Over 1,000 workers were killed or injured in occupational accidents in Georgia from 2011–2016, according to data compiled by the Applied Research Company, a consultancy. Almost every month, yet another worker plunges to his death from Tbilisi’s shockingly unprotected highrise construction sites or a story of worker humiliation or exploitation hits the news. Labour issues have returned as fertile ground for Georgian activism.
Hundreds took to the streets in Tbilisi on 14 July, in a xenophobic, ethno-nationalist rally. The ‘March of Georgians’ railed against ‘illegal immigrants’, meaning anyone not Christian and white. But some on the far-right dissented against pro-Russian sentiments within the movement.
In May 2016, Tbilisi’s Kiwi Café — a vegan hangout for city hipsters — was hit by nationalist youths armed with meat sausages. The grotesque spectacle was obvious click-bait in today’s attention seeking social media, but it did highlight a new trend: social and lifestyle issues increasingly trump Georgia’s latent political rifts, and young people are at the forefront of this evolution.
Thousands of people have gone missing due to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. More than two decades have passed since a ceasefire agreement was signed, but thousands of families still do not know what happened to their loved ones.
News of this April’s mass detentions, arrests, and murders of Chechnya’s gay and bisexual population has spread around the globe. While Chechen and federal authorities categorically deny all reports of this persecution, the mass media is filled with stories of men who managed to flee Chechnya. These events have pushed the Chechen people to contemplate the unstable place of their nation in the world.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have a short but interesting history in Abkhazia. Over the past two decades, they have established themselves as a significant part of Abkhazian society. This is perhaps due, in large part, to the charitable works that they led in the difficult post-war years.
Conflicts over self-determination have been thoroughly studied. There is no shortage of works on the scope and contents of self-determination. Likewise, the thorny issue of what a ‘people’ constitutes has been widely problematised as well. Scholars have also investigated the delicate question of cases in which secession is permissible, with some advocating for ‘remedial secession’ in exceptional circumstances. However, how should the de facto states themselves — the most notorious outcomes of these secessionist conflicts in the South Caucasus — be addressed?
Armenia’s recent parliamentary election delivered a resounding victory to the incumbent Republican Party. However, behind the numbers lies a growing sense of discontent at a patron–client system that serves only certain elites. [Read more…]
Georgia’s political elites are engaged in heated debates over a number of issues they claim are of existential importance to the country. These circuses, in which different interest groups fight for their own elitist agendas, has very little relation to the views and needs of ordinary Georgians.