These essays tell the story of elections that took place in 2003 in the three countries of the South Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, seen through the eyes of nine regional participants and commentators.
The authors therefore write with the immediacy and the vibrancy that comes with close engagement, and sometimes take strong judgments based on their individual standpoints as the processes unfolded.
While the political situations and dynamics in the three countries are very different, the studies reveal many common challenges for reformers seeking to entrench well-organized, transparent and sustainable election processes. The endeavours of ruling elites to resist or, when pressure for change is strong, dissemble and delay are highlighted.
Even in Georgia, where the fall of a discredited regime has led to widespread celebration, a careful scrutiny of the landscape reveals a picture in which there are perhaps less checks and balances after the ‘Rose Revolution’ than there were before.