Back Thursday | 22 July, 2010
Attitudes toward the West | Caucasus Analytical Digest
Following an article on Georgians’ attitudes toward Russia, CRRC Fellows Therese Svensson and Julia Hon have written a new piece for CAD, entitled “Attitudes toward the West in the South Caucasus”. Their article looks at citizens’ views on three areas of relations — political, economic and cultural — between the South Caucasus and the West, in particular NATO, the US and the EU. The data were derived from the South Caucasus–wide 2007 and 2008 Data Initiatives (DI), as well as from the 2009 EU survey that was conducted in Georgia.
The article highlights several figures which show that citizens in the South Caucasus, and especially those in Georgia, are keen to cooperate with the West on economic and political levels. For example, on a ten-point scale — where '10' equals full cooperation and '1' is no cooperation — 80 percent of the Georgian respondents ranked their desire for economic cooperation with the U.S. in the top five categories, compared with 71 percent in both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The percentages on potential NATO membership, by contrast, vary more widely in the three countries: while 42 percent in Georgia said they are fully in favor of membership, 21 percent said the same in Azerbaijan, and only 10 percent in Armenia.
But the most fascinating figures arise when the subject of cultural relationships comes up. Although citizens in the South Caucasus are open to friendship and doing business with citizens of the West, they seem less keen on Western cultural influences, which they view as potential threats to their own cultural identity and traditions. In all, 64 percent and 63 percent in Armenia and Azerbaijan, respectively, either strongly or somewhat agreed with a statement that "Western influence is a threat to [national] culture". Twenty-four percent in Georgia said the same, while 34 percent chose "neutral" as their answer.
Perhaps understanding exactly which elements of Western culture are seen to be threatening, and in what way, would be a topic of additional interest.
For the full article, go here.
12.10.2015 | Monday
By Zaur Shiriyev
[Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
By Zaur Shiriyev
The development of local think tanks in Azerbaijan has taken a different route to that followed by most other post-Soviet states and Eastern European countries. In the Eastern Bloc countries, research institutes modeled on Western think tanks became increasingly popular following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, in Azerbaijan this did not happen, largely due to domestic political developments in the early 1990s.
05.10.2015 | Monday [Editor's note: This is the third in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
By Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan
By Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan
Think tanks are considered to be an important part of civil society: providers and keepers of expertise on important social, economic, environmental, political and other issues. Organizations like Chatham House and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace come to mind. In addition to ‘pure’ think tanks, there is a plethora of organizations that combine research with advocacy and action, Transparency International being a prominent example.
29.09.2015 | Tuesday [Editor's note: This is the second in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
Dustin Gilbreath: You recently recently pointed out that think tanks in the South Caucasus have come a long way in recent years, but that they still face challenges on some of the fundamentals – quality of research, policy relevance, funding, and operational acumen. At the national rather than regional level, what are the relative strengths of and challenges before the think tank sector of each country?
28.09.2015 | Monday
By: Dustin Gilbreath
[Editor's note: This is the first in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia]
By: Dustin Gilbreath
Starting from similarly troubled slates at the turn of independence, the South Caucasus countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – have diverged over the last 25 years, and the region is an interesting case of divergence despite similarity. While in Azerbaijan the government is squeezing the last bit of free expression from the country, Georgia is having its problems but is by far the freest place in the region. Armenia still has space for engagement, but it is not as open as Georgia.
07.09.2015 | Monday
On July 18, 2015 thousands of Georgians gathered in Tbilisi protesting Russia’s “creeping occupation” as South Ossetia based Russian troops continue to draw the border along the Administrative Border Line between Georgia and the occupied territory of South Ossetia. The unresolved territorial conflicts over South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh are major sources of instability in the South Caucasus.
31.08.2015 | Monday
A fair share of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian population still lives in poverty and cannot afford to buy certain durable goods. According to CRRC’s 2013 Caucasus Barometer survey (CB), in Georgia, 28% of the population reported they did not have enough money for food; 33% had enough money for food, but not for...
08.08.2015 | Saturday
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) surveys regularly collect information about how the interviewers assess each of the conducted interviews – so called paradata that provides additional insight into the conditions surrounding the interviews (e.g., whether someone besides the respondent and the interviewer was present during the face-to-face interview), as well as interviewers’ subjective assessments of, for example, level of sincerity of the respondents.
02.08.2015 | Sunday
Citizenship is a difficult concept to define as its definition changes over time, depending on social, legal, and political contexts. Importantly, it not only encompasses structural (legal and institutional) aspects, but also the everyday practices through which people relate to the state and other citizens. This blog post examines some of the perceptions as to what makes a good citizen across the South Caucasus and the extent to which people’s actions match up with their stated opinions on good citizenship.
27.07.2015 | Monday This blog post looks at the World Bank’s STEP data for Armenia and Georgia, which CRRC collected in 2013, to see how people are finding work, their confidence that they have the skills needed to find work, and how they feel their education prepares them for work.
30.06.2015 | Tuesday
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
The third annual CRRC methodological conference took place on June 26 and 27 at Rooms Hotel, Tbilisi. With over 50 participants and a packed program of presentations, workshops, and speeches the conference drew together policy practitioners and researchers from the South Caucasus and beyond.
15.06.2015 | Monday
Trust in institutions is a widely studied subject in the social sciences – typing 'trust in institutions' into Google Scholar yields roughly 2.5 million results. It is generally believed to have multi-directional relationships with different aspects of social life, with high levels of trust associated with positive phenomena – acceptance of innovation and a good business environment just to name two.
