11/10/2021 - 17:00

    Georgia Struggles to Reverse Stalled Vaccination

    Georgian public health authorities have been facing criticism as the country has struggled – and largely failed – to keep the COVID-19 vaccination pace over the past weeks. In the meantime, disagreements among top health officials on how to reverse the stagnated process become apparent.…
    06/10/2021 - 16:54

    2021 Municipal Elections: Outcomes, Winners, Trends

    The outcomes of the October 2 municipal vote in Georgia were not what many had thought: against the expectations that it would struggle to climb over the 43% proportional vote threshold introduced by the EU-brokered deal, the ruling Georgian Dream has sailed past it, ringing…
    01/10/2021 - 15:03

    From Stray Dogs to Orwellian Pigs: Campaign Highlights of Georgian Elections

    October 2 is a big day for Georgia’s political life: the local self-government elections have been burdened with the added significance of an informal “referendum”: the ruling Georgian Dream party has ditched its commitment to hold early parliamentary elections in 2022 if it now scores…
    27/09/2021 - 12:27

    Explainer: Election Code Changes Affecting October 2 Polls

    On June 28, after months of deliberations, the Parliament of Georgia adopted amendments to the Election Code of Georgia. The changes, discussed among parties since the start of the government crisis after the 2020 parliamentary elections, were included in a memorandum signed in January between…
    20/09/2021 - 13:46

    “The Students Are Hungry”: the Lack of Adequate Food Provision in Schools as Great Unaddressed Question of Georgia’s Educational Reforms

    by Tata Burduli, Senior Researcher at GeoWel Research As we have attempted to document over this series of articles, the situation in the Georgian school system has seen tremendous improvements in recent years. Schools have been rebuilt, teachers retrained and paid better, and attempts have…
    17/09/2021 - 22:25

    Explainer | Georgia’s 2021 Locals – Why They Matter

    The October 2 local self-government elections in Georgia have more attention than earlier municipal-level polls. Georgians will be casting ballots to elect mayors and municipal council (Sakrebulo) candidates through proportional and majoritarian votes. The elections, however, are partly a continuation of the 2020 parliamentary elections,…
    16/09/2021 - 11:40

    More Than Local: Key Missions to Observe October 2 Elections

    The election observation by international and non-governmental organizations became routine in the past decades, even though the scale of the observation missions has been falling due to financial constraints of many international organizations, partly caused by the principled opposition of the authoritarian regimes, like Russia,…
    07/09/2021 - 20:12

    ‘True Beauty’ of Georgia’s Homophobic Election Campaigns

    Facebook has long become a center of divisive and bitter political discussions in Georgia. Georgian netizens frequently find themselves facing the avalanche of sponsored stories with direct or indirect political messages popping up on their newsfeeds. This trend accelerates especially ahead of elections. This is…
    28/07/2021 - 18:06

    The Path to Inclusion: How Georgia’s Education System is Trying to Find Place for Children with Special Educational Needs

    by Tata Burduli, Senior Researcher at GeoWel Research Fifteen years ago, Georgia took the decision to radically change its approach to children with special educational needs (SEN). The change led to the abandoning of decades of Soviet and post-Soviet practice that saw children with severe…
    09/06/2021 - 14:38

    Study: Parties Largely Ignore Campaign Code of Conduct

    The Story Political parties that adopted the campaigning code of conduct last September – under much international pressure – have violated it 300 times during the run-up to the elections. How do we know this? The Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP), a think tank, analyzed…
    04/06/2021 - 17:56

    Who’s Who in Gakharia’s New Old Team?

    Former Georgian Dream Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, who shook up Georgian politics with his not-so-unexpected resignation in February, inaugurated a new “For Georgia” political party. “We are uniting for Georgia but against no one,” said Gakharia on May 29, at the inaugural party congress. Civil.ge…
    02/06/2021 - 16:22

    Levan Vasadze’s Quest to Consolidate Georgia’s Extreme Right

    The post-election political crisis in Georgia propelled Levan Vasadze, a businessman well-known for his illiberal leanings, as the lynchpin of Georgia’s radical right. Vasadze made the bid to consolidate the Georgian ultra-conservative movements and to establish a united, powerful party. But the internal dynamics of…

    Op-ed

      01/09/2021 - 16:09

      Perilous Choice: Georgia’s COVID Elections

      Laura Thornton is director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. Previously, she was director of global programs at International IDEA, a Stockholm-based intergovernmental think-tank with the mission to advance democracy. She has also led the National Democratic…
      25/07/2021 - 21:40

      Tribune |”Sack me if you can!”

