Monday, December 26, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
An overwhelming amount of Armenians believed that corruption is a serious problem, and there was only limited change on the fringes.
The data remains available for analysis, and we believe that it continues to be important. There is a final legacy report that Casals published, accessible here.
To find the data sets, and the corruption reports, click here.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
With regard to permanent migration, only 7% of Georgians are interested in leaving the country, compared to 17% of Azerbaijanis and 29% of Armenians who say that they would be interested in leaving their country for good.
When looking at the interest in permanent migration by age category, there is also a trend where younger people have more of a desire permanently migrate abroad. Georgia has the lowest percentage of young people (9%) who are interested in permanent migration. There are more than twice as many young Azerbaijanis (24%) who would leave permanently, and more than four times as many young Armenians (39%).
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Using data from the Caucasus Barometer, Ken Roberts and Gary Pollock argue that "in economic and socio-political terms there are as yet just two real classes among actual and potential employees in the South Caucasus – middle classes and lower classes – and that although these classes differ in their standards of living and political dispositions, these are unlikely to become bases for conflict between them."
Interested in more detail? Check the abstract online.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Guardian’s datablog compares the performance of the former Soviet countries by making use of statistics from various sources. The result is a map that divides the countries into five geographic regions consisting of countries sharing a specific path of development. The Baltic republics turned west and “never looked back”, Central Asia remains “nostalgic”, and Russia and the Caucasus have “mixed fortunes”. Only Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine – termed the EU borderlands – develop in different directions, according to the datablog.
Source: The Guardian Datablog, 17 August 2011, "End of the USSR: visualising how the former Soviet countries are doing, 20 years on" http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/aug/17/ussr-soviet-countries-data
Does this picture of a homogenous region persist when we look at the values and perceptions of citizens in the South Caucasus? The 2010 CB shows a mixed picture. For example, a vast majority of citizens in all countries agree that a man should normally be the major breadwinner in a family (83% of Georgians, 84% of Azerbaijanis and 85% of Armenians). The perception that women and man equally share the responsibility for earning the income of a household is supported by 14% of people in Georgia and Armenia and 16% in Azerbaijan. There is also overwhelming disapproval for a woman being the major breadwinner of a family – only 2% of Georgians, 1% of Armenians and 0% of Azerbaijanis support this idea (see below).
While people in the South Caucasus largely agree on the question of who should normally be the major breadwinner, there are considerable differences in perceptions of who the actual breadwinner in the majority of their country's families is. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, 75% and 65% of people, respectively say that the man is the actual breadwinner. Only 6% and 17%, respectively say a woman. The situation in Georgia, however, seems to be very different. 39% of Georgians believe a woman is the actual breadwinner in the majority of Georgian families. This is followed by 36% who say a man is the breadwinner and 20% who think there is an equally shared responsibility among women and men.
Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians also show significant differences in the way they perceive the growing gap between the rich and the poor. In the 2010 CB, they were asked to choose the greatest threat to the world on a list of five dangers. The spread of nuclear weapons was the greatest threat for a plurality of respondents in all three countries. However, in Armenia and Azerbaijan the growing gap between the rich and the poor ranks second with 25% and 21% respectively, while this was the least important of the five dangers to Georgians (7%).
What similarities and differences do you find most interesting?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
According to the article, failure to recognize Abkhazia’s efforts to hold somewhat democratic elections is counterproductive in various ways. First, it unintentionally reinforces Russia’s growing influence in Abkhazia. Second, it “further entrenches the counterproductive position that nothing that happens in Abkhazia, or even the views of the people there, have any bearing on any potential resolution to the conflict” (New York Times, Aug 31 2011, "A Counterproductive Disdain"). This argument raises the question of the EU’s strategy of “engagement without recognition” since European governments have shown little engagement before and after Abkhazia’s presidential elections.
In another article from 2010, the same authors point out that Russian-Abkhaz relations have dramatically changed since the 2008 war. According to their view, the ongoing delegation of basic state functions from Sukhumi to Moscow has further reduced prospects for conflict resolution. Russian troops guarding Abkhazian borders, the Russian ruble in the pockets of Abkhazians, and Russian telephone prefixes (+7) in the region are the most visible signs of this change.
With all of these developments, have the prospects for conflict resolution changed? What do Georgian citizens think are the most important activities to solve the Georgia-Abkhaz conflict? According to CRRC’s 2010 Caucasus Barometer (CB), 41% of Georgians think the prospects of Abkhazia becoming an integral part of Georgia have decreased since 2008. 35% think prospects have stayed the same and only 9% believe prospects have increased (14% remain uncertain). Also, a 2010 survey among IDPs in Georgia by CRRC shows that 12% believe Abkhazia will be reintegrated with Georgia within the next 5 years.
When asked what they think is the most important activity as a solution to the Georgia-Abkhaz conflict, 1% of Georgians says recognition of Abkhazia’s independence. An equal amount of the adult population (18%) say civil society should be given a greater role and that a non-use of force agreement should be signed with Abkhazia. A smaller proportion of the population thinks that commencing negotiations with Russia (14%) or signing a non-use of force agreement with Russia (12%) is the most important activity. It is important to note that 17% of Georgians are not sure what would be the most important activity.
What do you think is the most promising approach to resolve the conflict? Do you think the prospects for resolution have decreased?
