Georgian Democracy: Seizing or Losing the Chance?

Issue Date January 2014
Volume 25
Issue 1
Page Numbers 154-165
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A year ago, Alexi Gugushvili and I described Georgia’s October 2012 election and the events surrounding it as “amazing,” “truly remarkable,” and “nearly unheard of.” Is Georgian political life still unfolding in such an exceptional fashion, or is there a “new normal”—and if so, is it friendlier to liberal democracy, or fraught with problems for it? It may be that electoral democracy is becoming more routine in Georgia, but something is missing: Robust democratic opposition, and with it a sense that there is some continuing structure that contains and organizes competition among rival parties. Parties, elections, laws, and institutions still define the road to liberal democracy, and Georgians must lose their fear of traveling that road.