WiP: “Elites and Networks in Hybrid/Autocratizing Regimes: Continuity and Change in Georgia”

CRRC, American Councils and ARISC are pleased to announce the 13th talk of the Spring/Summer 2024 Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!

The talk will take place in hybrid format in-person at CRRC Georgia and online.

“Elites and Networks in Hybrid/Autocratizing Regimes: Continuity and Change in Georgia”

Julie A. George, City University of New York

What are the underlying contours of power equilibria in hybrid or competitive authoritarian regimes? Scholars disagree whether the components of hybrid regimes are dynamic (representing an ongoing shifting power struggle) or static, with a concrete and settled power equilibrium that represents a discrete regime type.

This paper, co-authored with Franziska Keller of the University of Bern, considers the hybrid regime of Georgia, which has largely fallen into the “Partly Free” category according to Freedom House Measures (although it has been evaluated in more free for some years by V-Dem). Yet, despite this consistency in rating, Georgia’s ruling parties since 1992 independence have taken on decidedly different ideological goals and underlying characteristics. Moreover, Georgian political changes have been marked by different modes of transition: a colored revolution in 2003, and an electoral transition of power in 2012. These divergent political moments provide a compelling case to analyze the internal workings of ruling parties in hybrid regimes.

Using social network analysis and a unique dataset of Georgian political leaders, we examine the underlying structures of Georgian empowerment, as well as the political behavior of the elites at punctuated moments such as the Rose Revolution, the electoral transition in 2012, and the Foreign Agents controversies of 2023 and 2024.

Julie George is Associate Professor of Political Science at Queens College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor at SIPA, Columbia University.

Works-in-Progress is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at Chavchavadze Ave. 5 and online. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

In observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule, the talks will not be recorded, and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing recordings as well.