The similarities in images of protesters camped in tents in Armenia and Georgia over the past few months amid political crises in both countries have been striking. They are signs of the political openness and liberalisation in both the states which share a long history of authoritarian Soviet and Russian imperial rule.
But while “tent politics” certainly signals democratic breakthroughs, it also highlights persistent state weakness in both countries, where the opposition sees limited utility or interest in channelling its disagreements with the governing parties through official state institutions. But finding institutionalised solutions is the key to resolving both political crises.
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