01.05.2015 | Friday
While Georgia’s closer ties with the EU represent the views and beliefs of a large majority of Georgian citizens, support for the Euro-Atlantic path is notably weaker among the country’s ethnic minority citizens than among the ethnic Georgian population.
02.03.2015 | Monday
Deserving to be beaten and tolerating violence: Attitudes towards violence against women in Azerbaijan
This blog post looks into how the attitudes of the representatives of various socio-demographic groups differ towards these two statements, which are jointly referred to as “violence against women”.
01.02.2015 | Sunday
This blog post looks at who reports more liberal views in regard to premarital sex in Georgia – men or women – and whether there are any differences in attitudes based on respondent age, level of education, or settlement type.
01.10.2013 | Tuesday Azerbaijan is arguably one of the most secular countries in the Muslim world. Nearly seven decades of official atheist policy as part of the Soviet Union, along with isolation from the rest of the non-Soviet Muslim world, diminished Islam's position in the country. According to many, including .salamnews.org/ru/news/read/39100/gadi-shaxin-gasanli-laquoprivyazannost-lyudey-k-...
02.09.2013 | Monday May 31st is often called the Birthday of Internet. It was on this day in 1961 that American engineer and computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock published his first paper entitled "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets". Even though the idea of the internet began being developed in the late 1960s, Kleinroc...
23.07.2013 | Tuesday LGBTQ issues are difficult to discuss throughout the South Caucasus. For example, this year’s International Day against Homophobia on May 17th was not without challenges in Georgia. An anti-homophobia rally in Tbilisi was violently met with thousands of anti-g...
03.07.2013 | Wednesday Donating, volunteering or simply helping a relative with daily chores can help strengthen communities and boost trust. Data from the 2012 Caucasus Barometer (CB) shows that helping friends and neighbors with household chores is relatively common, while volunteerism remains low in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan even though the latter is recognized as important and meaningful. A previous blog ...
20.05.2013 | Monday In the South Caucasus there is a tension between the desire to leave the Soviet past behind and the desire to re-evaluate history. Museums are one of the arenas in which the past, culture and history of any country (or nation) are captured. The International Council of Museums defines a museum as “A p...
06.05.2013 | Monday Freedom of press is one of the indicators of a free society (e.g., immunity of communications media from censorship or governmental control). Freedom House’s 2012 analysis of Freedom of Press found that only 14.5% of the world’s population live in countries with a free press, while 45% have a partly free press, a...
08.10.2012 | Monday The results of the October parliamentary elections in Georgia have raised questions regarding the future trajectory of Georgian foreign policy. One of the priorities of Georgian foreign policy has been European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Will the new Georgian government initiate major changes and redirect Georgia’s foreign policy that has been supported by the National United Movement? Will Ge...
29.07.2012 | Sunday Education is considered to be a crucial factor for social development. According to the 2011 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey, much of the Georgian population considers education to be an important factor to get a good job in Georgia. Public interest in education is high and many Georgians think that the quality of secondary education has ...
06.06.2016 | Monday Increasing knowledge of and trust in polls are clear challenges for pollsters in Georgia. Even though public opinion polls are regularly criticized, there is still a public demand for them. A majority of Georgians believe that they don't have a proper understanding of how public opinion polls are conducted, but they agree that polls help everyone to better understand the society they live in.
13.06.2016 | Monday This blog post looks at how reported levels of trust in the president, local government, executive government, parliament, the army, healthcare system, police, educational system and courts have changed over the years in Georgia, using CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data from 2011 to 2015 and NDI-CRRC polls.
25.01.2014 | Saturday
In November 2013, CRRC conducted a survey on public attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The survey shows that Georgians are generally positive about the direction in which their country is going, the state of democracy in Georgia, and the current ruling coalition.
04.02.2014 | Tuesday
Following the world financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the global recession of 2008-2009, GDP growth slowed and unemployment increased in many countries. From a peak of 12.34% GDP growth in 2007, Georgia’s GDP contracted by 3.78% in 2009, leveling out to an average of 6.4% GDP growth over 2010 to 2012. Official unemployment in Georgia also worsened over that period, starting at 13.3% in 2007, peaking at 16.9% in 2009 and falling down to 15% by 2012.
25.02.2014 | Tuesday The Olympics in Sochi, Russia, took place about 30 kilometers from Russia’s border with the separatist region of Abkhazia in Georgia. As a security precaution, the Russian government has temporarily moved its border 11 kilometers into Abkhazia to create a “security zone,” at which travelers entering will have to show identification before proceeding to the actual border with Russia.
26.01.2015 | Monday The world population is getting older, and this trend will likely continue as a result of decreasing mortality and declining fertility. International organizations predict that the aging of the population will cause economic problems in countries that already have difficulties in providing proper welfare for the elderly. The countries of the South Caucasus are no exception in this regard.
21.04.2014 | Monday
Although over 20 years have passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian remains the most commonly spoken language in Azerbaijan after the official language (Azerbaijani).
28.05.2014 | Wednesday
29.06.2014 | Sunday
CRRC Methodological Conference on Measuring Social Inequality in the South Caucasus and its Neighborhood
The second annual CRRC methodological conference took place on the 25th of June at Tbilisi State University. With over fifty attendees and a packed program of presentations, the conference drew together policy practitioners and researchers from the South Caucasus and beyond.
14.07.2014 | Monday
When is a war not a war? While it may seem commonsensical that a country cannot simultaneously be at war and at peace, the prevalence of several ‘frozen conflicts’ in the post-Soviet space defies simple categorization. If we take the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia or South Ossetia as an example, a quick internet search shows that there was a five-day war in 2008 that ended on the 12th of August with a preliminary ceasefire agreement.
