Escaping the Kmara Box: Reframing the Role of Civil Society in Georgia’s Rose Revolution

Robyn E. Angley


This article examines the role of civic groups in Georgia’s Rose Revolution using Larry Diamond’s framework of the democratic functions of civil society. The author argues that the contribution of civil society to the peaceful transfer of power in 2003 is best understood by expanding the analytical focus out from the Kmara youth movement to include a larger set of organisations. Rather than focusing on the Kmara youth movement as the primary civil society actor in 2003, the author contends that Kmara was, in fact, a product of the coordinated involvement of a cohort of NGOs. The article stresses the highly interconnected nature of Georgian civic leaders and organisations, particularly regarding networks with other NGOs, opposition politicians, and journalists from the Rustavi 2 television station.


Civil society; Kmara; Georgia; Rose Revolution; Colour Revolutions.

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