DAAD SCHOLARSHIP HOLDER
Office: Feldkirchenstr. 21, Room: FG1/00.11, 96052 Bamberg, Germany
Pillar 4: Governance, Institutional Change and Political Behaviour
Field: Political Science
Research Interests: Russian and East European Studies
// DISSERTATION PROJECT
Title: The Nature of Political Party Competition in Hybrid Regimes: Case Study of post-Soviet Georgia
Abstract: Party competition in hybrid regimes, especially in post-Soviet context, is often treated as a popularity contest of the party leaders seeking public office. At best, it is assumed that competition is over votes through informal networks and vote-buying practices, while policy ideas are almost entirely absent from the equation. This, however, is a rather simplistic account of party politics in hybrid regimes and cannot answer questions such as why parties spend time, energy, and other resources to produce manifestos. Exploring the nature of party competition in Georgia holistically, I ask three main questions in my dissertation: (1) To what extent is party competition programmatic in hybrid regimes? (2) How does programmatic party competition emerge in hybrid regimes? (3) How does electoral clientelism work and intersect programmatic party competition?
Departing from most literature, which argues that programmatic and clientelistic forms of competition are mutually exclusive and there is a transition from the latter to the former, I argue that party competition in non-democratic contexts is a complex phenomenon and exhibits both programmatic and clientelistic characteristics. Treating the two forms of competition as a continuum on which any political system can be placed, I aim to make three theoretical contributions to our understanding of party competition. First, I elaborate a conceptual framework integrating programmatic and clientelistic forms of competition, which makes the framework applicable to democratic and non-democratic contexts. Second, based on process tracing methodology, I argue that programmatic inter-party competition can emerge as a result of the intra-party competition over influence on the content of pre-election manifestos. Third, I expand an established behavioural model of party competition to make it more useful for non-democratic contexts. I argue that political parties in hybrid regimes, just like in democratic systems, engage in vote-seeking, office-seeking, and policy-seeking behaviour but additionally they also engage in a broker-seeking behaviour. Electoral brokers who are embedded in their local communities serve as a link between what parties offer and what voters want. Therefore, parties in hybrid regimes target voters through policies and through brokers, while public office remains as a means to effectively undertake policy- and broker-seeking beahviour, both of which aim at increasing a vote share.
To provide evidence for my arguments, I use a multi-method design. My primary data comes from 48 hand-coded Georgian party manifestos, 16 in-depth interviews with party representatives, 20 informal interviews with electoral brokers, 16 focus group discussions with undecided voters in Georgia and publicly available surveys. As a result, I explore both supply and demand side of Georgian party politics in a comprehensive manner.
// ACADEMIC BACKGROUND
2012 - 2013
Master's degree (M.Sc.) in Russian and East European Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
2010 - 2012
Master's degree (M.Sc.) in Transformation in the South Caucasus, Tbilisi State University, Georgia
2006 - 2010
Bachelor's degree (B.Sc.) in International Relations, Tbilisi State University, Georgia
Awards / Academic Achievements and Scholarships (selection)
January 2023 – December 2023
BAGSS Completion Scholarship.
September 2022 – January 2023
Fellowship at the Center for East European Studies at University of Zurich.
October 2018 – September 2022
DAAD GSSP Scholarship for doctoral studies at BAGSS.
September 2012 – August 2013
Open Society Foundations and University of Oxford scholarship for graduate studies.
Researcher for the project “Competency through Cooperation: Advancing Knowledge on Georgia’s Strategic Path (GEOPATH)” implemented by Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Georgian Institute of Politics.
Invited Expert for the project “Election Compass Georgia 2020” implemented by International Republican Institute and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Invited Expert for the project “Political Equality Index in Georgia” implemented by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association.
Academic Coordinator for the project “Promote and Act for Europe” implemented by Georgian institute of Politics.
Administrator of Graduate Programmes in International Relations; Faculty of Social Sciences; International Black Sea University.
Researcher for the project “Role of Identity, Norms, and Beliefs in Foreign Policies of Armenia and Georgia” implemented by Tbilisi State University and Yerevan State University.
Field Research Assistant for the project “Intra- and inter-societal sources of instability in the Caucasus and EU opportunities to respond” implemented by German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
Researcher for the project “Contemporary dilemmas for Georgian foreign and security policy” implemented by Tbilisi State University.
Party Competition in Eastern and Western Europe: Comparative Perspectives. Chair of Comparative Politics, University of Bamberg.
Russian Government and Politics. Chair of Comparative Politics, University of Bamberg.
Comparative Politics. Faculty of Social Sciences, International Black Sea University.
Introduction to Political Science. Faculty of Social Sciences, International Black Sea University.
Research Methods in Social Sciences. Faculty of Social Sciences, International Black Sea University.
English Academic Writing. Faculty of Social Sciences, International Black Sea University.
BA Research Design. Department of Political Science, Tbilisi State University.
Post-Soviet Politics. Faculty of Social Sciences, International Black Sea University.
Professional Experience (selection)
Policy Analyst (non-resident since 2018); Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP).