21.07.2014 | Monday
On 1 April, 2014 the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) published a blog which described a future Transcaucasian Confederation agreement signed by the three South Caucasian states. Despite the fact that the blog was an April Fool’s Day joke, it provoked significant interest and reader response.
08.08.2016 | Monday This blog post describes a number of tendencies that might be related to the declining public support for democracy in Georgia, using the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data.
15.08.2016 | Monday According to existing estimates, the stock of internal migrants is much larger than the stock of international migrantsworldwide. In Georgia, however, internal migration is largely overlooked and there is very little data available on the number and distribution of internal migrants. Several indicators of internal migration in Georgia can be found in CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey. This blog post discusses one such indicator: whether, at the time of interview, adults in Georgia lived in the same settlement where they were born. Results of the latest, 2015 wave of CB are presented in this blog post.
11.08.2014 | Monday
The three countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) are geographically, historically and politically bound closely together. Nevertheless, these countries often find themselves in disagreement when faced with broader geopolitical questions regarding alliances, threats and visions about the future of the region.
25.08.2014 | Monday
As discussed in a recent blog post, household incomes in Georgia have risen steadily since 2008. The percentage of Georgians who have family or close relatives living abroad has also significantly increased from 37% in 2009 to 53% in 2013. 14% of Georgian households currently receive money from family members, relatives, or friends living in another country as an income source. This blog examines changes in interest in emigrating from Georgia over the last five years, while controlling for certain variables.
15.09.2014 | Monday
Authors Rahmato and Kidanu (1999) use the phrase “We live only for today” to describe a feeling whereby a person gives up on life and does not know or does not want to think about what will happen the next day. This phrase describes a state wherein people live day-to-day without hope for the future. This sense of helplessness or hopelessness with regard to the future is known as fatalism.
07.10.2014 | Tuesday
A recent CRRC regional blog post analyzed the presence of fatalism in Georgia. The post cited CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) data which shows that in 2013, 28% of Georgians agreed that “everything in life is determined by fate.” While the CB findings demonstrate that a sizeable portion of the adult population is fatalistic about the future, Georgians are increasingly likely to see that future in a positive light, whether it be determined by fate or not.
13.11.2013 | Wednesday Ann Bennett Lockwood, an American attorney, politician and author once said that, “If nations could only depend upon fair and impartial judgments in a world court of law, they would abandon the senseless, savage practice of war”. For many, the credibility of a government is judged by the fairness of itsjudicial system. For instance, Michel Rosenfeld (2001) argued that a fair justice system creates respect and faith in government by saying that, “If a citizen implicitly or explicitly endorses a law or legal regime, the latter can be considered subjectively fair.”
13.10.2014 | Monday
Does having more free time mean that you can do more? According to the 2013 CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey, the answer is not that simple. Being unemployed may mean that you have more time at your disposal, but it may also mean that you have fewer opportunities to get involved and resources to use for various activities than those who work. This blog looks at activities people get involved in and describes the differences between those who have a job and those who do not.
20.10.2014 | Monday On September 3rd 2013 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan surprised many observers, including some in his own government, when he announced that Armenia would sign an agreement with Russia to join the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and spurn a long-negotiated Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union. The move has been dubbed a “U-Turn” as well as a “sudden shift in policy,” although it was predated by landmark Armenian-Russian agreements in 1997 and 2006.
03.11.2014 | Monday
The recent history of the South Caucasus as seen by the world’s media – Part 1, Armenia and Azerbaijan
History has been a qualitative discipline and has often been considered part of the humanities, well, historically, but the emergence of big data is likely to extend the use of quantitative methods in historical research in the long run. Big data projects have aimed at everything from finding out where to pick fruit in your city to mapping the prevalence of AIDS in the United States, but a recent project, Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) has compiled a massive database of print media coverage in over 100 languages including Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian. Originally created by Kalev Leetaru and Philip Schrodt at Georgetown University, the GDELT database contains about a quarter of a billion uniquely coded units starting from 1979.
06.11.2014 | Thursday
In Monday's blog post, we looked at a snapshot of Armenia and Azerbaijan’s representation in the global media from 1979 to present. Today, we take a look at the third South Caucasus state, Georgia. What are the events that have popped up in Georgia and made international news over the last 35 years?
27.11.2014 | Thursday
The CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey results demonstrate that Georgians exhibit relatively high levels of interpersonal and institutional trust when compared to their Armenian neighbors. Trust is an important component of “social capital,” which is widely perceived to be a necessary condition for a thriving entrepreneurial class and small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.
08.12.2014 | Monday
State capacity is a concept which has gained wide interest from political scientists in recent years as an important concept for economic development and regime classification, yet it still lacks agreed upon definitions and indicators. Its definitions vary, with different scholars highlighting different aspects of the concept based on their angle on the subject, but some definitions of state capacity are broader than others. A good example of a broad definition of state capacity is “the state’s ability to implement public policy” (Rogers and Weller, 2014).
22.12.2014 | Monday
Robert Putnam’s 1993 work Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy marked a seminal moment in the development of institutionalism. Putnam’s exhaustive study of the relationship between the governed and governing in the Italian regions contained the discovery that public opinion provides an accurate picture of actual government performance: “The Italians’ gradually increasing satisfaction with the regional governments … corresponded to real differences in performance,” and in each region Putnam’s measurement of performance was “remarkably consistent with the appraisals offered by the regional attentive public and by the electorate as a whole.”
