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სამშაბათი | 11 აგვისტო, 2020

There is a gap between support for democracy and liberal values in Georgia

Note: This article was published in partnership with OC-Media. It is based on an article published in Caucasus Analytical Digest. The views presented in the article represent the views of the authors’ alone, and do not represent the views of CRRC Georgia or any related entity. The article was written by Tamuna Khostaria, a Senior Researcher at CRRC Georgia, and Rati Shubladze, a Policy Analyst at CRRC Georgia.

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


Using data from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer 2019, it’s possible to look at who is more or less likely to prefer democracy and whether support for democracy is linked with support for gender equality and tolerance towards minorities, factors many regard as core values of a liberal democracy


A regression model comparing respondents who think democracy is preferable to any other kind of government (49%) to those that think either that a non-democratic government can be preferable (20%) or that it does not matter to them (14%) suggests that people living in the capital, ethnic Georgians, and those who spent more years in education are more likely to report support for democracy. 



No other demographic factors were found to be associated with support for democracy. Aside from demographics, the study tested whether a number of proxies of liberal values were associated with democratic attitudes. These included:

  • An index of tolerance towards ethnic minorities, constructed from questions about whether or not a respondent would approve of someone of their ethnicity marrying a person of another ethnic or religious group.
  • An index of attitudes towards women’s freedom of action, including whether or not people thought it was acceptable at any age for women to drink strong alcohol, smoke tobacco, live separately from their parents before marriage, have sexual relations before marriage, or cohabit with a man without marriage.
  • Attitudes towards gender equality in terms of breadwinning and whether men and women should get the inheritance.
  • A variable proxying homophobia, based on whether or not the respondent would least like to have a homosexual as a neighbour.

 

Regression analysis demonstrates that none of these proxies for liberal values within the models have a significant association with support for democracy. 


Support for democracy in Georgia does not appear to be related to tolerance towards ethnic or sexual minorities. Nor is it associated with supporting women’s rights or gender equality. The only significant predictors of support for democracy as the ideal form of government tested were years of education and ethnic minority status.  


This could suggest that people simply claim to be supporters of democracy without really knowing or being ready to accept the values that it has to offer. In turn, this would suggest that people are just going along with the idea of democracy without agreeing to its moral standards. However, these ideas remain unconfirmed to a certain extent. 


Given the patterns described above, there is a clear need for further in-depth investigation into the determinants of support for democracy.

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.
18.05.2015 | ორშაბათი

Attitudes reported by Georgian parents and the qualities they find important for children to learn

he vast majority of Georgians (90%) agree with the statement that one of their main goals in life has been to make their parents proud, according to the 2008 World Values Survey (WVS). It would be hard to overestimate the importance of family for Georgians, and the same is true for the attention paid, on the one hand, to raising children and, on the other hand, caring for elderly family members. But ...
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13.06.2016 | ორშაბათი

სოციალური და პოლიტიკური ინსტიტუტების მიმართ ნდობის ცვლილება საქართველოში

მოსახლეობის ნდობის დონეს მთავრობისა და სხვა ინსტიტუტების მიმართ ბევრი ფაქტორი განაპირობებს. ამ ფაქტორების გავლენით დროთა განმავლობაში ნდობა შეიძლება, შეიცვალოს. CRRC-საქართველოს მიერ 2011-2015 წლებში ჩატარებული კავკასიის ბარომეტრის და NDI-ის საზოგადოებრივი აზრის გამოკითხვების შედეგებზე დაყრდნობით ამ ბლოგში აღწერილია ბოლო წლებში ნდობის დონის ცვლილება პრეზიდენტის, ადგილობრივი მთავრობის, აღმასრულებელი ხელისუფლების, პარლამენტის, ჯარის, ჯანდაცვის სისტემის, პოლიციის, განათლების სისტემისა და სასამრთლოს მიმართ.
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.
15.08.2016 | ორშაბათი

შიდა მიგრაცია საქართველოში: რა ვიცით მის შესახებ CRRC-ის კავკასიის ბარომეტრის მონაცემების საფუძვლეზე?

