When is a war not a war?
This disparity in narratives underlines a definitional problem in the political sciences when it comes to conflict resolution, war and peace. The Correlates of War project uses the annual number of casualties to track the duration of wars and conflicts on both an inter- and intrastate level. According to this project, a war is deemed over once the annual death toll drops below 1,000. The problem is that while open armed conflict might cease, a conflict can be far from resolved.
Thus, the conclusion that Georgia’s own territorial disputes can be condensed into five days underestimates the enduring negative impact of the status quo on all sides. Trade and travel are prohibited for inhabitants of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. De-isolation tops Abkhaz policy priorities, while the government in Tbilisi faces the ongoing challenge of settling and providing for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In addition to the Georgia-Abkhazia and Georgia-South Ossetia conflicts, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is also called ‘frozen’, although experts like Thomas de Waal have suggested that the term ‘simmering’ might be a more appropriate designation. CRRC data is also instructive in this regard. When asked about the top two issues facing their respective countries, 38% of Azerbaijanis named unresolved territorial disputes as the number one problem in Azerbaijan, while 3% of Armenians and 10% of Georgians said the same. The figures in Azerbaijan and Georgia strongly suggest that these issues are not ‘frozen’ (or resolved) in the minds of the local population, although economic concerns also dominate throughout the region.
This blog has shown that national perceptions of conflict can contradict both regional and international narratives. This suggests that our current measures of war and peace are missing an important dimension. The CB provides a starting point for exploring the subject of war narratives. You can find comments about past perceptions of conflict resolution for the Azerbaijani-Armenian case here and for the Georgian case here. You can also access a report on Russian public opinion towards the future of these disputes here. Annual survey data for the South Caucasus region is also available for analysis on the online CB platform.
The development of Azerbaijani think tanks and their role in public policy discourse
By Zaur Shiriyev
Think Tanks in Armenia: Who Needs their Thinking?[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
The lay of the land: An interview with Hans Gutbrod on think tanks in the South Caucasus[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
Thinking about think tanks in the South Caucasus
By: Dustin Gilbreath
Online data analysis (ODA)
The public on the conflicts in the South Caucasus
Home appliances in the South Caucasus: Purchasing trends, 2000-2013
What do CB interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ intelligence tell us?
Citizenship in action in the South Caucasus
Finding work in Armenia and GeorgiaThis 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.
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
Trust in institutions in the South Caucasus – generating a combined score
Deserving to be beaten and tolerating violence: Attitudes towards violence against women in Azerbaijan
Premarital sex and women in Georgia
Attitudes towards Homosexuality in the South CaucasusLGBTQ 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...
Museum Popularity in the South CaucasusIn 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...
Freedom of Press in the South CaucasusFreedom 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...
Attitudes Towards Public Opinion Polls in Georgia (Part 2)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.
Positive Public Attitudes in Georgia
Georgia—AbkhaziaThe 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.
Well-being of the elderly in the South Caucasus: A problem today, a bigger problem tomorrowThe 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.
Smoking in the South Caucasus and tobacco policy in Azerbaijan
CRRC Methodological Conference on Measuring Social Inequality in the South Caucasus and its Neighborhood
Friends and Enemies in the South Caucasus
In the South Caucasus, the Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend
Emigration, Language, and Remittances in Georgia
Living day-to-day: How are fatalism and economic prosperity interrelated in Georgia?
The Wave of the Future: Optimism, Pessimism and Fatalism in Georgia
Perceptions of Court System Fairness in the South CaucasusAnn 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.”
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.
The recent history of the South Caucasus as seen by the world’s media – Part 1, Armenia and Azerbaijan
The recent history of the South Caucasus as seen by the world’s media - Part 2, Georgia
State capacity in the South Caucasus: How do you measure how much the state can do?
Do Think Tanks in Georgia Lobby for Foreign Powers?
By Till Bruckner
Common challenges, common solutions
By Dustin Gilbreath
Household income and consumption patterns in Georgia
2015 EU survey report: Major trends and recommendations
Parenting, gender attitudes and women’s employment in Georgia
Fatalism and Political Perceptions in Georgia
Perceptions of Good Citizenship in Georgia
Sex, Lies and EU Red Tape
IDPs in Georgia – Attitudes towards return, conflict resolution and justice
Georgians on Abkhazia: What Is to Be Done?
Presentation Summary | Georgian-Abkhaz ‘Dialogue through Research’
The Caucasus Barometer 2010 Dataset Is Available!
