Changing Perceptions of the West in the South Caucasus: Adoration No More

by George Mchedlishvili

While perceptions of the West in the South Caucasus have deteriorated, renewed Western interest and engagement could help restore its reputation in the region.


  • In the late 1980s and early 1990s perceptions of the West in the three republics of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – were almost uniformly positive. Such views largely reflected the West’s economic superiority and popular disillusionment with the Soviet experiment.
  • Perceptions changed as a result of a lack of Western political support for the new states in the early, difficult years after their independence in 1991. This significantly tarnished the image of the West – although it also lowered expectations, which hitherto had been unrealistically high.

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