არსებული შეფასებების თანახმად, მსოფლიო მასშტაბით შიდა მიგრანტთა რაოდენობა ბევრად აღემატება საერთაშორისო მიგრანტთა რაოდენობას. სამწუხაროდ, საქართველოში ძალიან ცოტა მონაცემი არსებობს შიდა მიგრანტების რაოდენობისა და მათი გეოგრაფიული განაწილების შესახებ. საქართველოს სტატისტიკის ეროვნული სამსახურის შინამეურნეობების ინტეგრირებული გამოკვლევები რეგულარულად აგროვებს ინფორმაციას ქვეყანაში შიდა მიგრაციის შესახებ. სახელმწიფო სერვისების განვითარების სააგენტო კოორდინაციას უწევს მოსახლეობის რეგისტრაციას საცხოვრებელი ადგილის მიხედვით.
18.08.2014 | ორშაბათი

One step forward, two steps back? European integration in Georgia after the Association Agreement

So far, 2014 is shaping up to be the year that Georgia might begin to reap the benefits of its pro-EU and pro-NATO foreign policy. In June, Georgia signed the EU Association Agreement despite fears over Russian agitation. NATO has indicated its readiness to discuss a “substantive package” for Georgia, if not a Membership Action Plan. However, despite these gestures towards closer cooperation, some elements of the decision to sign the Agreement have caused friction.
25.08.2014 | ორშაბათი

Emigration, Language, and Remittances in Georgia

As discussed in a recent blog post, household incomes in Georgia have risen steadily since 2008. The percentage of Georgians who have family or close relatives living abroad has also significantly increased from 37% in 2009 to 53% in 2013. 14% of Georgian households currently receive money from family members, relatives, or friends living in another country as an income source. This blog examines changes in interest in emigrating from Georgia over the last five years, while controlling for certain variables.
07.10.2014 | სამშაბათი

The Wave of the Future: Optimism, Pessimism and Fatalism in Georgia

A recent CRRC regional blog post analyzed the presence of fatalism in Georgia. The post cited CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) data which shows that in 2013, 28% of Georgians agreed that “everything in life is determined by fate.” While the CB findings demonstrate that a sizeable portion of the adult population is fatalistic about the future, Georgians are increasingly likely to see that future in a positive light, whether it be determined by fate or not.
20.10.2014 | ორშაბათი

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.
22.12.2014 | ორშაბათი

Does public opinion accurately gauge government performance in the South Caucasus?

Robert Putnam’s 1993 work Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy marked a seminal moment in the development of institutionalism. Putnam’s exhaustive study of the relationship between the governed and governing in the Italian regions contained the discovery that public opinion provides an accurate picture of actual government performance: “The Italians’ gradually increasing satisfaction with the regional governments … corresponded to real differences in performance,” and in each region Putnam’s measurement of performance was “remarkably consistent with the appraisals offered by the regional attentive public and by the electorate as a whole.”
15.02.2012 | ოთხშაბათი

Fatalism and Political Perceptions in Georgia

Widespread apathy and a general disbelief that good can come from joint effort is a major factor hindering social capital in Georgia. One indicator of apathy can be fatalism, meaning the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. This blog explores the level of political fatalism in Georgia and how it is connected to Georgians’ perceptions of the country’s current political course and democracy.
29.03.2012 | ხუთშაბათი

Blood Donation in Georgia: Obstacles and Opportunities

According to a report by the World Health Organization, blood donations in Georgia fall below the estimated need for patients. Approximately 60,000 donations are necessary per year to cover Georgian patients’ needs, while the number of actual blood donation does not exceed 37,000. Moreover, 95% of blood donations come from paid donors.
13.07.2012 | პარასკევი

PERCEIVED POVERTY IN GEORGIA: RESULTS OF THE 2011 CAUCASUS BAROMETER

The 2011 Caucasus Barometer asked the Georgian population, “Relative to most of the households around you, would you describe the current economic condition of your household as very good, good, fair, poor or very poor? 
02.11.2011 | ოთხშაბათი

A Further Look at Material Deprivation

Continuing to explore standards of living in the South Caucasus, this blog looks at the between four sources of household income and material deprivation using data from the 2010 Caucasus Barometer. Each of the four sources of income (salaries, pensions or government transfers, sales from agricultural goods, and remittances) are categorized by their importance to the household and then cross tabulated with material deprivation. The findings suggest that families reliant on salaries and remittances are better off, while families receiving pensions and government transfers, or those who sell agricultural products as their primary source of income have higher than average rates of material deprivation. 
02.07.2010 | პარასკევი

