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Implications of Culture on the Successes and Failures of Democratic Transition in Georgia and Azerbaijan: A Comparative Study
The objective of this study is to evaluate claims made by some scholars that there is a significant correlation between certain cultural norms of a given society and that society's propensity towards democratic governance. I will attempt to show that this is in fact a viable, though not solitary, explanation for the varied types and degrees of democracy in existence today. To do this, I will compare and contrast two countries which share many similarities in their historical experiences, but are critically dissimilar in their current status as successful democracies: Georgia and Azerbaijan. The shared legacy of Soviet rule in these states provides a uniform starting point from which to observe subsequent divergent developments in democracy. This study will explore post-Communist successes and failures of each state, using generally accepted democratic benchmarks to be defined below, and attempt to relate these back to observable cultural characteristics present in each state. The research presented here has significant implications for scholars and politicians alike in their quest to promote prosperity and stabilization through the means of democracy. The consideration of culture as a significant driver of institutional success or failure could result in a vast improvement and expansion of possible policy solutions.
NotesDegree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University.; Electronic thesis available to American University authorized users only, per author's request.
Degree grantorAmerican University. School of International Service