Elected Member of the Doctoral Student Council; Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS).
Researcher and Project Manager. Caucasian House.
- Foreign Policy Analysis
- East European Politics
- European Review
- Caucasus Survey
International media: Channel 5 of Ukraine | Aftenposten of Norway | Filter Nyheter of Norway | New Eastern Europe
Georgian Media: Euronews Georgia | Georgian Public Broadcaster (TV and radio) | TV Imedi | TV Formula | TV Mtavari | Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Voice of America | Netgazeti | Batumelebi | Open Caucasus Media | Accent
Articles in a journal
Kakhishvili, L. (2023): “Do Domestic Institutional Actors Matter in Georgian Foreign Policy? Unpacking National Role Conceptions of Bureaucracies and Political Parties in Georgia.” East European Politics, online first: DOI: 10.1080/21599165.2023.2229267.
Kakhishvili, L. (2021): “Towards a Two-Dimensional Analytical Framework for Understanding Georgian Foreign Policy: How Party Competition Informs Foreign Policy Analysis.” Post-Soviet Affairs, 37(2), 174-197. DOI: 10.1080/1060586X.2020.1869455.
Kakachia, K, Minesashvili, S. and Kakhishvili, L. (2018): “Change and Continuity in the Foreign Policies of Small States: Georgia’s Policy towards Russia.” Europe-Asia Studies, 70(5), 814-831. DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2018.1480751.
Book Reviews in a Journal
Kakhishvili, L. (2023): Public Policy and Politics in Georgia: Lessons from post-Soviet Transition, by T. T. Moldogaziev, G. A. Brewer, & J. E. Kellough (eds). Europe-Asia Studies, 75(1), 166-167. DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2022.2155411.
Kakhishvili, L. (2021): Conditionality & Coercion: Electoral Clientelism in Eastern Europe, by I. Mares & L. E. Young. Democratization, 29(2), 404-405. DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2021.1965993.
Kakhishvili, L. (2021): Stubborn Structures: Reconceptualizing post-Communist Regimes, by B. Magyar (ed.). Europe-Asia Studies, 73(5), 959-961. DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2021.1932304.
Book Chapters (selection)
Kakhishvili, L. and Kupatadze, A. (2022): “End of the post-Soviet Era in Georgia’s Foreign Policy? Georgia’s Relations with Former Soviet Republics.” In: German, T., Jones, S.F. and Kakachia, K. (eds) Georgia’s Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: Challenges for a Small State. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 117-136.
Kakhishvili, L. (2016): “Georgia–the Choice: Perceived West-Russia Dichotomy in Georgian Politics.” In: Knodt, M. and Urdze, S. (eds) Caucasus, EU and Russia–Triangular Cooperation? Baden-Baden: Nomos. 165-188.
Kakhishvili, L. (2016): “Accounting for the “Selfless” Self-Perception among the Georgian Public.” In: Kakachia, K. and Markarov, A. (eds) Values and Identity as Sources of Foreign Policy in Armenia and Georgia. Tbilisi: Universal. 62-78.
Naskidashvili, M. and Kakhishvili, L. (2016): “National identity of Georgian Political Elites and Population and Its Impact on Foreign Policy Choices.” In: Kakachia, K. and Markarov, A. (eds) Values and Identity as Sources of Foreign Policy in Armenia and Georgia. Tbilisi: Universal. Tbilisi: Universal. 34-61.
Jones, S. and Kakhishvili, L. (2013): “The Interregnum: Georgian Foreign Policy from Independence to Rose Revolution.” In: Cecire, M. and Kakachia, K. (eds) Georgian Foreign Policy: The Quest for Sustainable Security. Tbilisi: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. 5-32.
Policy Articles and Other Periodicals (selection)
Kakhishvili, L. (2023): “Russian Nationals in Georgia: Making Holidays, Taking Refuge, or Escaping Sanctions?” Religion and Society in East and West. Zurich: Institute G2W.
Kakhishvili, L. (2022): “Democratic Innovations Outside West: Case of Georgia.” European Democracy Hub. Brussels: Carnegie Europe and European Partnership for Democracy.
Kakhishvili, L. (2022): “Georgia’s Switch to a Proportional Electoral System: How Should Political Parties Prepare for the Possibility of Coalition Governments?” GIP Policy Brief. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
Kakhishvili, L., Keshelava, D, Papava, G. and Sichinava D. (2021): “Georgia’s Political Landscape: Diversity, Convergence and Empty Spots.” Tbilisi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Kakhishvili, L. (2020): “Do Ethnic Minorities Benefit from Georgia’s Europeanization?” GIP Policy Paper. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
Kakhishvili, L. (2020): “Georgian Party Political Discourse on Foreign Policy Non-Alignment: How Has the Meaning Changed since 1992?” GIP Policy Memo. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
Kakhishvili, L. (2020): “From a Presidential to a Parliamentary Government in Georgia.” Caucasus Analytical Digest, No. 114, pp. 11-14.