      Zaal Andronikashvili, Ilia State University/Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research. This article first appeared (in Georgian) on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Georgian service page. It has been insignificantly adapted by Civil.ge for an English-language audience. “Sack me, if you can!” gloated Vice Premier…
      24/07/2021 - 12:24

      Tribune | Wide Coalition Needed to Defend Democracy

      Levan Tsutskiridze is Executive Director of the Eastern European Center for Multi-party Democracy (EECMD) Georgia has witnessed unbelievable violence during the first week of July. The homophobic mob, egged on by the religious extremists that are entrenched in the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchy and encouraged by…
      19/07/2021 - 01:34

      The Falling Darkness

      by Regis Gente As the airplane of the European Council President Charles Michel touched down in Batumi, it was hard to shake off the feeling of déjà vu. Once again, the top European official visits Georgia immersed in a tense, almost intractable political crisis. Charles…
      17/06/2021 - 18:26

      Tribune | Georgia has abandoned efforts to advance on NATO membership

      Giorgi Kandelaki is a former MP and member of European Georgia There is a prevalent view amongst Georgia’s supporters that – perhaps not as intensely as during the previous government – Georgia is still doing its best to progress towards NATO membership, and that the…
      10/06/2021 - 17:03

      A New Theory of Change for Failed Judicial Reform

      Authors: Sopho Verdzeuli – Independent researcher, Master’s degree in Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory at Birkbeck University Vakhushti Menabde, Associate Professor at Ilia State University School of Law, Director of the Democratic Institutions Support Program at the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association The frustration with the results…
      24/05/2021 - 17:21

      Georgia Must Build the Moral Case for its European Future

      Author: Natalie Sabanadze is Cyrus Vance Visiting Professor in International Relations at Mount Holyoke College. She was the Head of Georgian Mission to the EU from 2013 to 2021. Georgia needs to build an irrefutable moral case for membership in the EU. It should demonstrate…
      19/05/2021 - 17:03

      Op-Ed | Namakhvani Is Just a Small Part of a Much Bigger Problem

      Author: Rati Gabidauri, a consultant to governments and private companies on issues of energy policy and economic development. Rati Gabidauri is a pen name. Our government has gotten much criticism over the way it has handled the Namakhvani project. It is true that the project…
      26/04/2021 - 18:32

      Op-ed | Georgia’s Representatives Must Learn to Distinguish their Friends from Enemies

      Author: Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Professor of Politics at Dublin City University Georgia is on our minds in Ireland but for the wrong reasons. Earlier this month, the Georgian ambassador, wrote a three-page letter to the president of Dublin City University (DCU) complaining that students taking…
      29/03/2021 - 17:31

      Op-Ed | Georgia’s Election Administration Needs Complete Overhaul

      The ongoing post-election crisis, which had overshadowed many of Georgia’s more pressing problems, is awaiting a solution during the second cycle of EU-led mediation. The deal, if achieved, will likely encompass some short-term fixes and agreements on a range of issues. Hopefully, we can also…
      27/03/2021 - 16:44

      Opinion | How to Reset Georgia’s Foreign Policy

      We have argued in the previous piece that the self-centered nature of Georgia’s foreign policy has outlived itself and can no longer protect the national interests adequately when both regional and international realities are changing. But what is the way out of this impasse? Author:…
      19/03/2021 - 21:36

      Op-ed | Crisis Must Bring Solutions

      The government is afraid to use the word “crisis.” Why do they insist there is no crisis? Why do they seek and find the new words for naming something that is so simple, and lies on the surface? It took Charles Michel, a politician who…

      Featured

        04/10/2021 - 20:25

        Pundits Talk Key Takeaways from Local Elections

        Two days after October 2 municipal elections, discussions continue over key takeaways from the vote and the less anticipated outcomes. The Georgian Dream party scored well above 43%, a number widely suggested as a threshold for its legitimacy after the EU-brokered April 19 deal, while…
        12/07/2021 - 15:58

        Georgia Lurches Towards Illiberalism

        “The times when the minority decided the fate of the majority are gone,” said Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili today, saying he will only listen to the will of “95% of the population.“ “Stop threatening and scaring me and the majority of this country with the…
        05/07/2021 - 10:35

        Ministers Reflect | Ketevan Bochorishvili (MESD 2012-2017)

        Ministers Reflect is a new interview series on “how to be effective in government”, following a model developed by the Institute for Government in London. The series seeks to capture – in former ministers’ own words – what it takes to be an effective government…
        22/04/2021 - 14:11

        Q&A | The Deal is Signed: What now?

