THE COMPETITIVE SECURITIZATION OF FOREIGN POLICY: CONTRASTING IMAGES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN GEORGIA (1991-2012)

  • David Matsaberidze PhD, Associate Professor; Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Georgia)
Keywords: Georgia; European Union; Russian Federation; Securitization; Competitive Narratives; Public Sphere

Abstract

Research Paper

DOI: 10.37458/ssj.4.2.10      

The paper explores competitive securitizations of the Russian Federation vs. the European Union in the Georgian political public sphere through deconstruction of the pro-Western and pro-Russian public political narratives. The dis-information incursion and propaganda of the Russian Federation in the societal landscape of Georgia have become the primary tools of the Kremlin to undermine the soft-power policy the EU and the pro-Western agenda. The study reflects on the rotating political discourses on Russia vs. EU through narrative analysis and deconstructs those metanarratives, that securitize the pro-Western and pro-Russian foreign policy discourses and contribute to fragmentation of the political public sphere. The paper reflects on three interrelated clusters – politics, media and civil society – influenced by the pro-Russian strategic narratives tailored across ‘communities of grievances’ to counteract the Western liberal and normative-based agenda. Alternatively, the pro-Western narrative evolves around liberal conceptions, that tries to transform the post-Soviet Georgian society through ‘mental revolution.’ The political discourse analysis – understanding and interpreting meanings – refers to the public speeches of elites and policy documents for deconstruction of narrative structures, as their causal explanations provide insights into the ambiguous and contradictory representations of Russia and the West/EU in the securitized political public sphere in Georgia.

References

Bacon, E. (2012). Public Political Narratives: Developing a Neglected Source through the Exploratory Case of Russia in the Putin-Medvedev Era - Political Studies, 60(4). 729-952.

Bechev, D., Nicolaidis, K. (2010). Introduction: Frontiers, Memory, and Conflict in the Mediterranean. In Bechev, D., Nicolaidis, K. (eds.). Mediterranean Frontiers: Borders, Conflict and Memory in a Transnational World. London: I. B. Tauris.

Bennett, A. (2010). Process Tracing and Causal Inference. In Brady, H., Collier, D. (eds.). Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. (2nd edition). Lanham, MD. Rowman and Littlefield, 207–219.

Buzan, B. (1998). Security, the State, the "New World Order" and Beyond. Columbia University Press, New York.

Buzan, B., Waever, O., Wilde, J. (1998). Security, A New Framework for Analysis. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Civil Georgia. (2004). President Saakashvili's Inauguration. Available at: http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id¼26694 (Accessed on 15.08.2016).

Civil Georgia. (2008). Ex-PM Nogaideli Sets Up Party, 03.12.08. Civil Georgia. Tbilisi. http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=20068&search=nogaideli (Accessed on 15.05.2018)

Cobaugh, P. (2018). White Paper: A Five-Point Strategy to Oppose Russian Narrative Warfare. 13.05.2018. https://www.hstoday.us/white-papers/83285/ (Accessed on 15.05.2018)

Connaway, L., Powell, R. (2010). Basic Research Methods for Librarians. Santa Barbara, California; Denver, Colorado; Oxford, England. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Cornell, S.E. (2018). The Impact of the Ukraine and Syria Conflicts on the Geopolitics of the South Caucasus. In K. Kakachia, S. Meister, B. Fricke (eds). Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & Georgian Institute of Politics & German Council on Foreign Relations, 231-265.

Detector Media (2017). Kremlin Influence Index, 2017. (Accessed on 15.10.2026 https://mythdetector.ge/en/kremlin-influence-index-2017/)

Diskaya, A. (2013). Towards a Critical Securitization Theory: The Copenhagen and Aberystwyth Schools of Security Studies. E-International Relations Studies. http://www.e-ir.info/2013/02/01/towards-a-critical-securitization-theory-the-copenhagen-and-aberystwyth-schools-of-security-studies/#_ftn30 (Accessed on 05.02.2019)

Dzvelishvili, N., Kupreishvili, T. (2015). Russian Influence on Georgian NGOs and Media. Tbilisi. www. damoukidebloba.com under IDFI.

[EI-LAT] European Initiative – Liberal Academy Tbilisi. (2016). Threats of Russian Hard and Soft Power in Georgia. Tbilisi. http://www.ei-lat.ge/images/doc/threats%20of%20russian%20soft%20and%20hard%20power.pdf (Accessed on 20.10.2016)

Erikson, J., Noreen, E. (2002). Setting the Agenda of Threats: An Explanatory Model. Uppsala Peace Research Papers. Uppsala University.

Falkowski, M. (2016). Georgian Drift – The Crisis of Georgians Way Westwards. Centre for Eastern Studies, Working Paper 57, Warsaw.

Ganz, M. (2016). What Is Public Narrative?, Organizing Notes, Charts and Reflection Questions. Organizing: People, Power & Change. Harvard University.

Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2000). Georgia and the World: A Vision and Strategy for the Future. http://www.bits.de/NRANEU/docs/CFE/GeorgiaStrategy.pdf (Accessed on 02.10.2016)

Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006). Foreign Policy Strategy (2006-2009). http://mfa.gov.ge/index.php?sec_id¼8&lang_id¼ENG. (Accessed on 02.10.2016)

Gordadze, T. (2014). Georgia. LSE IDEAS. Reports. June 27. http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pdf/SR019/SR019-Gordadze.pdf (Accessed on 05.08.2016)

GPA (2009). The President of Georgia – Mikheil Saakashvili’s Speech Delivered at the Ceremony Dedicated to Russia- Georgian War Anniversary. The Official Website of Georgia’s Presidential Administration. https://www.president.gov.ge/en-US/mtavari.aspx (Accessed on 02.10.2016)

Habermas, J., Lennox, S., Lennox, F. (1974). Entry on Jurgen Habermas. The Public Sphere Encyclopedia Article (1964). New German Critique, 3: 49-55.

Hug, A. (2015). Traditional Religion and Political Power: Examining the Role of the Church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova. The Foreign Policy Center, October.

ISGP (2007). Inauguration Speeches of the Presidents of Georgia [ISPG] (1991-2004), Institute of Political Science, Publishing House “Akhali Azri.” Tbilisi. (in Georgian Language).

Jones, S.F. (2003). The Role of Cultural Paradigms in Georgian Foreign Policy – The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 19(3). 83-110.

Jones, S.F. (2004). The Role of Cultural Paradigms in Georgian Foreign Policy. Fawn (ed.). Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies. London: London Frank Cass. 83-110.

Jones, S.F., Kakhishvili, L. (2013). The Interregnum: Georgian Foreign Policy from Independence to the Rose Revolution. In Kornely Kakachia & Michael Cecire (eds.). Georgian Foreign Policy – The Quest for Sustainable Security. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 13-40.

Kakachia, K. (2013). European, Asian, or Eurasian?: Georgian Identity and the Struggle for Euro-Atlantic Integration. In Kornely Kakachia & Michael Cecire (eds.). Georgian Foreign Policy – The Quest for Sustainable Security. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 41-52.

Kakachia, K., Minesashvili, S. (2015). Identity Politics: Exploring Georgian Foreign Policy Behavior – Journal of Eurasian Studies, 6. 171-180.

Kakachia, K., Meister, S., Fricke, B. (2018). Introduction. In Kornely Kakachia, Stefan Meister & Benjamin Fricke (eds.). Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & Georgian Institute of Politics & German Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 6-17.

Karadag, Y. (2019). Georgian Europeanization: The Ideational and Institutional Analysis. Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Programe of Area Studies, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Middle East Technical University. https://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12622951/index.pdf (Accessed on 02.10.2016).

Karaganov, S. (2014). The Watershed Year: Interim Result – A Chance for a Fundamental Renewal - Russia in Global Affairs, 12(4), 8-19.

Lebanidze, B. (2016). Democracy under Stress: Western Fatigue, Russian Resurgence and Their Implications for Democratic Processes in Georgia. Policy Paper - Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP), Tbilisi.

Leigh, Ch. (2013). Back to the Future? Pre-Soviet History and Political Thought in Putin Era? Post-Soviet Politics: Politics, Foreign Policy and Strategic Competition. https://postsovietpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/back-to-the-future-pre-soviet-history-and-political-thought-in-the-putin-era/ (Accessed on 02.10.2016)

LGS. (2013a). Press Conference of the Head of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, (December 8, 1990). Press Centre of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Georgia. In Leaders of the Georgian State (LGS) – Collection of Official Documents, Speeches and Interviews, Volume I, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, Tbilisi, pp. 111-124.

Lutsevych, O. (2016). Agents of the Russian World – Proxy Groups in the Contested Neighbourhood. Research Paper. Russia and Eurasia Programme. Chatham House. April. https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/publications/research/2016-04-14-agents-russian-world-lutsevych.pdf (Accessed on 30.06.2018).

MacFarlane, N.S. (2015). Two Years of the Dream – Georgian Foreign Policy During Transition. Russia and Eurasia Programe. Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Research Paper. London.

Makarychev, A. (2016). The Limits of Russian Soft Power in Georgia, PONARIS Eurasian Policy Memo No. 412. Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.

