Country close-up: Georgia on the Positive Peace Index

The Eurasian country of four million is showing a rapid rise Positive Peace.

More than a decade after a deadly six-day conflict with Russia over two breakaway provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the fledgling post-Soviet Union state shows strong signs of Positive Peace improvement.

In the most recent Positive Peace Report, Georgia achieved a 17 per cent improvement in Positive Peace from 2005 to 2017, propelling it to just one spot below the top third of the index.

Georgia and African nation Cote d’Ivoire demonstrated the largest Positive Peace improvements out of all 163 countries measured.

Improvements were largely due to better scores on Positive Peace pillars Good Relations with Neighbours, Sound Business Environment and Well-functioning Government. The simultaneous improvement in Sound Business Environment and Well-functioning Government can be expected to bolster continued progress.

Deteriorations in some Positive Peace pillars within Georgia, though lesser in magnitude than improvements, have had a negative impact on its score. Reporters Without Borders finds that Georgian journalists are threatened and sometimes beaten. Furthermore, Georgian media is generally quite polarised along political lines.

Despite a history of regional tensions, Georgia has boosted its Positive Peace rankings by substantially improving in the Good Relations with Neighbours pillar. The number of visitors arriving in Georgia has risen dramatically since 2005. In 2017, the Georgian National Tourism Administration reported a record number of 7.9 million international traveller trips, representing an annual growth of 17.6 per cent. Of all the country’s visitors, 78.5 per cent were from the neighbouring countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Turkey.