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Beyond Soft Power: Analysing Russian and Chinese Vaccine Diplomacy in the South Caucasus

Mariam Gamdlishvili

The use of soft power – the abilities of states to influence behavior and attitudes of foreign populations through attraction, rather than through military or economic means (i.e., hard power) – by a number of international actors is not a novel phenomenon and is exercised in various ways targeting societies and countries globally. At the same time, coercive actions such as economic and political influence, and the utilization of sharp power – use of information for hostile purposes – are applied by Russia and China. (more…)


Government Coalitions and Consensus Politics: Case of Lithuania

Lukas Pukelis, Mažvydas Jastramskis

The following paper analyzes how, in the case of Lithuania, various political parties managed to reach an agreement and cooperate on issues relevant to the national interests of the country. The peaceful and civil transition of political power has contributed to ensuring Lithuania’s stable political system, and most importantly the assurance that when a party loses an election they do not expect to be prosecuted by the new government. These conditions have helped create and reproduce a pragmatic working environment for all political actors in the country. No less important have been the nonpartisan and directly elected presidents, who have played a major role in promoting consensus-based political culture in Lithuania. (more…)


More responsibility or lack of interest? German Perspective on the South Caucasus after the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War

Mikheil Sarjveladze

Germany’s new federal government will not only decide the direction of German foreign policy but will also influence EU foreign policy. Alongside the transatlantic partnership, European integration and the European Union form the framework and direction of German foreign policy. Accordingly, the war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the autumn of 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the resulting geopolitical shifts in the EU’s direct neighbourhood presented Germany, as a European power, with foreign policy challenges. (more…)


Geopolitical Reshuffling in the South Caucasus in the Aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War and the EU’s Policy Options

Hasmik Khachatryan

The EU has strived to strengthen the sovereignty and independence of the South Caucasus states, to bring the neighbours closer to the EU. To this end, the EU has undertaken a series of effective measures since the 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of a new balance of power in the region. Meanwhile, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war has brought major geopolitical reshuffling to the South Caucasus. The EU’s power, in fact, has been downgraded in strategic terms and its long-term efforts to promote peace and stability in the region have been nullified. Against the backdrop of the new geostrategic reality in the South Caucasus, the EU strives to regain its position of power. (more…)


Right-wing Populism in Associated Countries: A Challenge for Democracy


This policy paper provides a structured comparative analysis of the nationalist populist actors, discourses and strategies in three Associated[1] Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. It assesses the challenges of the radical right, nationalist populist groups on democratic developments in the Associated EaP countries: – the role of external actors, the tactics and policies used and how to deal with and manage this threat. The study was prepared by a group (more…)


Radicalization of Georgian Party Politics: in Search of Long-term Stability

Bidzina Lebanidze

The recent post-election crisis highlighted the role of political radicalization as a major challenge for Georgia’s fragile democracy. Political radicalization in Georgia undermines the process of democratic consolidation and weakens state institutions in the country by contributing to mistrust among political actors, political disengagement of the electorate, polarization of political trust, and a general lack of political legitimacy. The polarization of political trust and a lack of political legitimacy of key state institutions – first of all, the judiciary and central election commission (CEC) leave the country without effective crisis mediating institutions (more…)


The European Union’s New Role in Georgia: Successful Mediation and a Way Ahead

Levan Kakhishvili

Consolidation of democracy is a lengthy and turbulent process, in which political crises can be a recurrent phenomenon. For Georgia, aiming to apply for the membership in the European Union (EU) by 2024, it is politically costly to let crises become unmanageable. However, the current political crisis, which started in (more…)


Quest for Credible Elections in Georgia: Is “E” the Answer?

Shota Kakabadze

This policy paper discusses the idea of employing internet voting in elections in Georgia and all the advantages and disadvantages this offers. It engages with detailed analysis of the Estonian case as the only country that has been using E-voting nationwide for fifteen years, and then discusses its application in the Georgian context. (more…)


Black Sea Security Under Strain: Why the Stakes Are Higher After the Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire?

Ivanna Machitidze

The autumn war in Nagorno-Karabakh and the outcomes of the ceasefire turned unexpectedly into a gamechanger, with implications far beyond the South Caucasus. In the aftermath, the escalation of events created long lasting shifts in the region’s dynamics. (more…)


Why do Georgian Political Parties Struggle to Negotiate? Structural Disincentives to Compromise-Based Politics

Salome Minesashvili

The recent political crisis following the contested election results of October 2020 drove both the opposition and the ruling party into a deadlock for several months, with respective displays of drastic demands and stiff resistance. The fact that they have gone through several rounds of meetings – albeit only with international facilitation – shows that both sides considered some type of agreement, at least ostensibly. (more…)