28 April 2010
ESI report launch in Brussels: Georgia - Has Liberalism Failed?


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Social Platform, Square de Meeûs 18, 1050 Brussels


Organized by the Open Society Institute (Brussels) together with the European Stability Initiative (ESI), this lunch debate will launch the ESI report A Libertarian Revolution in the Caucasus.

After a grim, post-Soviet decade, Georgia captured the imagination of the world in November 2003 when a display of "people power" swept away the old political establishment. In its place came a new generation of leaders—young, articulate and determined to propel their small republic out of poverty and isolation and into the European mainstream.

Based on two years of research by a team of ESI researchers across Georgia, from Batumi on the Georgian Black Sea coast to the wine-growing areas of Eastern Georgia, A Libertarian Revolution in the Caucasus looks at the promises of the Rose Revolution, the way Georgia presented itself as a model for other countries, and the implications of its elites embracing libertarianism as a national ideology. 

Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Heather Grabbe, director of OSI-Brussels, will chair a discussion focusing on the economic philosophy underpinning Georgia's transition, the leaders of the intellectual movement, and the country's aspiration to become a global model. Examining Georgia's development over the last few years, panelists will assess the extent to which libertarianism, with its belief that people will be freer and more prosperous if government intervention in their economic choices is minimized, has replaced liberalism as the Georgian model. They will also address the implications for Georgia's future relations with the European Union in the wake of the 2008 war with Russia.

A Libertarian Revolution in the Caucasus is supported by the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Institute.


  • Gerald Knaus, Chairman of ESI
  • Irakli Rekhviashvili, OSI and Former Minister of Economy in Georgia
  • Heather Grabbe, Director of OSI-Brussels (Chair)

Please RSVP to Tarana Ahmadova by 26 April 2010

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com