19.10.2015 | Monday
By Till Bruckner
[Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
By Till Bruckner
If you work on policy issues in a transition or developing country, you probably know the standard line on think tanks by heart. Local think tanks build domestic research capacity, improve policy formulation processes and outcomes, and enrich and enhance democratic debates, thereby contributing to the emergence of more democratic, wealthy, and equitable societies. (Yes, you may copy and paste this into your next fundraising proposal if you wish).
26.10.2015 | Monday
By Dustin Gilbreath
[Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series of blog posts co-published with On Think Tanks. The views expressed within this blog series are the authors alone and do not represent the views of CRRC-Georgia.]
By Dustin Gilbreath
So far, in this series think tankers working in the South Caucasus have reflected on the issues challenging their countries’ think tank sector. In many ways, some fundamental problems lie at the heart of the specific problems, and I think they can more or less be summed up as problems with language and audience; quality of research; funding; and transparency. This post takes a look at one of these challenges – language and audience – and considers some things that might nudge the region’s think tanks forward.
09.11.2015 | Monday
After the collapse of the Georgian economy in the 1990s, the country slowly started to recover, and between 2000 and 2014, the gross national income grew from $3.4 billion to $16.7 billion (in current USD). According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the official unemployment rate in Georgia was 12.4% in 2014, but according to numerous surveys the rate is much higher.
25.11.2015 | Wednesday
The Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia 2015 survey report was presented today by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in Tbilisi.
30.11.2015 | Monday
In Georgia, unemployment is high, and it is higher among women than men. Policy changes are definitely needed not only to increase the employment opportunities, but also to ensure more equal employment opportunities for men and women.
15.02.2012 | Wednesday
Widespread apathy and a general disbelief that good can come from joint effort is a major factor hindering social capital in Georgia. One indicator of apathy can be fatalism, meaning the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. This blog explores the level of political fatalism in Georgia and how it is connected to Georgians’ perceptions of the country’s current political course and democracy.
24.02.2012 | Friday
Most CRRC users know about our Online Data Analysis tool, ODA. It is easy to use, continues to be popular, and in less than a year we have had nearly 70.000 charts generated.
16.03.2012 | Friday
What do Georgians consider good citizenship to mean? The issue of good citizenship is important, especially because of Georgia’s expressed democratic aspirations. This blog looks at how Georgians perceive their responsibilities as citizens and how their attitudes towards good citizenship have changed in the past two years. The results indicate that mass attitudes and beliefs are gradually changing and that now, compared to 2009, Georgians take a more active view of citizens’ responsibilities.
29.03.2012 | Thursday
According to a report by the World Health Organization, blood donations in Georgia fall below the estimated need for patients. Approximately 60,000 donations are necessary per year to cover Georgian patients’ needs, while the number of actual blood donation does not exceed 37,000. Moreover, 95% of blood donations come from paid donors.
24.02.2011 | Thursday
The internal workings of the European Union (EU) are notoriously yawnsome matters. However, in a survey from 2008, CRRC aimed to give an overview of Georgians’ understanding of and attitudes to the EU - including some hot topics concerning orientations towards such activities as sex before marriage, infidelity, dishonesty, and tax-paying.
19.03.2011 | Saturday
How do multimedia phones affect the way media is consumed and circulated? Katy Pearce lays out interesting findings for the case of Armenia in the International Journal of Communication (5, 2011, pp. 511-528).
21.03.2011 | Monday
By Sonya Kleshik
One of the previous CRRC blogs discussed some results from CRRC’s recent survey called “IDPs in Georgia” which gauged the opinions and attitudes of IDPs displaced from Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 conflict towards return, conflict resolution and justice. CRRC’s annual survey, the Caucasus Barometer (2010) also included a series of questions on Georgia-Abkhazia relations asked to the non-IDP population of Georgia.
07.04.2011 | Thursday
What are the social, political and economic attitudes of people in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan? Do Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis think employment or territorial integrity is the most important issue facing their respective countries? How do they judge the fairness of elections or media independence? How trusting or supportive are they of the European Union, NATO membership or local institutions?
05.05.2011 | Thursday
CRRC conducted a survey on political and economic attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), funded by the Swedish International development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The fieldwork of the survey took place in March, 2011 and surveyed 2,893 respondents in Georgia. The survey covered the issues of public importance, perceptions and attitudes toward democracy and ongoing reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign affairs.
10.05.2011 | Tuesday
CRRC is happy to announce its new Online Data Analysis (ODA) program! Crunching numbers from CRRC surveys is now easier than ever.
11.05.2011 | Wednesday
By Sarrah Bechor
CRRC recently completed its 8th annual Caucasus Barometer survey, gathering data about perceptions of trust, livelihood and social realities during face-to-face interviews in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Some of the results from these countries have been compared to results from 22 other countries that were surveyed as part of the 2010 Pew Global Attitudes Project Survey.
24.05.2011 | Tuesday
With the upcoming World Blood Donor Day on June, 14, the question about current attitudes towards blood donation in the South Caucasus is worth examining. While there are considerable efforts in all three countries to increase donation rates and improve blood screening, donation rates remain below 1%, according to WHO data for Armenia and Georgia, and thereby stand at the lower end in international comparison.
01.07.2011 | Friday
In the spring of 2011, CRRC ran the Caucasus Barometer Report Writing competition and now we have an opportunity to present some of the results to you. The first report is written by one of the competition winners, Keti Khachidze, and addresses trust in the Georgian president. Here is a quick summary of her findings and analysis.