Kakhishvili, L. (2020): “Large Parties versus Small Parties in Georgia: Do Party Manifestos Vary across Parties?” GIP Policy Brief. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
Kakhishvili, L. (2019): “Decreasing Level of Trust in Georgian Political Parties: What Does It Mean for Democracy and How to Avoid Negative Consequences?” GIP Policy Brief. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
Kakhishvili, L. (2018): “Socializing Effects of Georgian Parties’ Membership in European Political Party Federations.” GIP Policy Paper. Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics.
// CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference. “Can Intra-Party Conflict Trigger the Emergence of Programmatic Inter-Party Competition in Hybrid Regimes? Case Study of Georgia.” Prague, Czech Republic. 4-8 September 2023
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference. “Ideological Cleavages or East-West Divide in the European Parliament? Explaining MEPs’ Positions on EU Foreign Policy.” Prague, Czech Republic. 4-8 September 2023.
Annual Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference. “How Do Programmatic and Clientelistic Forms of Party Competition Co-Exist in Hybrid Regimes? Case of Georgia.” Chicago, USA (online). 13-16 April 2023.
Annual Conference of the European Communities Studies Association Switzerland. “From Normative Power to Big Stick Diplomacy: Has Russian Invasion Changed How MEPs Conceive the EU’s International Role?” University of St. Gallen. Switzerland. 9-10 November 2022.
European Political Science Association (EPSA) Annual Conference. “Emergence of Programmatic Party Competition in Hybrid Regimes: Within-Case Comparative Analysis of Georgia.” Prague, Czech Republic. 23-25 June 2022.
The 8th Annual CRRC Conference Recovery and Realignment: The South Caucasus in a New Decade. “Party Politics and Social Movements in Georgia” (panel organizer). Tbilisi, Georgia (online). 23-24 June 2022.
Association for Studies of Nationalities (ASN) Annual World Convention. “Measuring Incremental Changes in the Foreign Policy of Small States: A Case Study of Georgia.” New-York, USA (online). 4-7 May 2022.
Annual Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference. “Emergence of Programmatic Party Competition in Hybrid Regimes: Within-Case Comparative Analysis of Georgia.” Chicago, USA (online). 7-10 April 2022.
Academic Convention of the German Political Science Association (DVPW). “How Can Programmatic Party Competition Emerge in Post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes? Case Study of Georgia.” Germany (online). 14-16 September 2021.
10 Year Anniversary BAGSS Conference. “Do Party Programs Matter for Voters in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes? Case of Georgia” (poster presentation). BAGSS. Bamberg, Germany. 15-16 September 2021.
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference. “Do Party Programs Matter for Voters in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes? Case of Georgia.” Online. 30 August – 3 September 2021.
Düsseldorf Graduate Conference on Party Research (GraPa). “How Do Party Manifestos Function in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes? Case Study of Georgia.” Düsseldorf, Germany (online). 26-27 February 2021.
Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) Conference: Politics from Below: Reasserting or Transcending the Democratic Paradigm? “Relevance of the Democratic Paradigm in post-Soviet Setting: Is Political Party Competition in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes Unique?” (Poster presentation). Berlin, Germany (online). 27-28 January 2021.
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference. “Is Party Competition Programmatic in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes? A Case Study of Georgia.” Online. 24-28 August 2020.
Joint Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference in Barcelona. “Nature of Political Party Competition in Post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes: Case Study of Georgia.” Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Barcelona, Spain. 20-21 June 2019.
Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies. “Political Party Identities in post-Soviet Hybrid Regimes: Programmatic Competition and Decidability of Policy Offers in Georgia.” University of Tartu. Estonia. 9-11 June 2019.
Barcelona Workshop on International Security: Threats and Challenges to European Security in the 2020s: How Have Perceptions and Responses Changed? “Ideological Cleavages or East-West Divide in the European Parliament? Explaining MEPs’ Positions on EU's Response to the Invasion of Ukraine and Annexation of Crimea.” Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Barcelona, Spain. 26-27 October 2023.
Workshop: European Security Architectures and Their Implications: The Past, Present and Future. “Ideological Cleavages or East-West Divide in the European Parliament? Explaining MEPs’ Positions on EU's Response to the Invasion of Ukraine and Annexation of Crimea.” European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy. 12-13 October 2023.
ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops. “Best of Both Worlds? Programmatic and Clientelistic Party Competition in Hybrid Regimes: Case Study of Georgia.” Toulouse, France. 25-28 April 2023.
EU Diplomacy: Confronting Legal and Political Insights. “Ideological Cleavages or East-West Divide in the European Parliament? Explaining MEPs’ Positions on EU Foreign Policy.” University of Groningen. The Netherlands. 21 April 2023.
Russia’s War: Impact on Ukrainian Society and Caucasian Perspectives. “Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Politicized Reactions in Georgia.” Center for East European Studies at the University of Zurich. Switzerland. 9 December 2022.
Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus Regional Research (RUCARR) Seminar Series. “How Do Parties Compete in Hybrid Regimes: Programmes, Clientelism or the Marriage of the Two? Case Study of Georgia.” Malmo University, Sweden (online). 17 October 2023.
Image Credits: © Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences