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Tag: transformation

Ukraine. Going West despite everything

In 2014 Ukraine found itself at a turning point when the government signed the political and (later) economic parts of the Association Agreement with the European Union. Six years later it has become evident that too little time has passed to fully evaluate this period, but one thing is certain: Ukraine is determined to stay on the path to the West.

In the spring of 2014, shortly after the EuroMaidan victory, I attended regular meetings of bank executives from the National Bank of Ukraine to discuss system stabilisation and reform. The smell of burned tyres lingered in the air as a constant reminder. A feeling of hope and expectation was growing within Ukrainian society. However the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas were in their active phases and the Ukrainian economy was in chaos.

April 6, 2020 - Volodymyr Kuzyo

Georgia. A successful transformation and a challenge to the oligarchs

Georgia is one of the most successful examples of transformation and reform within the post-Soviet space. However current events – the weakening of democratic institutions and informal ruling – threaten the achievement of modernisation as well as the country’s trajectory towards the West.

Starting after independence, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia faced a number of critical challenges. First, a civil war broke out between the supporters and opponents of the first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. This was followed by the bloody conflicts in Abkhazia and the South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region. As a result of these events, Georgia lost control over a part of its territory, its industry and infrastructure were destroyed, and its GDP fell by 44 per cent. Under the leadership of President Eduard Shevardnadze from 1995 to 2003, the country experienced relative stability, yet this period was characterised by corruption of the state, criminality, and the inability of the state to cope with its functions.

April 6, 2020 - Dimitri Avaliani

Georgia’s liberal transformation. An ongoing adventure

Over the past two decades, the liberal capitalist transformation and the new cultural purification of post-communist Georgia has gained the form of political-ideological rituals and cultural exorcisms. All are invited to take part in post-communist exorcisms and rituals, but only the ruling class enjoys the fruits of the transformation.

What do we mean when we speak about the liberal and neoliberal transformation, or the purification, of contemporary Georgia? First of all it is the story of the post-communist order and mentality. And this story begins in the new era of the post-communist transition in Georgia, where the new elite resort to a number of western liberal canons that they perceived as the basic intellectual and ideological tools for an effective liberal and democratic transformation. Among those canons are: individual liberty and the idea of a liberal capitalist state.

November 5, 2018 - Bakar Berekashvili

Seeking the ties that bind

One would not consider Slovakia and Georgia to have much in common. However, there are some common denominators worth exploring. A visit to both states brought some surprising results, defying our expectations.

October 4, 2017 - Katarina Novikova and Wiktor Trybus

Oxford on the Vistula

There seems to be a widely held view that the bout of illiberalism that has spread across Central and Eastern Europe since the economic crash of 2009 came out of nowhere, much like its later cousins Trump and Brexit. And if one were to read nothing but the Anglo-American press coverage of the rise of the current governing Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland, this might appear to be the case. Yet, if one delves into the social fabric of Poland’s post-1989 transition one will see that PiS never wasn't really there, in spirit if not always in office.

October 4, 2017 - Jo Harper

The hangover of transformation

There is much talk of the rise of populism throughout Europe. It is a new specter haunting the liberal democratic order. Although often used as a label, populism is neither a coherent political ideology or programme, nor fascism pure and simple. Rather, populism is a specific form of political articulation reacting to changes in the societal consensus. It tells us that politics “as usual” needs to be renewed or fixed.

May 18, 2017 - Veronika Sušová-Salminen

Illiberal winds from the East

This piece originally appeared in Issue 2/2017 of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

March 17, 2017 - Bartosz Rydliński

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