07.07.2011 | Thursday
Six scholars from the South Caucasus have been selected to join a prestigious program administered by CRRC and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER). Carnegie Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) offers local scholars in the social sciences non-degree research opportunities at universities and institutes in the United States.
13.07.2012 | Friday The 2011 Caucasus Barometer asked the Georgian population, “Relative to most of the households around you, would you describe the current economic condition of your household as very good, good, fair, poor or very poor?
25.07.2011 | Monday
The Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts did not emerge in the 2008 August war. However, they escalated in the early 1990’s when both territories engaged in wars of secession and there are different approaches to the resolution of these conflicts. For the EU, these are regional issues with broad security implications.
22.08.2011 | Monday
On the third anniversary of the 2008 August war the Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia will not renew ties with Georgia as long as the Georgian President Mikhail Saakhashvili is in power. Relations between the Georgian and Russian governments have been at a standstill since the conflict in 2008. Nevertheless, the attitudes of Georgians towards Russians remain positive.
29.08.2011 | Monday
CRRC has just completed a second wave of the survey entitled “Knowledge and Attitudes toward the European Union (EU) in Georgia” (2011). Just over half of the Georgian population thinks that Georgia will actually join the EU at some point in the future and they have high expectations from EU membership. Many Georgians also support membership in the European Union (EU) despite uncertainty over whether or not European citizens share the same views about Georgian accession. This new survey also lets us compare data with the first survey conducted in 2009.
07.09.2011 | Wednesday
We would like to present the third report from the Caucasus Barometer Report Writing Competition held by CRRC in spring 2011 and written by Mariam Naskidashvili. The first and the second reports were published earlier this summer. The report concerns the roles and behavior of women in Georgian society. Here is a short summary of the report:
12.09.2011 | Monday
A recent New York Times article argues that the failure of Western governments to recognize the latest presidential elections in Abkhazia on August 26, 2011 may hamper conflict resolution. According to the authors, Cooley and Mitchell, Western governments have a “counterproductive disdain” of developments in Abkhazia and isolating Sukhumi will reduce prospects for conflict resolution.
27.09.2011 | Tuesday
On September 15th 2011, the former American Ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, delivered a speech at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies about NATO’s past development, present capabilities and future challenges. The second part of the speech addressed relations between NATO and Georgia. According to Ambassador Volker, the enlargement of the alliance will not be on the agenda during the next summit in Chicago.
29.09.2011 | Thursday
In a recent datablog, the Guardian published a map visualizing how the former Soviet countries are doing 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. The map compares the 15 former Soviet countries in terms of economic development, demographics and democratic transition. It also divides the countries into five regions: Russia, the Baltic countries, the EU borderlands, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
07.10.2011 | Friday
Using data from the Caucasus Barometer, Ken Roberts and Gary Pollock argue that ...
13.10.2011 | Thursday
During the 20th anniversary of Armenian independence from the Soviet Union on September 21, 2011, the Armenian news service Hetq reported that the organizers of celebratory events were delivering commemorative T-shirts made in Turkey – which has had closed borders with Armenia since 1993. Despite the fact that trade between Armenia and Turkey flourishes via Georgia, the border between the two countries remains closed. What does the population of Armenia actually think about opening the border with Turkey?
14.10.2011 | Friday
Last year, Ani Navasardyan asked, “Why do so many Armenians leave Armenia?” Migration is also an issue in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Data from the CB 2010 reveals that around half of the respondents in Georgia (47%) and Azerbaijan (52%) are interested in temporary migration. Still, Armenia stands out since 64% of the adult population is open to the idea of temporarily leaving the country.
16.10.2011 | Sunday
CRRC’s report “How Does the South Caucasus Compare?” aims to put attitudes towards gender in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the three countries of the South Caucasus region, into a global context.
02.11.2011 | Wednesday
Continuing to explore standards of living in the South Caucasus, this blog looks at the between four sources of household income and material deprivation using data from the 2010 Caucasus Barometer. Each of the four sources of income (salaries, pensions or government transfers, sales from agricultural goods, and remittances) are categorized by their importance to the household and then cross tabulated with material deprivation. The findings suggest that families reliant on salaries and remittances are better off, while families receiving pensions and government transfers, or those who sell agricultural products as their primary source of income have higher than average rates of material deprivation.
12.11.2011 | Saturday
In a recent article in Post-Communist Economies, Zvezda Dermendzhieva uses Caucasus Barometer data to compare labour migration from the South Caucasus.
07.12.2011 | Wednesday
The 20th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union is upon us, and US-Russian tensions have risen as Russia contemplates terminating the NATO supply route through Russia. International news reports such as The New York Times detail the threat as a “death blow” to the U.S.-led NATO mission in Afghanistan and indicate that this could be a blessing in disguise for NATO hopeful Georgia, as well as for Azerbaijan.
12.06.2012 | Tuesday How justified is it for Georgian women to bear a child or have sex outside of wedlock? Is the Georgian population tolerant towards homosexuals? What are views on issues such as these in the light of the western-oriented political course of the country? How do men and women compare in terms of liberal attitudes? To address these questions, this blog post presents the results from two waves of a nationwide public opinion survey entitled “Knowledge and Attitudes toward the EU in Georgia” conducted by CRRC in 2009 and 2011.
14.01.2010 | Thursday
How are Georgians doing financially, how much do they earn and what do they spend on? CRRC’s Data Initiative allows for an in-depth analysis of these and similar issues on the economic status of the population across the South Caucasus.
18.01.2010 | Monday
What do Georgians think about Russia? What relationship would they like to have with their northern neighbor? And what do they think about the August conflict? Our data allows a nuanced answer to these questions: although Georgians have a very critical view of Russia’s role in the August conflict, they continue to desire a good political relationship with their northern neighbor, as long as this is not at the expense of close ties with the West.