Post-Soviet States’ Democratic Decline: Results from Freedom House Report

Freedom House has just released its Nations in Transit report for the year 2010. The report attempts to quantify democratic development in Central European and Eurasian states by observing 8 separate factors – for instance, Electoral Process and National Democratic Governance - which affect the level of democracy in a given country. Each category is graded on a score of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress, and 7 representing the lowest. Much of the media attention has typically focused on Russia.
22.07.2010 | ხუთშაბათი

Attitudes toward the West | Caucasus Analytical Digest

Following an article on Georgians’ attitudes toward Russia, CRRC Fellows Therese Svensson and Julia Hon have written a new piece for CAD, entitled “Attitudes toward the West in the South Caucasus”. Their article looks at citizens’ views on three areas of relations — political, economic and cultural — between the South Caucasus and the West, in particular NATO, the US and the EU. The data were derived from the South Caucasus–wide 2007 and 2008 Data Initiatives (DI), as well as from the 2009 EU survey that was conducted in Georgia.
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".
09.07.2008 | ოთხშაბათი

Caucasus Data | Language: Russian versus English?

Recently, we happened upon an article that talks about the use of Russian across the Caucasus. Is Russian becoming obsolete? According to the article, some Georgian politicians suggest this is the case. At the same time, the article points out that the uptake of English is too slow to replace Russian as a lingua franca.
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.
22.01.2018 | ორშაბათი

What are young people’s values and how are these different from older generations’ values in Georgia?

As Georgian society is going through social and cultural changes, it is important to understand people’s beliefs and values. Comparing the values of young people to those of the older generations is also important. This blog post summarizes the findings of a study that examined the values of young people aged 18 to 25, and analysed how these values are different from the values of older people in Georgia, based on both quantitative (World Values Survey, 2014) and qualitative data (40 in-depth interviews conducted in 2016). The study looked at values, perceptions, attitudes and tolerance towards different minority groups in Georgia. It concludes that in many cases, the younger generation shares more modern views and values, while the older generations are more inclined to support traditional values and hold conservative points of view.
12.02.2018 | ორშაბათი

რა ფაქტორები უწყობს ხელს კარგი სამსახურის შოვნას? მოსაზრებები სომხეთსა და საქართველოში

რა ფაქტორები უწყობს ხელს კარგი სამსხურის შოვნას? ეს კითხვა მთელ მსოფლიოშია მნიშვნელოვანი, განსაკუთრებით კი ქვეყნებში, სადაც მაღალი გაცხადებული უმუშევრობაა. სომხეთი და საქართველო ასეთი ქვეყნების რიცხვს მიეკუთვნება. იმის გასაგებად, თუ სინამდვილეში რა ეხმარება ადამიანებს კარგი სამსახურის პოვნაში, საჭიროა კონკრეტულ ქვეყნებში შრომითი ბაზრის სიღრმისეული კვლევა. თუმცა, აგრეთვე საინტერესოა ხალხის მოსაზრებები ამ საკითხთან დაკავშირებით. CRRC-ის 2017 წლის კავკასიის ბარომეტრის კვლევის ფარგლებში მოსახლეობას სომხეთსა და საქართველოში ჰკითხეს, თუ რა ფაქტორებია მნიშვნელოვანი კარგი სამსახურის საშოვნელად მათ ქვეყნებში.
09.04.2018 | ორშაბათი

People in Georgia approve of doing business with Russians, despite interstate hostility

In the 2017 wave of CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey, 40% of the population of Georgia named Russia as the main enemy of the country.  Turkey and the United States garnered the second highest share of responses with 3% each.  Yet, no particular animosity towards ethnic Russians is observed in answers to a question about people’s (dis)approval of individuals of their ethnicity doing business with Russians. This blog post examines how answers differ by people’s opinions about whether or not Russia is the main enemy of Georgia.
23.04.2018 | ორშაბათი

Which groups name Russia as Georgia’s main enemy?