        After months of the deepening political crisis that followed the October 31 parliamentary elections, the ruling Georgian Dream and part of the boycotting opposition MPs signed the EU-mediated compromise on April 19. Yet, controversies persist: the United National Movement, the opposition party that got most…
        18/04/2021 - 12:17

        Opposition Politicians on Namakhvani HPP Protests

        Thousands have been protesting in western Georgia against the construction of the Namakhvani Hydropower Plant on the Rioni River for months now. The project encompasses two separate HPPs of 333 MW and 100 MW on the Rioni River. The Government of Georgia hopes to enhance…
        16/04/2021 - 22:25

        Interview | On the Soviet Past, Myths and Relevance

        The centennial anniversary of the Soviet occupation induced discussion in Georgia about the Soviet past, distinctly demonstrating that the opinions about the Soviet Union still differ in the society. As some experts argue, the Soviet Georgia is a largely understudied topic that requires a deeper…
        16/04/2021 - 12:55

        Interview | Turkish Ambassador on Bilateral Ties with Georgia, Namakhvani HPP

        Thousands have been protesting in the western city of Kutaisi and the Rioni River Valley against the construction of the nearby Namakhvani Hydropower Plant for months now. The project encompasses two separate HPPs of 333 MW and 100 MW on the Rioni River. The Government…
        13/04/2021 - 18:35

        Q&A | How Can Gali Residents be Heard?

        The tragic drowning of the four Gali residents who were trying to cross Enguri river towards the Tbilisi-controlled Zugdidi district has made headlines in the Georgian media. Their daily plight comes into sharper focus on the back of the news, that over three thousand were…
        12/04/2021 - 12:10

        From Khulo to Namakhvani to Gardabani, Georgia’s Activists in Spotlight

        Georgia’s current political crisis pushes numberless pressing issues the country is facing into the background. Civil Georgia spoke to activists from different corners of the country, who alone or as part of larger movements, are mobilizing public opinion on issues like the rights of ethnic…
        01/04/2021 - 14:32

        Insight | Soviet Occupation Centennial Reminds of the Unresolved Past

        On a melancholic day of February 25, Georgia marked 100 years since the Soviet army took over Tbilisi, ending the independence of the first, ephemeral social-democratic Republic. Georgia recaptured its statehood only in 1991, but even after 30 years, the shadow of the Soviet occupation…
        18/03/2021 - 20:29

        Q&A | Why is Georgia on EU’s Mind?

        Georgia has been used to the EU being a concerned and sympathetic but relatively distant watcher of internal politics. The degree of engagement now – through Council President Charles Michel, mediation by special representative Danielsson, concern from all tiers in Brussels – has been surprising.…
        15/03/2021 - 13:47

        Ministers Reflect | Kaha Baindurashvili (MoF 2009-2011)

        Ministers Reflect is a new interview series on “how to be effective in government”, following a model developed by the Institute for Government in London. The series seeks to capture – in former ministers’ own words – what it takes to be an effective government minister, what challenges…

        Photo Stories

          02/10/2021 - 17:25

          In Photos: Election Day in Tbilisi

          3,497,345 Georgian citizens are eligible to vote in 3,664 polling stations across the country (excluding Russian occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South…
          13/07/2021 - 15:52

          In Photos: Georgia Bids Farewell to Journalist Aleksandre Lashkarava

          Hundreds of mourners are bidding farewell to cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava, who was found dead on July 11, few days after…
          26/05/2021 - 00:32

          In Photos: Namakhvani Protesters Disrupt Tbilisi Traffic

          On May 25, the third day of protest in Tbilisi against Namakhvani Hydropower Plant, the project opponents marched Republic Square…
          17/05/2021 - 16:18

          In Photos | Vasadze Hosts Ultra-Conservative Rally in Tbilisi

          Ultra-conservative businessman Levan Vasadze, known for his hardline homophobic and xenophobic stance, hosted a rally in Tbilisi on May 16,…
          08/03/2021 - 23:59

          In Photos | “The March of 1000 Parents”

          Women’s rights activists held “the March of 1000 Parents” in Tbilisi on March 8, International Women’s Day, to advocate for…
          24/02/2021 - 01:00

          In Photos | Opposition Protests Nika Melia’s Detention

          In the aftermath of United National Movement Chair Nika Melia’s detention, opposition leaders and scores of anti-governmental protesters gathered outside…
          23/02/2021 - 23:19

          In Photos | UNM HQ After Police Raid

          Police stormed the United National Movement headquarters early in the morning of February 23 to detain the party’s leader, Nika…
          17/02/2021 - 19:53

          In Photos | the First Snow of the Year in Tbilisi

          The first snow of the year hit the Georgian capital today as schools and outdoor seating restaurants finally opened after…
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