THE GEORGIAN POLITICAL ELITE:
MAIN TRENDS OF ITS CIRCULATION

Beka CHEDIA


Beka Chedia, Ph.D. (Political Science), Head of Publishing Projects of the Tbilisi School of Political Studies (Tbilisi, Georgia)


ABSTRACT

The author relies on the structure, nature, and values of the Georgian political elite to identify the ways and means through which it is replenished. He arranges the members according to their political clout, compares the central and regional elites, and examines the changing figures of the gender balance. The educational and professional levels, methods, and traditions of elite replenishment, as well as the conditions in which political careers develop serve as the starting point for assessing Georgias political context as lacking in political rivalry and stifled by prominent nepotism. The political elite and its interaction with the public elite are also discussed.

Keywords: elite, politics, gender, elections, rule, party, charisma, Georgia.

Introduction

In Georgia, the political elite is closely intertwined with the business elite, public elite (the intelligentsia), NGOs, and the media. The dividing lines are too vague to arrive at a clear idea about the contours of the political elite. Indeed, what is a political elite? Is it limited to politicians, or does it include all of the actors who are actively involved in the political process and have a direct or indirect effect on political decisions?

As a nation, Georgians are very interested in politics, which means that the circle of people involved in the political process is fairly wide. The public sphere is steeped in politics, which means that all of the actorsjournalists and observers who write about politics and expertsde facto belong to.


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