Georgia is one of the most polarised countries in Europe. A ‘winner-takes-all’ political culture has created deep divisions and instability. The two main political parties mobilise voters by using extremely polarising rhetoric and crowd out the moderate middle ground. Georgians have very little trust in state institutions. Political patronage weakens the country’s management capacity and economic growth. Reducing extreme polarisation would help Georgia widen the space for pluralism and consolidate its democratic gains.
DRI started its work in Georgia in 2016 with the project “Strengthening political pluralism in Georgia”, implemented in cooperation with Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA). In the first phase of the project, DRI and GYLA researched the topic of extreme polarisation and its effects on the Georgian society and political culture. The study showed that extreme political polarisation negatively affects Georgian society and narrows the space for political pluralism. In the second phase of the project DRI and GYLA will bring together students, activists, PR experts and other creative minds from all over Georgia to brainstorm and collaborate on developing their own ideas of creative public awareness campaigns about extreme polarisation.
The project is funded by the German Foreign Office.