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ორშაბათი | 23 ივნისი, 2014

Trust in local government in Georgia

On June 15th Georgian voters headed to the polls in local elections. There were problems leading up to the elections as detailed in last week's electoral notes. At present, results show a significant portion of positions in local government going to Georgian Dream Coalition (GD) candidates, though a number of races will go into second rounds. With the recent elections, one may be interested to know how Georgian citizens view their local government. This blog looks at levels of trust in local government from 2009-2013 and by settlement type (Rural, Urban, and Capital) in 2013.

In Georgia, the trend towards trust in local government over the last two years seems to be an increase in ambivalence from previous years. Between 2009 and 2013, distrust in local government has been relatively consistent, fluctuating between 16-21%, within the 5% margin of error of the Caucasus Barometer survey (CB), thus reflecting a relative stability in levels of distrust. In contrast, responses of neither trust nor distrust have increased and responses expressing trust have decreased compared with 2011. This could reflect the GD-UNMcohabitation” in which many local government positions were still held by members of the UNM which is the current opposition while the GD holds the majority in national government institutions.



Note: In this graph and the graph below, a five-point scale has been recoded to a three-point scale with responses ‘1’ and ‘2’ coded as distrust, responses ‘3’ being coded as neither trust nor distrust, and responses ‘4’ and ‘5’ coded as trust. During the CB, respondents were read out a list of institutions and asked to “assess [their] level of trust toward each [institution] on a 5-point scale, where ‘1’ means ‘Fully distrust’, and ‘5’ means ‘Fully trust.”

Interestingly, trust in local government is much lower in Tbilisi and urban areas compared to rural areas. In rural areas, Georgians trust their local government (40%) more than twice as much as in Tbilisi (17%). Residents of the capital are more than twice as likely to express distrust in the local government with 28% reporting distrust in Tbilisi versus 12% in rural areas. Urban areas, not including Tbilisi, are more likely to express trust than Tbilisians, but interestingly express a similar level of distrust in local government as capital residents.


This blog post has reviewed levels of trust in local government over time. It shows that Georgians seem to have become ambivalent with regard to their view of local government. The blog further demonstrates that levels of trust in local government are higher in rural areas than in urban areas. If you would like to further explore issues of trust in Georgia and the South Caucasus more generally, view the blog post here, or explore the data further using our Online Data Analysis tool.


15.06.2015 | ორშაბათი

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.
22.02.2013 | პარასკევი

Before and After the Elections: Shifting Public Opinion in Georgia

The Georgian parliamentary elections in October 2012 attracted much international interest and ushered in an important turn in Georgian politics. In 2012 CRRC conducted four waves of a Survey on Political Attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) (funded by the Swedish International development Cooperation Agency-SIDA) in order to track changes in public opinion associated with these major political events.
03.04.2014 | ხუთშაბათი

Alternating Pasts, Changing Futures

Note: This blog is re-posted from the MYPLACE project's blog. The original MYPLACE blog can be found here

Claims to 2000 or even 3000 years of nationhood are not difficult to find in Georgia as has been amply documented (see Pelkmans 2006, Suny 1994, Rayfield 2013). The former president Mikheil Saakashvili was even fond of using the earliest human skulls found outside of Africa, in Dmansi in Southern Georgia, as proof that Georgians were “ancient Europeans.” 
28.04.2014 | ორშაბათი

Trust in Institutions in the South Caucasus

Trust in institutions has often been thought of as negatively related to perceptions of corruption in political institutions. Every year, Transparency International publishes a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) which ranks countries from highly corrupt to very clean.
02.06.2014 | ორშაბათი

Finding a good job in Georgia

Data on employment and perceptions about work present an interesting lens on Georgia. This is especially true since the official unemployment rate is 15% according to Geostat in 2012, and 31% of the population is unemployed and seeking work in Georgia as of September 2013, according to the National Democratic Institute
04.08.2014 | ორშაბათი

A look at (in)Justice in Georgia as charges are brought against ex-President Saakashvili

On July 28, 2014 charges were announced against the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili concerning the abuse of power. These charges make Saakashvili the highest public official from the former UNM government to be summoned by the prosecutor’s office to date.
22.09.2014 | ორშაბათი

Russia as a threat: the Ukraine crisis and changing public opinion in Georgia

Following 2012 parliamentary elections, attitudes toward Russia in Georgia shifted. While in 2011 51% of the population considered Russia the main enemy of the country, in 2012 only 35% reported the same. Moreover, the share of Georgians who named Russia as Georgia’s main friend increased by 5%. In a post on the CRRC-Georgia blog, this change was explained by a so-called “spiral of silence”.
14.09.2016 | ოთხშაბათი

მონაცემებში ასახული ტენდენციები: სოციალური და პოლიტიკური ინსტიტუტების მიმართ ნდობის ცვლილება სომხეთში

CRRC-ს მიერ ცოტა ხნის წინ გამოქვეყნებული ბლოგის მიხედვით, საქართველოში სხვადასხვა სოციალური და პოლიტიკური ინსტიტუტის მიმართ ნდობა 2011-დან 2015 წლამდე დაეცა. ეს ბლოგი, კავკასიის ბარომეტრის მონაცემებზე დაყრდნობით, მიმოიხილავს ნდობას იგივე ინსტიტუტების მიმართ სომხეთში.
27.07.2011 | ოთხშაბათი

Rule of Law in Georgia - Opinions and Attitudes of the Population

As a part of the Caucasus Barometer Report Writing Competition held by CRRC in the spring of 2011, we would like to present the second report (the first report was published recently) written by Salome Tsereteli-Stephen. The report deals with the rule of law in Georgia and here is a short summary of Salome’s findings and an analysis of the subject.
12.04.2012 | ხუთშაბათი

Georgian get-togethers: Private Problems versus Politics

In September 2011, CRRC on behalf of Eurasia Partnership Foundation and EWMI G-PAC conducted a nationally representative survey on Volunteerism and Civic Participation in Georgia. Georgians were asked how often they get together and discuss private problems and politics with their friends and relatives (who do not live in their houses).
03.05.2008 | შაბათი

Exit Polls | Take Two

Readers may recall that we voiced some concern with regards to exit polls. Here is a fascinating account, first-hand, by a reputed pollster having what they describe as an "Adventure in Baku".
21.05.2008 | ოთხშაბათი

Parliamentary Elections in Georgia | ODIHR Observation

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.
04.08.2008 | ორშაბათი

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.
23.10.2008 | ხუთშაბათი

McCain vs Obama: Caucasus preferences


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.
19.11.2007 | ორშაბათი

Georgia's Performance? | Millenium Challenge Corporation's Meta-Index

With all the attention on Georgia, it may be interesting to revisit Georgia's most recent performance as seen by international organizations. As it happens, the Millennium Challenge Corporation offers a such an assessment through its annual scorecard, just released last week. This scorecard is a meta-index, drawing on data from the World Bank Institute, Freedom House, IFC, WHO, UNESCO and a few other organizations.
15.08.2017 | სამშაბათი

Who makes political decisions in Georgia: What people think

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.
06.11.2017 | ორშაბათი

Taking partly free voters seriously: autocratic response to voter preferences in Armenia and Georgia

Do voters in less than democratic contexts matter or are elections simply facades used to create a veneer of democratic accountability for domestic and international actors? Within the Autocratic Response to Voter Preferences in Armenia and Georgia project, funded by Academic Swiss Caucasus Net, CRRC-Georgia and CRRC-Armenia aimed to help answer this question, at least for Georgia and Armenia. On October 27, Caucasus Survey published the results of the project in a special issue, available here.