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Monday | 13 June, 2016

Changes in the Level of Trust and Political Institutions in Georgia

The population’s level of trust in government and other institutions can be affected by many factors, and of course, may change over time. 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. 

The level of trust in most political institutions has declined in Georgia since 2012. One of the largest declines was in the level of trust in executive government, which dropped from 49% in 2012 to 21% in 2015. Reported trust in local government has also declined since 2011. There was a large drop in trust in the president since 2011, however, after 2013, it has increased by 10 percentage points. Since 2014, NDI-CRRC polls have shown decreasing support for the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition, which has a majority of seats in the parliament and forms the government. President Giorgi Margvelashvili, on the other hand, is quite distanced from the ruling party, is often criticized by the GD coalition and has made a number of critical remarks towards GD and its leaders. This may explain the discrepancy between rising trust in the president and declining trust in the executive government and the parliament between 2013 and 2015, although more research is needed.


While there has been a consistent drop in trust in most political institutions since 2011, there is a similar albeit less dramatic decline in trust in the police and educational system. The healthcare system is an exception – trust in this system has increased by 16 percentage points since 2012. This may be in response to the introduction of the State Universal Healthcare Program in 2013. Notably, the performance of the Ministry of Labor, Healthcare, and Social Affairs is ranked among the highest of all ministries according to NDI polls. The level of trust in the army is consistently high. Trust in courts has slightly increased since 2012, although it has not returned to its 2011 levels.




Since 2012, the levels of trust in local and executive government, parliament, the educational system and the police in Georgia have declined. Trust in the president and the healthcare system, on the other hand, have increased. Trust in the army remains high.

To explore data on trust in institutions in the South Caucasus further, take a look at our Online Data Analysis tool.
15.06.2015 | Monday

Trust in institutions in the South Caucasus – generating a combined score

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. 
21.04.2016 | Thursday

The Population of Georgia on "good citizenship"

Although many people agree that being “a good citizen” is important, there is a great variety of ideas on what being “a good citizen” means. CRRC’s 2013 and 2015 Caucasus Barometer (CB) surveys asked respondents to rate the importance of the following seven qualities for being “a good citizen”: always obeying laws, supporting the government on every occasion, voting in elections, following traditions, volunteering, helping people who are worse off than themselves, and being critical towards the government. This blog post discusses Georgia’s population’s assessments of these qualities.
25.08.2014 | Monday

Emigration, Language, and Remittances in Georgia

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.
07.10.2014 | Tuesday

The Wave of the Future: Optimism, Pessimism and Fatalism in Georgia

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.
20.10.2014 | Monday

Do Armenians Still View Integration with the EU as Part of a Positive-Sum Game?

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.
22.12.2014 | Monday

Does public opinion accurately gauge government performance in the South Caucasus?

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.”
29.03.2012 | Thursday

Blood Donation in Georgia: Obstacles and Opportunities

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.
13.07.2012 | Friday

PERCEIVED POVERTY IN GEORGIA: RESULTS OF THE 2011 CAUCASUS BAROMETER

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? 
02.11.2011 | Wednesday

A Further Look at Material Deprivation

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. 
22.07.2010 | Thursday

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.
09.07.2008 | Wednesday

Caucasus Data | Language: Russian versus English?

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.
04.08.2008 | Monday

Georgia: Women's Participation in Politics

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.