«EUROPE» AND «THE WEST» IN GEORGIAS POLITICAL IMAGINATION AND NATIONALIST DISCOURSE

Maxim KIRCHANOV


Maxim Kirchanov, Ph.D. (Hist.), Lecturer at the Chair of International Relations and Regional Studies, Department of International Relations, Voronezh State University (Voronezh, Russia)


Georgias Nationalist Discourse after the Rose Revolution

The political upheavals of the 2000s caused by the post-authoritarian landslide pushed to fore the problem of nations and nationalism and the question of further development routes.

In 2003, President Shevardnadze lost his post: this marked a turning point in Georgias history, which has since been grossly hyperbolized within Georgias nationalist discourse.

T. Avaliani, for example, has the following to say on this score: In November 2003, after two civil wars and 12 years of post-Soviet turmoil and suspense, Georgia was the first among the Soviet-successor states to tear down the Iron Curtain of the Russian Empire. The Rose Revolution, which liberated the on slogans, but also on principles stemming from ethnic, rather than civilian, nationalism.

Georgian journalist G. Vekua argues that Mikhail Saakashvili, armed with the policy of Westernization, tried to de-Sovietize Georgian statehood in the most radical way: he was determined to speed up, harshly and even by force, the emergence of a purely bourgeois state known as a nation-state in political science and sociology.

On the other hand, Saakashvili insisted on radical reforms, while the gap between the real situation and the Georgian elites political plans and ambitions created a crisis and fanned ethnic nationalism.

In the 2000s, Georgia was faced with a conflict between two, still half-baked, political institutionsthe national (nationalizing) state and


Please fill subscription form to obtain full text of this jounal

SCImago Journal & Country Rank
UP - E-MAIL Georgian people from imperial dictatorship and communist legacy, began building a new, civilized, and democratic state.

Today, the revolution is seen as a key event in Georgias current political history.

G. Areshidze, a prominent political scientist, commented on the post-revolutionary situation as follows: the new elites inherited a country with a quasi-balanced constitutional foundation, legislative power a business community that the state could not control and several semi-democratic political parties.

In the latter half of the 2000s, therefore, Georgian nationalism remained exposed to pressure from various actors.

The Rose Revolution of November 2003 brought to power new political leaders headed by Mikhail Saakashvili who were even more open about their political nationalism than their predecessors and more confirmed Westerners. They believed that the countrys future was associated with the European Union and NATO. Scared of Russian nationalism (the revival of which became obvious in the 2000s) the Georgian political elite was determined to move out of the post-Soviet political expanse. It seems that President Saakashvili is a political leader who, having come to power amid political turmoil with democratic slogans, is very much susceptible to radicalization. Such leaders tend to rely not only