25.01.2010 | Monday
What are the reasons for low public engagement in the South Caucasus? Why, despite the large number of non-government organizations, civil society remains weak in all three countries?
10.02.2010 | Wednesday
Wondering what Georgians do in their free time? Do they read, listen to music, go to cinemas and theatres, stay at home and spend time with their families, watch TV, or just sleep?
12.02.2010 | Friday
It is often stated that life in a city is fundamentally different from that in rural areas. In the West, village life is said to be more intimate, and its inhabitants more caring about their peers, with strong ties between neighbors and family members. Can this also be said in the South Caucasus? After all, family relations and friendships are supposed to be strong in countries like Georgia. Do these ties reach into the cities, erasing the difference between strong social networks in rural areas and the more anonymous, independent urban setting?
25.05.2012 | Friday Expanding on the topic of a previous blog, this post compares statistics on the number of women in national parliaments in the South Caucasus and other areas of the world. The countries of the South Caucasus rank low on women’s participation in parliament compared to many other countries.
15.03.2010 | Monday
Migration is a major factor in Georgia. Many Georgians live abroad, and by some estimates the money they send back accounts for nearly 10% of Georgia’s GDP. Did you know that households in rural areas who receive such aid are less likely to be poor, but that in Tbilisi, the opposite is true?
19.04.2010 | Monday
Last month we wrote a blog post on gender imbalance in the South Caucasus showing that there is an abnormal high number of boys being born in the region. Several comments were posted on the blog site that brought attention to abortion rates in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
03.05.2010 | Monday
During the last two decades, Georgia has created new government institutions designed to serve as the tools and safeguards of democracy. But do Georgians believe that these institutions live up to their mission statements? How much do Georgians trust government institutions, and which factors influence the public’s attitudes toward them?
18.05.2010 | Tuesday
The CRRC’s annual Data Initiative Survey will be renamed into the Caucasus Barometer starting from 2010. At CRRC, we think that the new name better reflects the essence of the survey and is more understandable for the general public and the journalists.
16.06.2010 | Wednesday
In winter 2008, CRRC together with the American Councils conducted some research on the ways foreigners learn languages in Georgia. Hans Gutbrod and Malte Viefhues have recently published a paper in CRIA, analyzing the results and providing interesting insights into incentives to language learning and the importance of Georgian and Russian for foreigners in the country.
17.06.2010 | Thursday
By Jesse Tatum and Vazha Burduli
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
Regarding the greatest threats to the world today, the spread of nuclear weapons and poverty are foremost on the minds of people in the South Caucasus, according to the 2009 CB.
08.08.2010 | Sunday
What are the patterns in how the respondents are rated by the interviewers? The relevance of this question is beyond doubt, as patterns in such ratings allow for an idea of the reliability of the data as well as for more general insights into the settings in which interviewers are gathering data. Relevant data has been gathered in the Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey for years, enabling us to analyze the impressions that interviewers have gained during their work in the South Caucasus.
25.08.2010 | Wednesday
When presenting our work, or talking about it informally, we are asked fairly similar questions: do you do your interviewing in all of the country? How do you select the respondents? How do you know they are not lying to you? Are people willing to say things critical of the government? How do you design a questionnaire?
24.09.2010 | Friday These are the CRRC Georgia team members who work hard on the numbers we usually present!
08.10.2010 | Friday
A particularly intriguing talk at TEDxYerevan was given by Tim Straight, Honorary Consul of Norway and Finland to Armenia. Is the Caucasus in Europe or in Asia? Tim highlighted that there are five countries that defy easy categorization: Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and also Turkey. Tim explores how the dividing lines fall according to corporations, mapmakers and values.
11.10.2010 | Monday
With ever-increasing globalized societies, ethnically homogeneous states are fewer and fewer. Increased mobility has resulted in freer movement for migration and travel, and advances in technology have made constant communication easy across the globe. No doubt, these developments have made friendships between different nationalities more common, and even taken for granted in many places. Yet traditional values persist, and by examining attitudes towards this phenomenon, we can gain an understanding of a country’s social dynamics as well as predicting potential conflicts.
15.10.2010 | Friday
While attitudes toward interethnic friendship can give an idea of how people feel about others in their personal lives, the Caucasus Barometer survey probes further into core beliefs by asking about attitudes toward interethnic marriage. In analyzing their replies, we gain an insight into how different ethnicities come into play in the context of marriage and the formation of a family.
01.11.2010 | Monday
Close friends are an important part of life, whether we are starting a new school year as a child, a new job, or in the context of a stable and familiar environment. Whatever the backdrop, close friends help provide a social safety net where individuals can feel understood and protected against perceived obstacles and hardships. In short, friends are an important part of a sense of well-being and belonging, which affects attitudes across a wide spectrum of issues.
05.11.2010 | Friday
CRRC hosted a presentation on October 27 by Onnik Krikorian, a British journalist of part-Armenian descent and the Caucasus editor for Global Voices, entitled “Overcoming Negative Stereotypes in the Caucasus: New and Social Media in cross-border communication and conflict reporting.”
10.12.2010 | Friday
By Yuliya Aliyeva Gureyeva, Baku
The paper published in the 21st edition of the Caucasus Analytical Digest presents an account of how two competing policy approaches coexist in the policy attitudes towards women in Azerbaijan.
