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Go West: Georgia's European identity and its role in domestic politics and foreign policy objectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Donnacha Ó Beacháin
Affiliation:
School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
Frederik Coene
Affiliation:
Ghent Institute for International Studies, Ghent University, Universiteitstraat 8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This article sheds light on the Euro-Atlantic discourse in Georgia by situating it in a wider frame. It provides an analysis of its Euro-Atlantic orientation by presenting it as a continuation of past efforts to involve European powers in Georgian affairs and highlights changing trends in this aspect of contemporary foreign policy. Far from determining whether or not the Georgians are European, the different arguments that have been used to support Georgian “Europeanness” are evaluated to assess its role in the national identity construction process. Focusing primarily on the United National Movement government led by Mikheil Saakashvili, we demonstrate how the Euro-Atlantic discourse has been employed domestically by the political elite as a legitimacy management strategy and explore its function in seeking Western patronage, a key foreign policy goal.

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Articles
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Copyright © 2014 Association for the Study of Nationalities 

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