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Security, Democracy and Development

In the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region

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Edited By Ghia Nodia and Christoph H. Stefes

Since the early 1990s, the southern Caucasus and its larger neighbourhood, the Black Sea region, have experienced deep and sometimes painful transformations, including bloody conflicts. They have also become an arena of geopolitical and geoeconomic competition between great powers. This has attracted growing attention from social scientists. In this volume, authors from universities in Europe, the United States and the southern Caucasus focus on several of the most topical problems of the region, particularly how nascent states and societies grapple with the results of unresolved ethno-territorial conflicts and how they try to construct new civil societies from the cultural mosaic that they inherited from their Soviet past. How do elements of democracy and autocracy combine in the political regimes of the new states? Can the West have an effect on their internal development and, if so, how? How do the rich mineral resources of the Caspian region influence the development of the region’s economies and define the geopolitical standing of these countries?
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Guarding or Retarding? US Democracy-Assistance Programmes in Post-Rose Revolution Georgia

Democratization Goals and Security Interests

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ABSTRACT: The 2003 Rose Revolution failed to skyrocket Georgia into the ranks of consolidated democracies. This chapter focuses on the US role in post-revolution Georgia, testing a hypothesis that US-funded democracy assistance programmes were burdened by US security interests and, therefore, detrimental to democratization goals. The chapter examines five groups of US programmes (constitutional assistance, electoral aid, political party development, NGO development and media strengthening) implemented in Georgia in 2004–2008, and reveals some retarding aspects of US democracy assistance. The findings suggest, however, that not only US security interests but also bureaucratic miscalculation by US donor organizations accounted for the flawed democracy assistance effort in Georgia.

KEYWORDS: democratization, democracy assistance, United States, Georgia, Rose Revolution

Despite much enthusiasm and hope associated with the 2003 Rose Revolution, the following years were marked by some doubts whether Georgia was really progressing along the path of democratic development. President Mikheil Saakashvili and his government focused their postrevolution reforms on strengthening the state. They passed constitutional amendments producing a superpresidential regime. Contrary to the principle of a constitutional division of power, the parliament and judiciary were subordinated to the executive. Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) secured its continued dominance in the parliament by manipulating electoral legislation (Lanskoy and Areshidze, 2008: 160–162). In addition, Georgia’s state authorities largely neglected accountability, political pluralism and the protection of human rights.

In their effort to explain the relatively disappointing outcomes of the Rose Revolution, scholars mainly analysed the...

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