When most of Eastern Europe was struggling with dictatorships of one kind or another, the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) established a constitution, a parliamentary system with national elections, an active opposition, and a free press. Like the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, its successors emerged after 1991 from a bankrupt empire, and faced, yet again, the task of establishing a new economic, political and social system from scratch. In both 1918 and 1991, Georgia was confronted with a hostile Russia and followed a pro-Western and pro-democratic course. The top regional experts in this book explore the domestic and external parallels between the Georgian post-colonial governments of the early twentieth and twenty-first centuries. How did the inexperienced Georgian leaders in both eras deal with the challenge of secessionism, what were their state building strategies, and what did democracy mean to them? What did their electoral systems look like, why were their economic strategies so different, and how did they negotiate with the international community neighbouring threats. These are the central challenges of transitional governments around the world today. Georgia’s experience over one hundred years suggests that both history and contemporary political analysis offer the best (and most interesting) explanation of the often ambivalent outcomes.
'Stephen Jones has brought together a collection of informative and perspicacious essays which restore to history a forgotten episode, one of the most extraordinary, if doomed political experiments of the twentieth century: the Georgian Democratic Republic of 1919-21. More important still, this book gives us a salutary reminder: the failure of the victorious allies of 1919 to support, recognize and save from Russian conquest a remarkable young republic must not be repeated by the victorious allies of the Cold War a century later, when a newly independent Georgia faces subversion and coercion from a revived Russian empire.' – Donald Rayfield, Emeritus Professor, Queen Mary, University of London
'Georgia, and the whole of the Caucasus, is geopolitically an extremely complicated region. The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and its Successors is a unique book that gives the reader the possibility of comparing two models of the post-imperial Georgian state – 1918-1921 and 1991-2012. The book will be of enormous relevance and importance to all those interested not only in the history and geopolitics of Georgia, but of the Caucasus as well.' – Vladimer Papava, Professor of Economics, Rector, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia
'The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012 is an essential guide to one of eastern Europe's most fascinating and strategically significant countries. Stephen Jones has assembled a who's-who of specialists on Georgian politics, economics, and history. This international team traces the country's fractious politics and fraught foreign policy back to the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) and reveals the enduring legacies of Georgians' first modern experiment with national self-government.' – Charles King, Georgetown University, USA, author of The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus
Preface Redjeb Jordania Introduction Stephen F. Jones Part 1: Good Neighbors, Bad Neighbors 1. The Role of Geopolitics and Foreign Powers in the Modern History of Georgia: Comparing 1918-1921 and post-1991 Periods Revaz Gachechiladze 2. The Russian-Georgian War and its Implications for Georgia’s State-Building Alexander Rondeli 3. Georgia's European Aspirations and the Eastern Partnership Gia Tarkhan-Mouravi 4. Georgia as a Geographical Pivot: Past, Present, Future Mamuka Tsereteli 5. Georgia’s Military and Civil Security Challenges Alexandre Kukhianidze Part 2: Creating Democracy, Building States 6. Georgia’s Ethnic Diversity: A Challenge to State-Building Natalie Sabanadze 7. The Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) and the Search for the Democratic Model of Georgia Malkhaz Matsaberidze 8. The Democratic Republic of Georgia: Forgotten Lessons for our Democracy Giorgi Kandelaki 9. March of the Goblins - Permanent Revolution in Georgia Levan Ramishvili and Tamar Chergoleishvili Part 3: Home for Whom? 10. A Fateful Moment: Ethnic Autonomy and Revolutionary Violence in the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) Cory Welt 11. "From Words to Action!" Nationality Policy in Soviet Abkhazia, 1921-38 Timothy K. Blauvelt 12. Unpacking the Meta-Conflict: Claims to Sovereignty, Self-Determination and Territorial Integrity in the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict Laurence Broers Part 4: The Power of the Past 13. The Young Stalin and Revolution in Georgia Ronald Suny 14. "The Russian Occupation in 1921" and the "Russian-Georgian War of August 2008" – Historical Analogy as a Memory Project Malkhaz Toria