Seizing the Reform Moment: Rebuilding Georgia's Police, 2004-2006

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Abstract 

In 2003, the bloodless Rose Revolution ushered in an era of unprecedented reform in the Republic of Georgia.  Widespread dissatisfaction with the undemocratic and corrupt post-Soviet regime culminated in the 2004 election of Mikheil Saakashvili as president.  Riding a wave of popular support and eager to act before the political winds shifted, Saakashvili immediately targeted the corrupt police service, seen by many Georgians as the epitome of state dysfunction.  By the end of 2006, his administration had abolished a KGB-style security ministry and its related police unit, dismissed every member of the country's uniformed police and created a new police force from scratch.  By 2009, it was clear that the reformers' strategy-capitalize on public support, think boldly, act quickly and fix mistakes as they arise had produced significant progress.

Matthew Devlin drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in the Republic of Georgia during May 2009. 

Associated Interview(s):  Batu Kutelia, Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili

Keywords 
Policing
internal accountability
training
recruitment
corruption
delegation
monitoring
governance
corruption & patronage
spoiler trap
law enforcement
Focus Area(s): 
Accountable Policing
Critical Tasks: 
Internal accountability
Recruitment
Training
Core Challenge: 
Principal-agent problem (delegation)
Country of Reform: 
Georgia
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Matthew Devlin