The South Caucasus states are not consolidated liberal-democracies, but liberalization attempts and prospects are rather visible there. The Georgian case is particularly interesting in this respect. At the same time, the interdependence of these states, stemming from historical complexities of amity/enmity, as well as modern economic or other imperatives, will make success in one of them positively resonate within others. But to speculate about the foreseeable prospects or think of relevant policies, one has to analyze different external and internal factors. The main challenge for the liberalization agenda of Georgia, which might also be of relevance to Armenia and Azerbaijan, arises from the complex political and ideological reality: 1) Pre-modern indigenous forces resist modernization from within; 2) Russia, which challenges the sovereignty and freedom of choice of its “Near Abroad,” exploits possibilities to ally with those forces. It is also dictated by ideological and social sympathies, since the Russian model of today has some feudal overtones; 3) Postmodern conditions, namely the ability of media-technologies to “create” reality, are exploited by local pre-modern or foreign revisionist actors in a destabilizing manner; 4) Post-national, postmodern imperatives limit the state's discretion to act according to security requirements.
Of course, none of the governments of the South Caucasus states are to be kept beyond critical questioning of their performance. But when political rulers constantly remain accountable to global liberal institutions, finding it impossible to ignore their criticism, those internal non-state actors and their external exploiters do not always deserve due attention. To succeed in the liberalization of the South Caucasus, local and global agents of change should better balance democratic and security arguments, as well as understand that while the main principles of liberal democracy are the same, the tactics and tools of the defense of liberalism in postnational, postmodern Europe might be slightly different from those in modernizing young nation-states.