The identification of Georgia as a civilization entity with Europe has been the subject of long time debates and discourses. Therefore still there is no final solution as among groups as political elites. In spite of Georgia’s membership in Council of Europe and many other European political, cultural or economic organizations, Georgia often is regarded unofficially as part of Asia, specifically part of western Asia. Firstly here is considered geographical location and secondly its cultural belongness. Contrary, Georgia, as ancient Christian country usually claims for its European identity and pretending for EU full membership as restoration of historical justice.
In Georgian as public as intellectual discourse the issue of Georgia’s European identity is one of the favourites questions. From such discourse we can drown three main approaches:
Optimists as usual affirm that Georgia is genetically European country, which thanks to the difficult historical circumstances has become isolated from Europe and has been unable to move in parallel regime with European developments. Therefore, the aspiration to the establishment of Western style liberal-democracy is its natural need and lies somewhere in insights of Georgian subconscious. Thus, idea and project of democratization of the country totally authentic and correspond to the natural laws and developments in general.
According to the pessimists’ arguments, Georgia has never been the part of the European civilisational space. Despite the facts that Georgia had a close connections with as ancient as Christian world, it had been remained all the times as eastern-Asian country. Therefore Georgia is unable to be a space of genuine horizontal social and political relationships. That’s why Georgia is predestined forever for eastern style social-political hierarchism and vertical social vector of developments.
There is also the third version of view of Georgian belongness. Such approach asserts Georgia’s unique civilisational positions. Discussing Georgia Asian or European country is not just and adequate. Because of its geographical location and historical developments, Georgia has been neither European nor Asian country. Georgia lies somewhere in between that can be called as separate “Caucasian Civilization”. Therefore the aspiration toward the establishment of western style liberal democracy or eastern hierarchism is totally unjust. Georgia as bearer of unique culture has to create its own model of development, which contains within its frames as western/European and eastern/Asian characters and ties. Thus, such kind of uniqueness is envisaged to protection and care.
My point of view is to regard Georgia as a part of European family. Because of several objective credentials (experience of feudalism, Christianity, social relationships mainly based on idea of gender equality, acceptance of idea of individual freedom, private property traditions, mostly secular traditions in politics and rejection of despotic government) Georgia can be consider as European country, which because of historical isolation was not able to follow in parallel regime with Western European development. Georgia’s historical developments very closely stand with south-east European countries experience (like Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and etc). Therefore, while discussing given nation’s civilizational belongnes, one have to priorities countries cultural orientation in comparison with dry geographical credentials. Dry physical geography is mostly conventional and changing according to time and circumstances.