Change and Continuity in Georgia’s Foreign Policy Towards Russia since the Power Transition in 2012: Understanding the “Normalization"

Aslanishvili, Ida (2020) Change and Continuity in Georgia’s Foreign Policy Towards Russia since the Power Transition in 2012: Understanding the “Normalization". MA/MSc thesis, BCE Nemzetközi, Politikai és Regionális Tanulmányok Intézet, Nemzetközi Kapcsolatok Tanszék.

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Abstract

In the following research my goal is to analyze the change and continuity in Georgia’s foreign policy stance towards Russia as a result of transition of power in 2012 – namely I will attempt to explain the process called “normalization”. Since regaining independence from the USSR in 1991, Georgia’s way to restating its sovereignty and territorial integrity came at a cost of suffering two periods of civil wars, which have resulted in broader Georgia-Russia confrontation. The Rose Revolution of 2003 brought a new team of reformist and pro-Western leaders, who managed to recover Georgia from the legacy of the “dark” 1990s, largely contributing to creation of Georgia as we know of today. While the Euro-Atlantic integration has become an ultimate goal for the country and remains unabated ever since, it is interesting to explore how the two governments chose their ways of dealing with Moscow. It is believed that the United National Movement expressed harsh and by far more hostile foreign policy towards Russia, while the Georgian Dream, on the other hand, decided to pursue relatively subtle approach – the process known as “normalization”. Although this policy did not result in significant shift in Georgia’s foreign policy directions, the softer approach towards Russia raised alarms among many observers regarding the possible risks such policy may incur. In this paper, I will argue that “normalization” deemed to be necessary under conditions present by 2012, therefore it can be explained by following factors: economic interests, Georgian public opinion and the fear of reopening the conflict with Russia. The research is based on a single case study strategy and will rely on qualitative research methods. As of theoretical framework, I will use the rational choice theory - meaning that actors assess their alternatives and choose the one with the most beneficial outcome, given the constraints.

Item Type:MA/MSc thesis
Subjects:Political science
International relations
ID Code:13095
Specialisation:Nemzetközi tanulmányok
Deposited On:27 Oct 2020 09:09
Last Modified:27 Oct 2020 09:09

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