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Misha’s freedom laboratory

President Saakashvili believes that Georgia’s future lies in western-style reforms. But can one small country in the Caucasus make them work?

By David Goodhart   March 2011

On my last night in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, a Frenchman was murdered in my hotel. As it was the Caucasus I immediately assumed there was some murky political motive behind the stabbing. I was with a group of other journalists on a tour of the country sponsored by the Georgian government, and when we discovered the victim was involved in the modernisation of Tbilisi’s transport system, our suspicions only grew.

It turned out to be a private liaison gone horribly wrong—a “normal” western murder in a country striving to be an outpost of the west in a dark…

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