In the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region
Edited By Ghia Nodia and Christoph H. Stefes
Guarding or Retarding? US Democracy-Assistance Programmes in Post-Rose Revolution Georgia
Democratization Goals and Security Interests
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...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.