Georgia as an Ethnic Democracy: a Study on the Azerbaijani and Armenian Minorities under Mikheil Saakashvili

This dissertation argues that the relationship between the core Georgian majority and the Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities can be conceptualised through Sammy Smooha’s model of ethnic democracy. Scholars have largelyignored instances where a state has not established a power‐sharing agreement with the minority, yet conflict has not occurred. This dissertation will show that despite formal and informal restrictions from participating in the state apparatus, the granting of collective rights to minorities reduced tensions and ensured stability. Mikheil Saakashvili transformed Georgia into a tolerant state,but mostly failed at incorporating the Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities into abroad ‘civic’ identity. The Georgian national identity was significantly influenced by the Soviet Union’s nationalities policy, linking ethnicity with nationality and thus marginalising ethnic minorities.


Author: Salvatore Freni

Date of publication: 2011

Total number of pages: 44

Language: english

Link: Publication URL



Download PDF:



, ,


, ,