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Research Seminar | The End of the Near Abroad? The Impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on individual geopolitical preferences in Georgia

Monday February 27, 2023, from 12:00 to 13:30
Room 24.120 (First Floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building
Research seminar

Aron Buzogany (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna). ChairAdam Holesch (IBEI)

The Russian war in Ukraine has had a tremendous impact on the views of the Russian Federation through the world. Across this paper, we focus on the effects of the war in Ukraine over attitudes towards the EU and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) beyond Ukraine. On the one hand, previous works have shown that events affecting a country (e.g. Brexit), can have an impact over attitudes towards the EU in other (member and non-member) countries. On the other hand, earlier literature proves that some of Russia’s regional “autocracy promotion” initiatives have backfired and pushed countries towards democracy. Combining these two branches of the literature and dwelling on pre and post-war survey data from Georgia (2020- 2022), a post-Soviet country that shares many geopolitical features with Ukraine, our paper aims to answer two questions. First, how has the Russian war in Ukraine affected the geopolitical preferences’ landscape in Georgia? and, second, has the influence of sociodemographic and institutional trust factors over support for the EU and the EAEU changed after the beginning of the war? Our results show that the 2022 Russian military attack in Ukraine has dramatically increased the Georgian population reluctance towards a Russia-centred regional integration alternative and slightly increased support for an EU-centred one. This change is particularly driven by certain groups in society such as minorities, a traditionally very pro-EAEU sector of the Georgian population. Overall, we show that the Russian attack of Ukraine affects both support for the EU and the EAEU beyond the Ukrainian borders and that this aggression could mean the effective end of the EAEU and other Russian-led initiatives that aim to control and influence the territories of the former Soviet Union after its collapse.

This is a co-authored paper with Ángel Torres-Adán (Slovak Academy of Sciences, formerly Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

During the course 2022-23, IBEI has organised a series of research seminars, which normally take place once a week. Check the 2022-23 programme

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