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Russia’s invasion of South Ossetia in August 2008 was not the beginning of the former Soviet republic of Georgia’s troubles. Following the 2003 Rose Revolution, President Mikheil Saakashvili embarked on a program of sweeping reform and expanded the powers of the executive. Improved access to public goods and internationally-recognized achievements in the sphere of economic reform followed. The building of state capacity and its attendant project of renovating Georgian culture, however, seem to have come at a high cost to Georgian democracy, as opposition parties and the media find themselves marginalized and public unrest becomes increasingly difficult to quell.