Friends and Enemies in the South Caucasus
Note: In this graph the option “no one” was grouped to “other.” The “other” option also includes Ukraine, Armenia, Iran, Georgia, Poland, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Europe, Italy, China, Belarus, Baltic countries, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, Spain, Great Britain, Greece, Latvia, Abkhazia and Pakistan.
As for enemies, Georgians perceived Russia, Azerbaijanis named Armenia, and Armenians considered Azerbaijan as the main enemy of their countries. Both figures show that the opinions of Georgians are not as well defined as in Azerbaijan and Armenia; nearly a third of Georgians said they “don’t know” or “refuse to answer”. Thus, these are quite diverse preferences for countries in this small region.
Note: In this graph, option “no one” was grouped to “other”. The “other” option also includes USA, Iran, Georgia, Everyone, Israel, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Abkhazia, China, South Ossetia, Ourselves and Germany.
Differences in opinions regarding the European Union, in particular, are not as stark as in the cases of the perceived main friend or enemy. CB results shown below indicate that support for the EU is stronger in Georgia, but that there are stable attitudes towards the EU, although much lower, in Armenia and Azerbaijan. This could reveal a potential common foreign policy in the future.
Note: In this graph “support” is a combination of the responses “rather support” and “fully support”, and “don’t support” is a combination of the responses “rather not support” and “don’t support at all”. Question text: “To what extent would you support country’s membership in the EU?”
This blog has discussed the possibility of creating an alliance based on a commonly-perceived enemy or friend in the South Caucasus and come to the conclusion that it is not realistic in the near future. To explore similar issues, we recommend using our ODA tool here or reading this blog post detailing how the three countries perceive doing business with and getting married to one another.
By Edisher Baghaturia
By Zaur Shiriyev
By Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
By: Dustin Gilbreath
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
CRRC Methodological Conference on Measuring Social Inequality in the South Caucasus and its Neighborhood
The recent history of the South Caucasus as seen by the world’s media – Part 1, Armenia and Azerbaijan
By Till Bruckner
By Dustin Gilbreath
By Nino Zubashvili
By Dustin Gilbreath
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
Book Review: Georgia Diary: A Chronicle of War and Political Chaos in the Post-Soviet Caucasus | Thomas Goltz
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.
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.
Georgians are enthusiastic in supporting the country’s accession to the European Union. Since 2012, when the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC-Georgia started tracking attitudes, three quarters of Georgians approved of the government’s goal of joining the EU, on average. What motivates Georgians to support the Union, or alternatively, to abandon support? A survey experiment included in the latest CRRC/NDI poll suggests potential economic burdens have a modest yet significant effect on support for membership. Results do not support the common belief that a potential military threat from Russia dampens Georgians’ support for the EU.