C-R Policy Brief on IDP Attitudes to Conflict, Return, Justice
Public Attitudes in Georgia: CRRC Polling Results
ODA – CRRC Data Analysis Online
If You Were Asked What Everyone Else Thought of Your Country...
Blood Donation in the South Caucasus: Refill, Please!
Carnegie Research Fellowship Program | Winners Announced
Engagement without recognition?
Georgia and Russia: Can positive relations between the populations overcome the political turmoil?
Georgia's EU aspirations
How Does Gender Determine Roles and Behaviors of Women in and outside of Georgian Families?
Does Refusal to Recognize Elections in Abkhazia Reduce Prospects for Resolution?
Isolation and Opportunity in Eastern Abkhazia. A Survey of Community Security
Is the South Caucasus a homogenous region?
Armenian attitudes towards opening the border with Turkey
Fancy Living Abroad? 39% of Young Armenians Say "Preferably Forever"
Georgia: A Liberal or Socially Conservative Country?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.
Georgia & Russia | Russian Analytical Digest
Women in Parliament: How Do Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan Compare to Other Countries?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.
Abortion rates in the South Caucasus among the highest in the world
South Ossetia: Enhancing the Public Debate
Caucasus Barometer | A New Name for the CRRC's Data Initiative
Attitudes toward the West | Caucasus Analytical Digest
CB 2011 Preview | Attitudes towards IDPs in GeorgiaThe presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Georgia is testimony to its internal and cross-border conflicts. IDPs often face a life in limbo, unable to return to their homes and reliant on friends, family and the generosity of strangers to get by. To address this issue, and also in fulfillment of obligations to the Council of Europe, Georgia has developed policies on the integration and rehabilitation of IDPs.
The CRRC Georgia TeamThese are the CRRC Georgia team members who work hard on the numbers we usually present!
Is the Caucasus in Europe or Asia? | Tim Straight at TEDxYerevan
Will You Be My Friend? Gauging Perceptions of Interethnic Friendship in the South Caucasus
Forbidden Love: Attitudes Toward Interethnic Marriage in the South Caucasus
Friends Are Hard To Come By: Friendship Divides by Gender in Azerbaijan
Overcoming Negative Stereotypes in the South Caucasus
Ambassador Dieter Boden Speaks at Europe House
Policy Attitudes towards Women in Azerbaijan: Is Equality Part of the Agenda?
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
Religious practices across the South Caucasus | the Data Initiative
Caucasus Data: Tolerance towards Others
Cuil for the Caucasus? A quick test!
Russian-Georgian Relations | Alex Rondeli on July 29
Housing IDPs | Lessons Learnt
Georgia Post-Conflict Phone Survey | may be a first glance?
What do Russians think about the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia? -- Data Snapshot
Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) 2008 Conference
Russian Public Opinion | Levada Update
The August Conflict | Economic Impact on Georgia?
South Caucasus Data 2007 on Unemployment
McCain vs Obama: Caucasus preferences
World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index | a few surprises
Iakobashvili on the Current State of the Conflict
History vs Public Policy
Snapshots on Attitudes towards Education
Student Migration from the South Caucasus
Georgians living in Gali
Schoolchildrens' Attitudes in Armenia: What Kind of Impact Has Civic Education Had?
Results from the Georgia IDP Housing Voucher ProgramThe Urban Institute, with the help of IPM, just finished a summative survey of their "Georgia IDP Voucher Program," funded by the US State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. (N.B. a voucher is a promised subsidy towards the cost of purchasing a home).
Back to the USSR? How poverty makes people nostalgic for the Soviet UnionA 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.
Who makes political decisions in Georgia: What people thinkBidzina 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.
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.
Georgian public increasingly unaware of what the European Union Monitoring Mission doesAs much as 81% of the population of Georgia doesn’t know what the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) does, according to the 2017 Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia survey funded by Europe Foundation and implemented by CRRC-Georgia. This lack of knowledge has increased over time, as has the prevalence of incorrect information about the EUMM’s mission. This represents a missed opportunity for the EU’s communications in Georgia.
2017 Caucasus Barometer Data ReleaseThis 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.
Do people in Georgia see the government as a parent or as an employee?Based on CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey data, this blog post describes how people in Georgia see the government, as a “parent” or as an “employee”, and how this differs by settlement type, gender, and education level.
The Caucasus Barometer survey regularly asks people, “Which of the following statements do you agree with: “‘People are like children; the government should take care of them like a parent’ or ‘Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government.’” Approximately half of the population of Georgia (52%) agreed in 2017 with the former statement and 40% with the latter. Responses to this question have fluctuated to some extent over time, but overall, attitudes are nearly equally split.