01.02.2008 | Friday
The alpha version of our Data Initiative data set, broad household data, covering lots of household data, but also political attitudes, social development, some health, education, migration, and social capital questions (and more) is online now. We interviewed more than 8000 people, so this really is the single largest dataset that is available on developments across the South Caucasus.
31.03.2008 | Monday
Brookings Index of Regime Weakness | State Rebuilding or State Collapse in the Caucasus | The Annals of Data
Yet another index was released recently -- Brookings Index of State Weakness in the Developing World. One professor of mine in graduate school, who was a veteran hot spot worker, related that all of the conflict professionals keep their eye on this map to see where they are going next. In this year's version of the index, however, it's where they already are: Somalia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq top the list.
21.05.2008 | Wednesday
With today's elections in Georgia, various themes come to mind. Certainly, elections have come a long way: by now, the Georgian government employs a series of highly qualified consultants, including Greenberg Quinlan Rosner of Clinton-fame, plus a Brussels-based PR firm, as well as working with experienced teams from the Baltics. This, then, is no longer the game of the 1990s, or 2003. Election observers know that they in turn will be observed, and maybe that's how it should be.
22.05.2008 | Thursday
So the preliminary report on yesterday's Parliamentary Elections which ODIHR has just released again notes that the count had problems.
27.05.2008 | Tuesday
Recently, the Georgian Times published an article on a poll recently conducted by GORBI of Georgian Troops in Iraq. According to the article, this is the first poll conducted amongst these soldiers.
18.06.2008 | Wednesday
Data snapshot: how do religious practices compare across the Caucasus? In our Data Initiative, we included questions on religion, and we tried to unpack the concept further: rather than only asking about the importance of religion, we linked it to practice. Thus, we asked how often people attend religious services, how often they pray, and how often they fast -- since these are comparable components across Muslim and two separate orthodox religions.
24.06.2008 | Tuesday
Last week we gave a snapshot of religious practices across the South Caucasus in general. The CRRC DI gives us an opportunity to explore this topic further and see whether religious practices are only country specific, or whether there are other factors influencing them. Let’s see if gender is a defining factor in religious practices in the South Caucasus.
30.06.2008 | Monday
Given the recent craze over UEFA football and the large number of diehard football fans across the Caucasus, I think the question about the politics of support is worth addressing. It can provide interesting insights into both cultural and political affinities -- much like Eurovision support -- except with a different demographic. We have limited information here, so the blog cries out for help!
07.07.2008 | Monday
Explore issues - handle data - satisfy your curiosity - get published - generate opportunities
CRRC is offering a round of research fellowships. Are you curious about a social issue? Do you have some ideas or hypotheses that you want to explore further? This fellowship could be the perfect opportunity for you!
09.07.2008 | Wednesday
Recently, we happened upon an article that talks about the use of Russian across the Caucasus. Is Russian becoming obsolete? According to the article, some Georgian politicians suggest this is the case. At the same time, the article points out that the uptake of English is too slow to replace Russian as a lingua franca.
22.07.2008 | Tuesday
The CRRC Data Initiative (DI) gives people an opportunity to do interesting cross-country comparisons of the South Caucasus (SC) people’s attitude toward their neighbors. This subject is quite sensitive and complex when thinking of the fact that the SC stands out for its sequence of ethnic conflicts.
30.07.2008 | Wednesday
As many of you may have heard, this week saw the launch of a competitor to Google. Cuil, which apparently is an old Irish word for knowledge, has been set up by several former Googlists and promises a search that's more oriented on content, and says it can do a more comprehensive job in the ever-expanding worldwide web.
04.08.2008 | Monday
Women’s participation at all levels of elections in Georgia is diminishing. As the Caucasus Women’s Network (CWN)reports, women inGeorgia were less represented in terms of candidates in the last parliamentary elections than in any previous parliamentary elections inGeorgia’s democratic history. On the other hand, women’s low political participation in elected bodies belies women’s activeness in civil society institutions, where females appear to be very active.
20.08.2008 | Wednesday
On July 29, just before the tensions in around South Ossetia began to escalate, Alexander Rondeli gave a talk at the Tbilisi Summer Seminars, a weekly lecture series which we were organizing with GFSIS and American Councils. Alexander Rondeli runs the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (which he also set up), has the rank of an ambassador, works closely with the Georgian government, and teaches International Relations.
17.09.2008 | Wednesday
How do urban Russians view the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia? From September, 5th-8th, 2008 the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada conducted a survey in ten big cities of the Russian Federation, interviewing 1000 Russian respondents. We have translated the results into English here, as they are only available in the original Russian on the Levada website.
03.10.2008 | Friday
Recently, as a result of the football diplomacy between Armenia and Turkey, an opinion poll was conducted in both Turkey and Armenia to gauge the reaction to new gestures in the Turko-Armenian relationship. The poll was carried out by MetroPoll in Ankara (Turkish only website) and by the Armenian Center for National and International Studies -- run by Rafik Hovannisian an American Diaspora Armenian now resident in Yerevan and involved in Armenian politics.
09.10.2008 | Thursday
Unemployment clearly is one of the pressing issues in the South Caucasus. But there is a lack of reliable data on people being without and looking for a job. This blog, based on CRRC’s Data Initiative 2007, provides a snapshot on these numbers.
20.10.2008 | Monday
What's the level of engagement in the three countries of the South Caucasus? Are people involved? Are they staying abreast of what goes on? Again, our Data Initiative provides insight, since we asked people whether they had engaged in various activities over the last six months
23.10.2008 | Thursday
So here's something that we are a little puzzled about. The Economist is undertaking a poll to see which American Presidential candidate is favored by the world. In a very blue worldwide map, rooting for Obama, two noticeable yellowish spots, Macedonia and Georgia. McCain, of course, is popular in Georgia for having said "Today we all are Georgians" during the recent conflict.
