The Process of European Integration and Cycles of Political Development of Georgia

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
The author analyzes the influence of Eurointegration process on the democratic development of Georgia. In his view political development of Georgia proceeds through the interaction of foreign and internal factors, which respectively produces two vectors –authoritarian and democratic. European integration strengthens the role of foreign factors in the political development of the country, which compensates the lack of resources of democratization within the country, weakening the influence of past dependence on the political development, which strengthens potential of democratization. The interaction of authoritarian and democratic vectors of political development produces originalities of the post-communist transformation of Georgia, which is manifested in the cyclical character of it. The author identifies and analyzes authoritarian and democratic cycles, revealing the significance of each cycle for the political development of Georgia. In his view the short-term cycles of democratization had been changed by the long-term cycles of authoritarianism, the strengthening of which had been hampered by the European integration. All successive cycles weakened the influence of the past on the political development of the country. Each authoritarian cycle was transformed into the next cycle of democratization (the only exception is the governing of Gamsakhurdia), which were interrupted by a following cycle of authoritarianism. The electoral and political cycles were not in coincidence with each other. Every authoritarian cycle comprised several election cycles, which legitimized them. Elections legitimized also coup d’ etats. Decisive factors of the formation of authoritarian cycles where the expectation of the electorate, which were produced by the charismas of political leaders. The weakening of their charismas provided transformation of authoritarianism into the democratization. Each of the authoritarian cycles fulfilled appropriate functions in the political development of Georgia. The first authoritarian cycle –conservative authoritarianism (the governance of Gamsaxurdia) laid the foundations of the national independence, started to build a new state of post- communist Georgia and weekend the resources of democratization. The second cycle of authoritarianism - liberalized liberal authoritarianism (the governance of Shevardnadze) started building a liberal state, strengthened the westernization of the society, formed a new social-stratification system, strengthened resources of democratization. The third cycle of authoritarianism, liberal authoritarianism (the governance of Saakashvili), strengthened the state institutions, increased the state potential at the expense of the decrease of potential of democratization. The parliamentary elections of 2012 started a new cycle of democratization which was transformed into a nonconsolidated democracy.
democracy, democratization, political cycles, authoritarianism, European integration, Elections, დემოკრატია, დემოკრატიზაცია, პოლიტიკური ციკლები, ავტორიტარიზმი, არჩევნები, ევროინტეგრაცია