Mansfield, E.D., Snyder, J. (1995). Democratization and the Danger of War - International Security, 20(1). The MIT Press. pp. 5-38.

Matsaberidze, D. (2015). Russia vs. EU/US through Georgia and Ukraine - Connections: The Quarterly Journal. 14 (2). Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes, pp. 77-86 (in English). http://connections-qj.org/article/russia-vs-euus-through-georgia-and-ukraine (Accessed on 30.06.2018).

Mikhelidze, N. (2018). EU Global Strategy, Resilience of the East European Societies and the Russian Challenge. In Kornely Kakachia, Stefan Meister & Benjamin Fricke (eds.). Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & Georgian Institute of Politics & German Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 266-282

Mitchell, L.A. (2004). Georgia’s Rose Revolution - Current History, 103(675). 342- 348

Newspaper Sakhartvelos Respublila, #43 (587), 05.03.1993. “Cossacks Would not Take Part in the Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict – To the Head of the Parliament of Georgia – Eduard Shevardnadze,” in Sakhartvelos Respublika, #43 (587), 05.03.1993

Newspaper Sakhartvelos Respublika, #120 (399), 03.07.1992. “To the Head of the State Council of Georgia – Mr. Eduard Shevardnadze; To the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Boris Eltsin,” in Sakhartvelos Respublika, #120 (399), 03.07.1992

Newspaper Sakhartvelos Respublika, #204 (483), 07.10.1992. “Press Conference of Eduard Shevardnadze,” in Sakhartvelos Respublika, #204 (483), 07.10.1992

Nilsson, N. (2018). Russian Hybrid Tactics in Georgia. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program. http://isdp.eu/content/uploads/2018/01/Russian-Hybrid-Tactics-in-Georgia.pdf (Accessed on 30.06.2018).

Nodia, G. (2005). Breaking the Mold of Powerlessness: The Meaning of Georgia’s Latest Revolution. In Zurab Karumidze and James V. Wertsch (eds.). Enough! The Rose Revolution in The Republic of Georgia. New York: Nova Science, pp. 95-104.

Nodia, G. (2010). Components of the Georgian National Idea: An Outline - Identity Studies, 1(1). 84-101

Nodia, G. (2013). Divergent Interests: What Can and Cannot be Achieved in Georgian-Russian Relations. In Kakachia K and Cecire M (eds.). Georgian Foreign Policy – The Quest for Sustainable Security. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, pp. 81-110

Norman, F. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. Longman.

Ó’Beacháin, D., Coene, F. (2014). Go West: Georgia's European Identity and Its Role in Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Objectives. Nationalities Papers, 42(6), 923-941

Polyakova, A. (2016A). Putinism and the European Far Right. Institute of Modern Russia. http://imrussia.org/en/analysis/world/2500-putinism-and-the-european-far-right (Accessed on 01.03.2017)

Rahman, M. (2009). Georgia and Russia: What Caused the August War? Identity, Culture & Politics: An Afro-Asian Dialogue, 10(1). 132-146.

Raines, T., Goodwin, M., and Cutts, D. (2017). The Future of Europe – Comparing Public and Elite Attitudes. Research Paper. Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs. https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/publications/research/2017-06-20-future-europe-attitudes-raines-goodwin-cutts-final.pdf (Accessed on 26.12.2017)

Shekhovtsov, A. (2009). Aleksandr Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism: The New Right à la Russe. Religion Compass, 3(4). 697–716.

Simao, L. (2018). The European Union’s New Eastern Partnership Policy. In Kornely Kakachia, Stefan Meister & Benjamin Fricke (eds.). Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & Georgian Institute of Politics & German Council on Foreign Relations, pp. 18-44.

Smith, A. (1996). The Resurgence of Nationalism? Myth and Memory in the Renewal of Nations - The British Journal of Sociology, 47(4). 575-598.

Snyder, J., Ballentine, K. (1996). Nationalism and the Marketplace of Ideas - International Security, 21(2). 5-40.

Thomas, G. (2016). Western Invasion? Inside Georgia's Battle against the Gay Agenda. CBN News. http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/may/pumpkinflowers-a-soldiers-unflinching-look-at-modern-war (Accessed on 26.12.2016)

Toal, G. (2009). Russia’s Kosovo: A Critical Geopolitics of the August War over South Ossetia -Eurasian Geography and Economics, 49(1). 670-705.

Tsereteli, M. (2013). The Scars of Separatism: The Impact of Internal Conflicts on Georgian Foreign Policy. In Kornely Kakachia & Michael Cecire (eds.). Georgian Foreign Policy – The Quest for Sustainable Security. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 205-213.

Published
2024-01-02