The Quest for Good Governance: Georgia’s Break with the Past

This paper looks at Georgia’s path to reform in 2004–2012. The author argues that the young, ideologically and structurally cohesive elite capitalized on the window of opportunity and implemented “big bang” reform in 2004–2008. As time passed, the new incumbents developed vested interests that became apparent with the reemergence of a state-business nexus reemerged in 2008–2012. During the Saakashvili administration, these interests undermined market competition, and elite networks used state power to control economic and political structures. Even though concerns over particularistic practices have remained, petty bribery has decreased substantially.

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