Discovering connections between economic and political dependence in the context of Russia-Georgia economic relations
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This Master’s thesis examines social dimension of the economic dependence and foreign policy compliance of Georgia to Russia in order to explain foreign policy choices of the governments of Georgia. According to the mainstream IPE scholarship, higher the economic dependence, more prone the dependent partner is to make political compromises for the benefit of the dominant. Though, this logic is not applicable to the case of the Georgia-Russia relations which is why economic nationalism - as the construction of set of discourses which define frame for the economic policy decisions - is brought into analysis to suggest better explanation of the connection between economic and political dependence. The 2003-2016 period is chosen as the time frame for the analysis where 2003-2007 and 2012-2016 years are analyzed with utmost scrutiny since they correspond to the periods when the governments of Georgia made contrasting policy actions towards relations with Russia: resisted to make compromises in the foreign policy when the economic dependence on Russia was high in 2006-2007 and turned to the concessions when the economic dependence was the lowest in the history of Russia-Georgia relations. The thesis elaborates a novel methodology combining the quantitative and qualitative techniques and finds that economic nationalism gives relevance to the economic dependence and triggers political concessions from the decision-makers.