and illiberal policies of the early phase of sovereignty under President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Abroad, perceptions of Georgia as a "micro-empire" continue to be fuelled by references to the Gamsakhurdia era, above all in the Russian press, and short-sighted recourse in Western sources to theories of "ancient hatreds." Defeat also means that contrary to demographic evidence of a proportional expansion of the ethnic Georgian population, independence has not imparted to the Georgian majority a sense of security associated with majority status. As a result of Georgia's apparent inability to influence outcomes in either the peace processes or internal developments in the seceded territories, and the decline in the Georgian population in real terms, the attainment of sovereignty has not allayed Georgian fears of either permanent territorial fragmentation or ethnic "degradation." Georgians consequently approach issues of majority-minority relations from a position of perceived weakness, coupled with as yet unfulfilled "post-colonial" desires for Georgianization.
Examines various issues of conflict and tension between post-Soviet Georgia and Russia after introducing Georgia's seeming lack of good luck with its leadership exemplified by Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Eduard Shavardnadze. It is hoped that the third and current president, Mikhail Saakasvilli, who replaced Shavardnadze, will more successfully address Georgia's realities and potentials and not fail after an initial rule of extreme popularity as did the first two presidents. Rocky Russian-Georgian relations, the "rose' revolution, Georgia's approach to terrorism, border-crossing visas between the countries, a framework agreement, Russian military bases in Georgia, the rights of Meskhetian Turks, territorial issues regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia, United States' policy interests toward Georgia, and Russia's future relations with Georgia are scrutinized. It is concluded that the desire for improved Russian-Georgian relations exists, but it is clear Georgia's foreign policy strategy must yet clarify its real policy interests against its idealistic objectives in order to quicken the process of moving from mistrust to reliable dialogue and effective cooperation.
The politics of memory plays an important role in the ways certain figures are evaluated and remembered, as they can be rehabilitated or vilified, or both, as these processes are contested. We explore these issues using a transition society, Georgia, as a case study. Who are the heroes and villains in Georgian collective memory? What factors influence who is seen as a hero or a villain and why? How do these selections correlate with Georgian national identity? We attempt to answer these research questions using a newly generated data set of contemporary Georgian perspectives on recent history. Our survey results show that according to a representative sample of the Georgian population, the main heroes from the beginning of the twentieth century include Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Ilia Chavchavadze, and Patriarch Ilia II. Eduard Shevardnadze, Sergo Ordzhonikidze, and Vladimir Putin represent the main villains, and those that appear on both lists are Mikheil Saakashvili and Joseph Stalin. We highlight two clusters of attitudes that are indicative of how people think about Georgian national identity, mirroring civic and ethnic conceptions of nationalism. How Georgians understand national identity impacts not only who they choose as heroes or villains, but also whether they provide an answer at all.