Adverse Effects of State-building on Democracy in Georgia

Schellinger, Alexander

"The Freedom House letter suggests that there is a strong correlation between democratic deficits in Georgia and President Saakashvili’s ability to go to war with Russia. The letter’s implication is obvious: had more robust democratic institutions been in place, the war between Russia and Georgia might not have occurred. In this paper, I argue that U.S. government assistance to Georgia since 2003 has failed to support robust democratization, focusing too much on strengthening the executive branch of the Georgian government. Once Saakashvili took office, Washington reduced funding to critical democratization programs, especially those that supported independent media and civil society organizations. This shift in U.S. assistance, which contributed to the slowdown of democratic consolidation in Georgia, demonstrates that U.S. aid is critical to Georgia’s political development."--from pages 69-70


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The Journal of Politics and Society

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Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Political Science
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
February 12, 2014