Polarization in the Eastern European Neighbourhood – Georgia Case
On Monday, 19 June 2023, the ‘Polarization in the Eastern European Neighbourhood’ trajectory will kick off with its first (online) country case session on Georgia.
In established democracies, extreme ideological differences in a left to right scale between political actors is considered the definition of polarization. However, in the Eastern European region while left to right differences are generally not that pronounced, strong societal divides exist that are based on geo-political orientation (Russia or the West) embedded in the value dimensions of social conservatism and social liberalism.
The war in Ukraine has put further pressure on these divides and increased the levels of polarization in the region. These strong emotions and more extreme political discourse can lead to increasing isolation of various political actors from one another, making interactions more and more destructive and less conducive to democracy. This therefore enhances the possibility of political crisis and destabilization in countries in the region and makes overcoming these divides more and more difficult. Thereby threatening both security (foreign interference, violence) and rule of law (politicization, securitization).
Amy Eaglestone (researcher at the University of Birmingham) and KPSRL have initiated an event series under the Thematic Headline’s subtheme ‘Resilience to Polarization’, interrogating the specific mechanisms behind polarization in this region and discussing possible responses from the perspective of the social contract. Georgia will be the first of two country cases (the second one being Moldova), after which a roundtable will follow to inform EU-level policy and programming related to support for rule of law and democracy in the Eastern European region.
Register below to join us online on Tuesday, 19th June from 12:00-14.00 (CEST) online via Zoom.
Click here to check out the Concept Note.