Towards an “uncivil” society? Informality and civil society in Georgia

Chikhladze, T. and Aliyev, H. (2019) Towards an “uncivil” society? Informality and civil society in Georgia. Caucasus Survey, 7(3), pp. 197-213. (doi: 10.1080/23761199.2019.1690384)

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Abstract

Since the early 1990s, the NGO sector in the South Caucasus has faced countless challenges on its road to development. Among these, an endemic “informalisation of society” – to a certain degree inherited from the Soviet Union – posed a seemingly insurmountable number of obstacles for the emergence and establishment of an egalitarian and open civil society in the region. This study explores the uneasy relationship between formal civil society and the informal sphere in the republic of Georgia. We argue that scholars and policy-makers alike need to pay close attention to how informal institutions, regardless of their non-civil nature, often become part of the civil sector in the context of developing countries. Informal patronage networks, radical movements and extremist organizations ̶ some registered and some remaining informal – often pose as civil society organizations, functioning as a “dark” side of NGOisation in post-Communist countries. This “uncivil” society thrives due to the low popular participation in formal civil society in this region and undermines the potential gains to be made by the development of a robust civil sector.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This article has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the European project CASCADE GA No. 613354.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Chikhladze, T., and Aliyev, H.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Research Group:Statehood, Nationhood and Identity
Journal Name:Caucasus Survey
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2376-1199
ISSN (Online):2376-1202
Published Online:06 December 2019

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