“The Georgian far right and the post-election crisis”, Tamta Gelashvili (NUPI, Norway)

This article examines the role of the far right in political polarisation in Georgia. Polarisation has been a constant feature of Georgian politics, reaching new levels after the 2020 parliamentary elections. On the one hand, polarisation leaves little (if any) room in the political space for newcomers and small actors, including the far right. Carving out a niche in an extremely polarised political space requires a strong, consolidated, alternative force. To date, the fragmented nature of the Georgian far-right movement has hindered its mobilisation as a viable alternative to either the ruling party, Georgian Dream, or the opposition. On the other hand, the far right has also played a role in polarisation: Critics have argued that far-right groups have been used as an instrument to fuel polarisation further. Even though the activities of the far right seem to play into the interests of one end of the polarised political space more than the other, this article asserts that the far-right movement should not be reduced to a mere instrument in the hands of political powers.

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