The modernization process in contemporary Georgia

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Αποθετήριο ΔΙ.ΠΑ.Ε.
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2015 (EL)

The modernization process in contemporary Georgia

Kobalia, Salome

The dissertation is about modernization process in contemporary Georgia and role of the Orthodox Church in the recent process of democratization and modernization. I will analyze the issue within the theoretical framework based on Ronald Inglehart and Wayne E. Baker’s work “Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values.” From the beginning, I will give general introduction with theoretical framework and historical-constitutional background. In next part, I will give description of political system and constitutional structure of the country. It includes information about different important old and new elite members for contemporary Georgia. Third part will include different reforms Sakashvili’s government introduced for the modernization. In fourth part, I will try to explain why Orthodox Church resisted the modernization process in different ways. As a result, Saakashvili together with his Western-Oriented team members soon became known as “Young Reformers” that drove the modernization process in Georgia. His intention was not only creation of modern and democratic state, but transformation of Georgian Society from traditional values to modern one through “Mental Revolution” that indeed is the result of new economic, cultural, and political system introduced by the model of modernization. Orthodox Church, that Saakashvili’s government inherited as a strong institution was prioritized by constitutional agreement between the state and the Church in 2002. In addition, Orthodox Church is strengthened with high rate (83.9% of citizens are Orthodox Christians) of Christians. Orthodox Church is protector of traditional values in the country, which was shaped by Christianity throughout history. In addition, with other “cultural background,” Orthodox Church managed to resist not only the different aspects of modernization, but moreover, government’s attempt to exclude Orthodox Church, as one of the important participants in political, cultural, and societal life of Georgia. Case of Georgia is a logical result of Inglehart and Baker’s assumption that traditional values would resist the modernization process and by it would persist. Successful modernization project can just decline the role of religion or cultural based traditions in the country, but not eradicate, but Georgia still has its way toward the success of modernization process.


Dissertations, Academic

Αγγλική γλώσσα


School of Humanities, MA in Black Sea & Eastern Mediterranean Studies

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