Social capital in Georgia: how trust becomes solidified when words are backed up with deeds
- Helped a neighbor or a friend with some household chores or childcare during last 6 months;
- Helped someone to resolve a dispute during last 6 months;
- Helped cleaning public space during last 6 months;
- Did volunteer work without expecting compensation during last 6 months;
- Donated money to a church or mosque during last 6 months;
- Attended a public meeting during last 6 months;
- When you get together with your close relatives and friends, how often do you discuss each other’s private problems?
- Would you approve or disapprove of women of your ethnicity marrying Armenians living in Georgia?
- Would you approve or disapprove of women of your ethnicity marrying Azerbaijanis living in Georgia?
- Do you have a close friend currently living abroad, outside the borders of Georgia?
- Do you have a close relative currently living abroad, outside the borders of Georgia?
When it comes to cognitive social capital, it is assessed based on how much people trust others and various institutions. CB contains a number of questions measuring cognitive social capital, including:
- Generally speaking, would you say that most people in Georgia can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?
- How much do you trust or distrust banks?
- How much do you trust or distrust NGOs?
- How much do you trust or distrust media?
- How much do you trust or distrust religious institutions?
Variables measuring trust towards political institutions and specific actors are excluded when calculating cognitive social capital in this writing, as politically loaded attitudes are more likely to be driven by the attitudes towards specific political actors and shift based on ongoing events.
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?
During Sargsyan’s incumbency, dissatisfaction with government grew and support for protest increasedSerzh Sargsyan, formerly the President and then Prime Minister of Armenia, resigned from office on April 23rd, 2018, following 11 days of peaceful protest. Over the past 10 years, which coincide with Sargsyan’s time in office, Armenians were increasingly dissatisfied with their government. At the same time, the country witnessed growing civic engagement, with “youth-driven, social media-powered, issue-specific civic activism,” referred to as “civic initiatives”. CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer data from 2008 to 2017 reflect both these trends.
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.
Public opinion polls suggest support for democracy is on the decline in Georgia, but does support for democracy correlate to support for liberal values?
An increasing number of Georgians view their country as ‘a democracy with major problems’, with CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey showing the share of people reporting this belief to have increased from 27% in 2011 to 48% in 2019.
In parallel to this growing scepticism towards the country’s democratic situation, surveys show a decline in the proportion of the population believing that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, falling from 65% in 2011 to 49% in 2019.
Gendered norms prevail in Georgian society, which often translates into deprecation of women for smoking, drinking alcohol, having pre-marital sex, and even living with a boyfriend. However, attitudes appear to be shifting.
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey asked people what they thought about several such activities. The data showed that the public are least accepting of women smoking, with 80% reporting it is never acceptable at any age. Sexual relations (63%) and cohabitating with a man before marriage were also commonly thought to be never acceptable for women (60%).