NGOs in Georgia: Low trust, high expectations? (Part 1)Over the last decade, people in Georgia have reported rather low levels of trust toward NGOs. At the same time, when asked during surveys to assess specific aspects of NGO activities, the answers have usually been positive. This blog post is based on the findings of a survey on attitudes toward NGOs collected by CRRC-Georgia in fall, 2017 for the Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative (CSSIGE). The first part of this blog post looks at the most up-to-date data on knowledge of NGOs in Georgia and reported levels of trust toward them. The second part explores the inconsistency between low trust toward NGOs in Georgia, on the one hand, and quite positive assessments of their activities, on the other hand.
NGOs in Georgia: Low trust, high expectations? (Part 2)As discussed in the first part of this blog post, the results of CRRC-Georgia’s survey conducted for the Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative (CSSIGE) project in fall 2017 confirmed that both knowledge about NGOs and trust toward them is quite low in Georgia. This blog post looks at the inconsistency between low trust toward NGOs, on the one hand, and quite positive assessments of their activities, on the other hand.
The direction Georgia’s headed inThe most recent NDI polling showed a decline in the direction the country was heading. Though not the direct cause by any means, the growing sense that Georgia is going in the wrong direction was likely an enabling factor for the protests that erupted in June and have continued through July in Tbilisi. The CRRC-NDI survey has tracked the direction people think the country is headed over the last decade. While numerous factors affect people’s perceptions of where the country is going, a number of events including elections and the devaluation of the Georgian Lari against the US Dollar appear to show up in CRRC-Georgia and the National Democratic Institute’s data. This blog provides an overview of how views of the direction the country is headed in have changed over time.
Attitudes toward politicians are related to evaluations of institutional performanceHow citizens evaluate the performance of the state is often a reasonable proxy for its performance. In Georgia, evaluations of public institutions are mixed. While a number of social and demographic variables are associated with people’s perceptions of state performance, so too are people’s attitudes towards political parties and politicians. This shows once again how politics is personalized in Georgia.
Internal Displacements’ Impact on Attitudes towards Gender RelationsAs a result of the conflicts in the 1990s and in 2008 in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, nearly 6 percent of Georgia’s population is internally displaced. Previous studies have suggested that internal displacement from conflict can alter attitudes towards gender relations, and specifically perceptions of women’s household authority, tolerance of domestic violence, and attitudes towards women earning money.
Optimism Regarding EU membership is decreasingGeorgia is not a candidate for membership in the European Union (EU), but the government has the stated goal of joining the EU when the country is ready for it. According to the Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the EU in Georgia survey (EU Survey) CRRC-Georgia conducted in spring 2019 for Europe Foundation, 71% of the population of Georgia would vote for EU membership if a referendum were held tomorrow. Only 10% would vote against it and 7% would not vote at all. While support for joining the EU is clearly high, people are increasingly pessimistic about how long it will take Georgia to join.
Who believes Georgia will regain its territorial integrity?Territorial integrity is frequently cited by Georgians as one of the most important national issues, but the relative salience of Georgia’s territorial conflicts has declined since the 2008 Georgian-Russian war. Evidence from the 2013 Caucasus Barometer suggests that there is a high level of uncertainty about when or if the conflicts will be resolved and that there is little public support for any type of settlement involving less than the full restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity (such as high levels of autonomy for Abkhazia or a confederation state).
Appointment of Supreme Court Justices: What people in Georgia know and think about the processIn the beginning of September 2019, the High Council of Justice provided a list of 20 Supreme Court Justice candidates to the Parliament of Georgia for approval. In September-November 2019 parliament conducted the hearing process for candidates, and on December 12th 2020 14 candidates were appointed to Supreme Court. The Georgian media covered the process extensively.
But, what does the public in Georgia know about the process of appointment of the Supreme Court Justices, and what is their attitude towards the newly appointed justices and judicial institutions? A phone survey conducted on January 30 - February 10, 2020 suggests that people in Georgia are divided between trusting and distrusting judicial institutions...
War in Nagorno-Karabakh went unnoticed for a quarter of Georgians
The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of tens of thousands. Yet despite there being a brutal war near its borders, many in Georgia were unaware of the conflict.
Data from the Caucasus Barometer survey indicate that awareness of the conflict’s existence increased shortly after the war in 2020 compared to 2013, but only slightly. In 2013, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was ‘frozen’, 66% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. Around a third of the population was not aware of it. In December of 2020, shortly after the 44-day long war, 74% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. A whole quarter (26%) of the population, meanwhile, was not aware of military operations between the country’s two direct neighbours.