Call for Applications: EDSN Fellowship 2018-19

The Eurasia Democratic Security Network (EDSN), a project by the Center for Social Sciences with the generous funding of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is seeking applicants for its 2018-19 Research and Policy Fellowship.

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POLICY BRIEFING: Conditionality: Western & Regional Perspectives

By Giorgi Khelashvili

In Spring 2017, the Center for Social Sciences launched the Eurasia Democratic Security Network project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). EDSN established a platform for discussing and addressing issues related to the Euro-Atlantic integration and conditionality. In July 2017, CSS organized kick-off workshop involving the first EDSN cohort.


The aim of the workshop was to establish the terms and scope of further discussions and activities of the newly initiated network, aimed at exploring avenues for promoting democracy and the rule of law in changing geopolitical circumstances of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The following paper is based on the proceedings of this workshop and covers the concept of conditionality and Western versus regional perspectives. Other topics—conditionality and geopolitics, as well as the role of conditionality in economic growth and democratic development, will be discussed in separate papers.

[Download the Policy Brief (PDF)]

POLICY BRIEFING: Georgian Perceptions & Cautious Conditionality

By Levan Kakhishvili

The 2015 Caucasus Barometer Survey demonstrates that for more than half of Georgians, democracy is not necessarily the most preferable form of government. In fact, only some 47 percent of the population thinks that democracy is better than other types of government.

[Download the Policy Brief (PDF)]

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Ivanshvili Returns After Never Really Leaving

By Lincoln Mitchell

Bidzina Ivanishvili’s decision to return to a formal role as Chair of the Georgian Dream (GD) is more interesting for its timing than for the action itself. Ivanishvili, despite his protestations to the contrary, has never fully removed himself from Georgian political life since stepping down as Prime Minister in November of 2013. Over the last four and a half years his role has diminished somewhat, but major Georgian Dream, and government, decisions are rarely made without his input.

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Georgia’s European Integration, Ethnic Minorities, and Russian Propaganda

by Levan Kakhishvili

Support for the European Union in Georgia is surprisingly high. When Georgia was granted a visa-free travel to the Schengen area, former British Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall wrote: “While this [visa-free travel] is a landmark achievement for Georgia, counterintuitively, in some respects it is a bigger deal for the EU.” The logic behind this statement is that against the background of Brexit, Georgia celebrating a “small step” on its path to Europeanization is a heartening sign that “the post-Cold War ideal of a Europe ‘whole, free, and at peace’” was still alive.

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Azerbaijan’s New Law on Status of Armed Forces: Changes and Implications

by Zaur Shiriyev

A draft law on the “Status of the Armed Forces” was introduced by the Parliamentary Committee on Defense, Security and Anti-Corruption in mid-November, and on 1 December it was heard by Parliament. The amendments were adopted upon a second hearing with a majority vote on 15 December. The issue was first on the agenda back in 2012 and 2013, when it was announced that the Parliament Committee on Defense, Security and Anti-Corruption would introduce a new law on the Status of Armed Forces and Other Armed Units. However, clearly, the law only happened recently.

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