Democratization and War - The Relation between Democratization and Conflicts in Georgia

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This paper examines the relation between violent conflicts and democratization in Georgia. Since independence in 1991, Georgia has grown towards increased democratization but within the political transition, many obstacles, in form of violent conflicts and war have threatened the country. In the Democratization and War theory, Mansfield & Snyder argues that increased democracy increases the risk for violent conflicts. According to the theory, a country is more “war prone” and aggressive during political transition periods, primarily during democratization. When applying the Democratization and War theory on the case of Georgia, since independence we learn that most of the conflicts since independence are caused by elite interests, when trying to use the relative instability of the political transition for their own agendas. The main arguments within the Democratization and War theory that increased democratization increases the aggression and violent conflicts, can however not be fully supported. Violent conflicts have occurred during non-transition periods as well as during decreased democratization.

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