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
A large percentage of Georgians (69%) support the idea of potential EU membership despite the economic and debt crisis across the EU. Moreover, they are keener on EU membership than citizens of Croatia (52%) and Turkey (38%) even though the latter two states are more likely candidates for EU membership. In addition, according to EU attitudes survey, 53% of Georgians trust the EU, while data from the 2010 Eurobarometer shows that only 37% of Croatians express trust towards the EU.
Georgians also stay optimistic about the timeline for EU accession. According to CRRC’s 2011 survey of attitudes towards the EU in Georgia, 35% of Georgians believe that the country will be ready for EU membership in five years or less, compared to 32% of Georgians who said the same in 2009. Nearly one fifth of the population (19%) thinks that the country will be ready to join in five to ten years, compared to 21% of Georgians who said the same in 2009.
Opinions on when Georgia will actually join the EU are slightly different. In 2011 30% of Georgians believe the country will join in five years or less, while 17% think Georgia will become a member in five to ten years. In 2009 results were almost the same. 31% of Georgians said Georgia would become an EU member in five years or less and 20% claimed the country would join between five and ten years. However, quite a large proportion of Georgians (42%) answered “don’t know” on the same question in 2011 (38% said “don’t know” in 2009).
Support for the idea that Georgia will become an EU member may lie in the fact that just over half (55%) of people in Georgia agree with the statement: “I am a Georgian and therefore I am a European”. Younger Georgians are more likely to agree with this statement. 64% of those between the ages of 18 to 35 agreed, followed by 58% of Georgians between 36 and 55 years old. This figure is 46% for the older generation (age 56+).
However, a majority of Georgians are not sure whether or not European citizens share the same attitude towards possible Georgian accession. 35% of the Georgians think the majority of European citizens would like to see Georgia as a new member state, while 57% answered “don’t know”.
High expectations about EU accession may partially explain why Georgians are so supportive towards EU membership. The majority of people in Georgia think that the EU membership may improve the general political, economic and social situation in the country. For instance, 46% say that the EU membership might decrease poverty. 52% think that EU membership may increase the number of available jobs, and 64% of Georgians believe that EU membership can increase the possibility of restoring territorial integrity.
Thus, the data shows that despite the economic and debt crisis in the EU, Georgians are overwhelmingly supportive towards EU integration and have high expectations from possible membership. Are these expectations justifiable? Share your opinion with us.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Socio-cultural characteristics such as a sizeable Georgian diaspora in Russia and Orthodox religion may also play a role in the positive perception of Russians by Georgians. The Georgian Ministry of the Diaspora estimates that the number of Georgians residing in Russia varies between 800,000-900,000 people. Also, the strong role of religion in Georgian society might help to explain positive attitudes towards Russians. Relations between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) are good. For example, the ROC recognizes the canonical authority of the GOC over the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as was confirmed by both patriarchs during their August 2011 meeting in Kiev to commemorate St. Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles the Baptizer of Russia.
Nevertheless, positive attitudes towards the Russian people do not influence Georgia’s predominant pro-Western orientation. According to the 2010 Caucasus Barometer, 70% of Georgians support membership in NATO and 71% think that English should be a mandatory language in schools, while only 16% think that Russian should be a mandatory language in Georgian schools. Georgian-Russian political relations are also at odds with the different approaches towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Tbilisi claims both territories as an integral part of Georgia, while Moscow has recognized their independence.
Georgians have positive attitudes towards the Russian people despite political turmoil between the Georgian and Russian governments. We do not have data on Russian attitudes towards Georgian people. However, do you think that positive attitudes between people could pave the way to a Georgian-Russian rapprochement?
Monday, August 15, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011
Despite the percentile difference between the countries, living in a rural settlement and low education are similar characteristics shared by most materially deprived people throughout the South Caucasus.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Georgian public opinion supports government claims over these two territories. Data from CRRC’s 2009 survey entitled, “Knowledge and Attitudes Towards the EU” in Georgia shows that territorial integrity was the most mentioned issue of significance for Georgia.
Moreover, 43% of Georgians mentioned the restoration of territorial integrity as an important issue with which the international community can help. For example, many Georgians believe that issues involving territorial integrity (65%) and national security (68%) will improve if Georgia joins EU. This is in light of the fact that 46% of Georgians expect a major military conflict with Russia in the next 5 years and 80% of Georgians consider joining NATO to be an important issue (CB 2010).
No approach to resolving these conflicts (e.g., neither the August war, nor isolation of both territories) has brought any resolution to date. With regard to the Abkhaz conflict specifically, data from the CB 2010 shows that ideas about what would be the most important activity to resolve the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict is split between 18% of Georgians who would like to see greater involvement by civil society, 18% who prefer the signing of a non use of force agreement with Abkhazia, and 20% of Georgians who don’t know what would be best.
In contrast to the Georgian view, the EU sees the cases of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regional issues with broader security implications, rather than as internal Georgian problems. Many academic circles in the EU and USA suggest a policy of “engagement without recognition” towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. For example, in the 2010 October edition of the Washington Quarterly, Lincoln Mitchell and Alexander Cooley wrote that “pledging enduring support for Georgia’s territorial integrity is somewhat meaningless” because the more both breakaway regions are pressured to choose between Tbilisi and Moscow, they will choose latter. According to them, the more these areas are isolated by the international community, the more likely they are to increase their dependence on Moscow. In addition, the European Union Institute for Security Studies suggests that the “engagement without recognition” policy might be beneficial for Georgia as well because it does not question Georgia’s territorial integrity, nor does it force Georgia to recognize the self-proclaimed independence of both regions.
How do you think Georgia should deal with its "breakaway" territories?