Would YOU Head Out to the Streets and Protest?

More and more often these days we hear claims by various experts, politicians and media outlets that Georgia is awaiting a mass demonstration against this or that issue. Yet we have found that, despite economic problems, the exchange rate decline, and rising unemployment rates, only 13% of the respondents of a study into the reality of these claims said they would support a mass protest if it happened, while only 6% said they would actually participate.

In a survey conducted by the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Center of Research for the Study of Georgian Complex Development Issues on 18-27 November, in which 521 Tbilisi respondents were interviewed, 9% believe that a mass demonstration will take place as a result of political ‘incompetence’ and yet 73% doubt such a likelihood. And only 4% of respondents said they would be willing to participate in such a protest while 75% said they would refuse to be involved.

Respondents were also asked how likely a mass protest would be as a result of declining living standards, decreasing exchange rate and increasing unemployment, to which 13% said ‘quite likely’ and 68% said less so, with 74% saying they would not participate even if one was organized. The same direction of thought can be seen in the answer to a question regarding a mass protest held for the purpose of political demands, where 9% of respondents claimed it ‘quite likely’ to occur and 73% ‘less likely,’ with just 9% saying that they would actively participate.

In conclusion, it can be considered that the scale of citizen motivation to protest in Georgia, oft-cited by some experts and politicians, is in reality extremely low, in line with results shown for any average stable EU country.

Dimitri Dolaberidze

10 December 2015 20:02