In 2017, 40% of the population of Georgia named Russia as the main enemy of Georgia. Yet the opinion that Russia is the main enemy of the country is not equally present in different demographic groups. This blog post uses data from CRRC’s 2017 Caucasus Barometer survey to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of those who report Russia is the country’s main enemy.
30.04.2018 | ორშაბათი

During Sargsyan’s incumbency, dissatisfaction with government grew and support for protest increased

Serzh 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.
07.05.2018 | ორშაბათი

Willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia: Does fatalism matter?

Scholarship points to a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s willingness to emigrate, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Politicaleconomic, and social conditions are all important variables in the emigration equation. This blog post uses data from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey to see whether or not people who express a willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia differ from others in terms of the reported belief that people shape their fate themselves. Those who believe so may be more inclined to consider actions such as temporary emigration.
16.05.2018 | ოთხშაბათი

Five data points about homophobia in Georgia five years after the IDAHOT riot

Five years ago, on May 17, 2013 a homophobic riot took place in Tbilisi in response to a small LGBTQ rights demonstration on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Thousands of protestors, including frocked priests, chased the demonstrators through the streets of Tbilisi as police struggled (some say facilely) to protect the demonstrators from violence. In the time since, LGBTQ rights have remained on the agenda in Georgia, with an anti-discrimination law passed in 2014, which gives some protection to LGBTQ people, and the first openly homosexual candidate running for office in the 2017 local elections. Despite this progress, homophobic and transphobic violence still occurs in the country (for example, see herehere, and here). Five years after the events of May 17, 2013, this article presents five findings from CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) survey about homophobia in Georgia.
04.06.2018 | ორშაბათი

Willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia: Does education matter?

A previous CRRC blog post showed how people’s willingness to temporarily emigrate from Armenia and Georgia varied according to their belief in whether everything in life is determined by fate or people shape their fate themselves. The blog post concluded that compared to people who are not interested in temporary emigration from these countries, those who are tended to believe slightly more often that people shape their fate themselves.
13.08.2018 | ორშაბათი

Is Georgia’s Orthodox Christian population losing (trust in) their religion?

Surveys conducted in Georgia have repeatedly shown that the Georgian Orthodox Church’s leader Patriarch Ilia II is the most trusted public figure in the country. Yet, CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey data from 2008 to 2017 suggests that both the share of Orthodox Christians in Georgia that trust the Church and the degree to which they trust the Church is on the decline. Although the survey does not provide direct evidence, the scandals surrounding the church in recent years could have contributed to this. For instance, in 2017, a priest was convicted of attempting to poison the Secretary of Ilia II. The government has sold land to the Church at symbolic prices on numerous occasions, often leading to negative media coverage. In 2013, priests were involved in an anti-LGBT rights riot.
08.04.2019 | ორშაბათი

საარჩევნო გარემო ეთნიკური უმცირესობებით კომპაქტურად დასახლებულ არეალებში უარესდება

„CRRC საქართველოს“ გამოკითხვის შედეგების მიხედვით, საარჩევნო გარემო ყველაზე მეტად პრობლემატური უმცირესობებით კომპაქტურად დასახლებულ რეგიონებშია და მდგომარეობა უფრო უარესდება.

2018 წლის საპრეზიდენტო არჩევნები, განსაკუთრებით კი — მეორე ტურში დატრიალებული მოვლენები შესაძლოა, ქვეყნის დემოკრატიული განვითარების გზაზე უკან გადადგმულ ნაბიჯად ჩაითვალოს. პირველ და მეორე ტურებს შორის მთავრობამ განაცხადა, რომ არჩევნების შემდეგ დაახლოებით 
600 ათასამდე მოქალაქეს ვალებს ჩამოაწერდა, რაც, ზოგიერთი დამკვირვებლის აზრით, ამომრჩეველთა მოსყიდვად უნდა ჩათვლილიყო...
27.01.2020 | ორშაბათი

In a sea of pessimism, who is optimistic about Georgia?

