Posts by David Losaberidze:

Opinion

Local government reform – a new chance

by | Jul 17

Establishing true local self-government was one of the new Government of Georgia’s major pre-election promises. The ambitious goal of creating local self-governing units is now part of the government's strategy. In Georgia's two decades of independence, no other

Opinion

Administrative-territorial reform – a taboo in Georgian politics

by | Feb 6

A lot of reforms have been carried out in the country during the first two decades after Georgia's independence in 1991. Although some of them were rather controversial and contradictory, they led to significant changes in various spheres of Georgia’s social life, writes David Losaberidze,

Opinion

The Georgian-style principle of subsidiarity

by | Jan 30

During his meetings with ordinary citizens (especially in the regions) the Georgian president often assures them he keeps a close eye on everything happening in the country, be it a new road or monument in a small town or village. "Nobody can do it but me," he says, writes David Losaberidze, project coordinator at the Caucasus Institute for Peace Democracy and Development. It is interesting that these statements have so far drawn no reaction, neither positive nor negative, from the public. At first glance, it seems normal and even exciting that the country’s leader cares for the nation as well as he does for his own family, trying to involve himself in every detail of social life, for instance advising on architectural design or choosing a colour for a school walls. In a patrimonial society such deep involvement can only strengthen the leader’s popularity and approval rating - "The country is in good hands". And the president’s statements are not mere words. The central government indeed has complete control over every aspect of the country’s everyday life and is trying to take advantage ...

Opinion

Provincial socialism and provincial liberalism

by | Dec 21

A conference of the Georgian national platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum took place in Tbilisi, in the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, on November 24, 2011. Its main objectives were to discuss and endorse the articles of the platform and the code of conduct of member organisations, and elect governing bodies. The discussion turned into a heated – and at times even noisy and unruly – polemic, reflecting differences and tensions between two rival groups of the member organisations. The conference failed to achieve all its objectives. In the last hours many delegates simply walked out, leaving the conference without a quorum and effectively spoiling the elections. This insignificant – at first glance – incident is a vivid illustration of the deep rift in the Georgian civil sector. This case is about more than just mere disagreement between two interest groups with conflicting views. To begin with, there is a high level of mistrust and mutual suspicion among Georgian CSOs vying with each other for grants offered by Eastern Partnership Program. Many CSOs are distrustful of the governing bodies of the ...

Opinion

Civil Society – Fight for Resources

by | Dec 12

The entry of a new political force into the Georgian political landscape in the autumn 2001 has focused the spotlight on Georgian civil society organisations (CSO). There is an evident increase in demand for their services nowadays. The Georgian society has become more active in recent times and the CSOs have a potential to play an important role in the process. They also have enough capacity to carry out independent expert assessment of various problems. At first glance, the CSOs seem to have adequately responded to these new challenges – they formed different alliances and coalitions, and made serious political statements via mass media. But a closer look shows that the current Georgian civil society is not as strong as expected. Moreover, it itself is facing a lot of problems. Although the CSOs admit that the civil society is in crisis nowadays, they differ widely in explaining the reasons of the problem. It may seem that the decline of the Georgian civil sector began right after the 2003 Rose Revolution, when many activists and leaders of the CSOs took up various positions ...

Opinion

The new political centre and the new chance

by | Nov 25

The autumn of 2011 was marked with increased political activity in Georgia. It would not be an exaggeration to say that a wealthy Georgian businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili’s emergence on the Georgian political scene as a major opposition figure was widely regarded in Georgia as an event of the same magnitude as the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. The fact that Ivanishvili, a businessman turned politician, has suddenly become a focus of media spotlight and heated public debate – no matter what people think of his actions – speaks for itself. How he is characterised by supporters and opponents is another thing. Part of his supporters view him as a "savoir" of the nation. According to others, his emergence signals the arrival of a new type of leader. For the opponents he is a Russian spy, a cunning enemy on a mission to ruin Georgia, a smart crook and, at the same time, a stupid and narrow-minded man. Besides, parallels are often drawn between Ivanishvili and another Georgian oligarch, Badri Patarkatsishvili, who led the opposition in previous years. It is obvious, however, that the ...

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