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Great Power Competition and the Path to Democracy: The Case of Georgia, 1991–2020, Zarina Burkadze

Reviewed by Lincoln A. Mitchell
 

There are very few books written about Georgian politics of the last thirty years that are both accessible to scholars who are not Georgia specialists and offer insight and perspective that are valuable to close observers of that country. There are even fewer books that use political science approaches to explain Georgian politics. Zarina Burkadze has accomplished both of these tasks in her book Great Power Competition and the Path to Democracy: The Case of Georgia, 1991–2020.

In this regard, Burkadze's book is extremely useful. Anybody looking for a concise and clear overview of Georgian political development since the end of the Soviet period will find it valuable. Burkadze also traces Georgia's regime trajectory without overstating the democratic strengths of weaknesses of any of the four post-Soviet, one-party systems that have governed Georgia.

Burkadze's book is not simply an overview of Georgian politics. The author seeks to probe Western democracy promotion, which has long been a central part of Georgia's regime evolution, as well as great power politics, because Georgia has been caught in that maw between Russia and the West, particularly the United States. These are extremely important questions, not just for Georgia but for most of the region and, increasingly, in other parts of the world, given China's g

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