The CRRC and NDI survey released two weeks ago showed a pessimistic picture – half the public thinks Georgia is going in the wrong direction, 24% that nothing is changing, and only 19% think it is going in the right direction. A majority (59%) think the country is not a democracy for the first time since the question was asked on the survey in 2010. Moreover, performance assessments of government, parliament, the courts, and most ministries declined.
18.05.2020 | ორშაბათი

Why are Georgians Nostalgic about the USSR? Part 1

Several surveys in recent years suggest that close to half of the Georgian public considers the dissolution of the USSR a bad thing. After nearly 30 years since gaining independence, why do so many Georgians look back with nostalgia towards the Soviet Union? Reasons for Soviet nostalgia in other contexts are usually associated with how people experienced transition from state socialism to capitalism. The economic hypothesis explaining nostalgia argues that a perception of being part either “a winner” or “a loser” of the transition is associated with nostalgic feelings towards the Soviet Union. Other hypotheses introduce politics into the equation. According to this explanation, those who reject democracy on ideological grounds are more likely to be nostalgic as are those who think that democratic institutions are too feeble in delivering state services. Are these explanations true for Georgian Ostalgie? This series of blog posts explores these and other potential explanations to Soviet nostalgia.
09.06.2020 | სამშაბათი

აღწერაში დაკარგულები: მეგრული და სვანური ენები საქართველოში გაქრობის საფრთხის ქვეშ არიან

21 თებერვალს საქართველო მშობლიური ენის დღეს აღნიშნავს, თარიღს, რომელიც იუნესკომ „ლინგვისტური და კულტურული მრავალფეროვნებისა და მრავალენოვნების ხელშეწყობის“ მიზნით დააწესა.

საქართველოში
თერთმეტი ისეთი ენაა გავრცელებული, რომლებიც იუნესკო-ს თანახმად, გაქრობის საფრთხის წინაშეა. საქართველოს განათლების, მეცნიერების, კულტურისა და სპორტის სამინისტროს ინიციატივით, ზოგადსაგანმანათლებლო სკოლებში ეთნიკური უმცირესობებისთვის რამდენიმე მცირე ენაზე გაკვეთილები ტარდება.
 
ეს, რა თქმა უნდა, მიუთითებს იმაზე, რომ სახელმწიფო მცირე ენათა შენარჩუნების აუცილებლობას ხედავს. თუმცა საკითხი, თუ რომელი ენის დაცვა ღირს, როგორც ჩანს, არჩევანის საგანია.
22.06.2020 | ორშაბათი

Coming Together and Growing Apart: A Decade of Transformation in the South Caucasus

CRRC is excited to announce its 6th Methods Conference, which will be held on June 26-27 and open to public viewing over Facebook and direct participation through signing up here. The conference focuses on a decade of change in the region.
13.07.2020 | ორშაბათი

სოციალური კაპიტალი საქართველოში: როგორ მყარდება ნდობა საქმით

სოციალური კაპიტალი ადამიანებს და ადამიანების ჯგუფებს შორის კავშირების ქსელი და ამ ქსელებთან დაკავშირებული ორმხრივი ნდობაა. ის აადვილებს ადამიანებს შორის კომუნიკაციას და თანამშრომლობას და ხელმისაწვდომს ხდის რესურსებს, რომლებიც სხვა შემთხვევაში მიუწვდომელი იქნებოდა. შესაბამისად, სოციალური კაპიტალი მნიშვნელოვანია სოციალური და ეკონომიკური განვითარებისთვის. 2019 წლის კავკასიის ბარომეტრის მონაცემები აჩვენებს, რომ მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ სტრუქტურული და კოგნიტური სოციალური კაპიტალის, განსაკუთრებით კოგნიტური სოციალური კაპიტალის, დონე საქართველოში გარკვეულწილად დაბალია, ამ ორს შორის კავშირი ძლიერია და იმაზე ძლიერი, ვიდრე თითოეულის კავშირი სხვა ფაქტორებთან. 
17.08.2020 | ორშაბათი

Support for democracy increased in Georgia during COVID-19, but what does that mean?

The COVID-19 outbreak generated discussion about whether support for democracy would decline during and after the crisis. While reported support increased, this did not necessarily match support for democratic means of governance.

Data from the CRRC’s COVID-19 monitor shows that more people in Georgia reported support for democracy compared to the pre-crisis period. However, as before the crisis, support for democracy does not seem to be grounded in the values commonly associated with democratic governance.

03.11.2020 | სამშაბათი

Conservative gender mores are changing in Georgia

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%).