Friday, November 30, 2007

Ghosts in the Room (Saltzman Forum)

It seems to me that any discussion of the Rose Revolution and Georgia at this time now has three "ghosts in the room" which are influencing assessments and discussions:

--Russia and its forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, either to serve as a reminder of the dangers of a hyper-presidential system or to provide a (negative) point of contrast in which the shortcomings of others pale in comparison;

--Ukraine and its attempts to forge coherent, effective governments in light of its decisions to decentralize power among several centers as part of the move to a parliamentary system--so is Ukraine more democratic than Georgia, but are its attempts at reform, particularly in the economy, harder to implement?

--Pakistan and the question of U.S. support for leaders/personalities versus procedures and process.

One question which has been implicitly raised and will perhaps be addressed more openly this afternoon: does a change in the power structure in Georgia lead to any real change in Georgia's orientation?

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