Virtual WiP: Is Georgian Party Competition Programmatic

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to present the 5th talk of the 2020 Spring Series of the Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series, now celebrating its 10th year!

Given the current COVID19 situation, we will once again hold the Works-in-Progress session virtually through Google Hangouts. To join the event, copy this link: https://meet.google.com/hpm-azrn-kxf

“Is Georgian party competition programmatic? Evidence from party manifestos”

By Levan Kakhishvili, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg

Date: April 1, 2020, at 18:30
Virtual venue: https://meet.google.com/hpm-azrn-kxf

Competition among Georgian political parties is often assumed to be related to charismatic personalities. Furthermore, political parties are criticized for the absence of coherent ideological platforms. For these and other reasons, pre-election party programmes remain understudied. This talk will primarily focus on these programmes and attempt to evaluate the programmatic nature of Georgian party competition. Programmatic competition is conceptualized as electoral decidability, i.e. when parties provide clearly differentiable policy offers from which voters can choose. To evaluate this, results of a content analysis of 46 manifestos from seven parliamentary elections (1992-2016) will be discussed during the talk. The analysis reaffirms the assumption regarding incoherence of ideologies but surprisingly enough concludes that with a varied degree from election to election Georgian parties do indeed provide distinct policy offers to their voters.

Levan Kakhishvili is a Doctoral Fellow in political science at Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS) in Bamberg, Germany. His doctoral research studies how programamtic party competition emerges in post-Soviet hybrid regimes. Levan has seven years of experience working at local and international NGOs and think tanks in Georgia as well as three years of experience in teaching at various Georgian universities. He holds graduate degrees from Tbilisi State University and the University of Oxford.

Although this presentation will be broadcast on Google Hangouts, in observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule to which the series generally adheres, the talk will not be recorded and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing it as well.

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WiP is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the new office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.