13.11.2008 | Thursday
Indices are engaging and instructive, but some really baffle us. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisation that organises the annual high-profile Davos meetings, has come up with a gender index, and the Caucasus is featured. The index is intended to measure how the world is closing the gender gap in education, health, and political and economic participation. In principle, this is a great idea, since there are significant challenges and discrepancies (as our data itself shows).
22.11.2008 | Saturday
One of the most impressive recent survey efforts, measuring attitudes about different countries in transition, has been undertaken by EBRD. Called Life in Transition Survey (LiTS), this is an attempt to look at how 29 'transitioning' countries have developed following 1989. The survey tracks "public attitudes, well-being, and the impact of economic and political change".
23.11.2006 | Thursday
The Economist observes that, being caught in complex cross-tensions, it would help if the three countries of the South Caucasus cooperated on some minimally shared interests.
04.12.2006 | Monday
Anastasia Kitiashvili used CRRC's 2004 Data Initiative to study attitudes to education. Unsurprisingly, a higher education degree is not a guarantee for employment. In Georgia, about 27% of those with higher education remain unemployed. In Azerbaijan, it is about 18% and in Armenia 17%.
07.12.2006 | Thursday
Foreign students officially registered in Germany, 2004
22.12.2006 | Friday
Diana Ter-Stepanyan evaluated the effectiveness of the civic education training program implemented in Armenian high schools (upper grades of secondary schools). She conducted a quantitative (questionnaire based) survey among 494tenth grade schoolchildren from all of Armenia’s regions to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of “Human Rights,” “Civil Society” and “State and Law” courses offered since 2001 in the scope of the civic education program in the schools.
06.06.2017 | Tuesday NATO recently recognized Georgia’s contributions to peacekeeping missions from Afghanistan to Kosovo by holding a session of the alliance’s parliamentary assembly in Tbilisi in late May. The occasion reinforced the hopes of Georgian leaders that their country can one day soon gain admission to NATO. However, polling in the lead up to NATO’s parliamentary assembly also sheds light on a trend that could potentially hinder its membership bid.
19.06.2017 | Monday A recent CRRC/NDI survey asked whether the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a good or bad thing for Georgia. People’s responses were split almost evenly: 48% reported that the dissolution was a good thing, whereas 42% said it was a bad thing for the country. Such a close split raised questions in the media about why people took one view or another.
15.08.2017 | Tuesday Bidzina Ivanishvili resigned from the post of prime minister of Georgia on November 20th 2013, and in his own words, “left politics“. Speculation about his continued informal participation in the political decision-making process began even before he resigned and still continues. Some politicians think that Ivanishvili gives orders to the Georgian Dream party from behind-the-scenes, while others believe that he actually distanced himself from politics. Politicians, journalists and experts continue to discuss the situation. Meanwhile, a majority of Georgia’s population thinks that Bidzina Ivanishvili is still involved in the governing process and that his informal participation is unacceptable.
09.10.2017 | Monday In general people are primarily interested in their own lives, rather than in social or political events. In other words, social and political events will, most probably, be overshadowed by events in one’s personal life. CRRC’s 2015 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey data provides more detailed insights on this. In this blog post, we compare answers to two CB questions: “When you get together with your close relatives and friends, how often do you discuss each other’s private problems?” and “When you get together with your friends and close relatives, how often do you discuss politics / current affairs?” in Armenia and Georgia.
16.10.2017 | Monday
Visa liberalization: How much do people in Georgia know about the conditions of visa-free travel to the EU?CRRC’s previous blog posts have shown that the population of Georgia had rather moderate expectations of the recent visa liberalization with the Schengen zone countries, especially when it comes to the question of how much ordinary people will benefit from it. Europe Foundation’s latest survey on Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, conducted in May 2017, provides a more nuanced understanding on how people in Georgia feel about this process and to what extent they are familiar with the conditions of visa liberalization.
05.12.2017 | Tuesday On 15 November, the Ministry of Culture announced it would give ‘Georgian tolerance’ the status of intangible cultural heritage. Historically, Georgia may have exhibited relatively high levels of tolerance, with many pointing to the reign of King David the Builder in the 12th century. David is celebrated for presiding over the start of the country’s golden age, and many point to his encouragement of other ethnicities settling in Georgia as a good example of Georgian tolerance.
08.01.2018 | Monday The introduction of visa free travel to the Schengen zone countries for Georgian citizens was one of the most prominent news stories in Georgia in 2017. It was also highly publicized and presented by the country’s government as a significant achievement on the way to European integration. Do people in Georgia agree with this assessment? And which groups of the population does the public think will actually benefit from the opportunity? CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey results shed some light on these questions.
29.01.2018 | Monday This week, 2017 Caucasus Barometer survey (CB) data will become publicly available on CRRC's online data analysis portal. CB is the longest running survey project in the South Caucasus region, with data available from 2008 to present. It enables the comparison of trends in the region over time. Caucasus Barometer 2017 was carried out in Armenia and Georgia in Fall 2017. To view the data for both countries or download the data sets, check our online data analysis platform from February 1.
12.02.2018 | Monday What are the factors that help one get a good job? The question is important around the world, and arguably even more important in countries with high reported unemployment, like Georgia and Armenia. While it would require an in-depth study of the labor market of a given country to find out what actually helps a person get a good job, what people think about this issue is also interesting. CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey asked the population of Armenia and Georgia which factors where important for getting a good job in their country.