The Democratic Security Institute (DSI) is an independent, non-partisan thinktank based in Tbilisi, Georgia. We are a team of policy and civil society professionals who are passionate about the power of democracy to bring security, social justice and prosperity to people living in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia
Growing out of the Eurasia Democratic Security Network (EDSN) project as part of the Center for Social Sciences, DSI was established in 2022 as a separate organisation.
Our core mission is to promote the concept of democratic security: the idea that democracy, security, and social justice are inextricably linked and that the surest, most sustainable path to a more secure Eurasia is through radical democratisation.
Since 2017, our EDSN project has run a fellowship for policy professionals interested in the idea of democratic security in the region. Our fellows and alumni include a wide variety of thought leaders on the region, including academics, diplomats, government officials, journalists, activists and policy analysts. These people now form a network of like-minded professionals from across the region and form the bedrock of support for DSI’s principles and goals.
DSI seeks to be more than just a think tank. Indeed, we strive to be a nursery for innovative democratic policy ideas tailored to the needs of countries of the region. But we seek to extend our reach far beyond the comfortable corridors of academic institutions and NGO headquarters. We aspire to be a living link between idea-makers and political practitioners advocating or implementing real democratic policy change on the ground – sometimes at great risk to themselves. For democracy has rarely been won through the writing of policy papers alone, but through coordinated political action.
We abide by the principle that the people of the region deserve nothing less than the radical democratisation of every aspect of the societies in which they live. Whether it is at the ballot box, in education and health systems, in foreign policy, or at workplaces, we tirelessly advocate for reform of institutions to render them more democratic and accountable. We believe unreservedly that democracy itself is the strongest and most reliable means to bolster the security of a region that has historically lacked it. The fate of the region should lie with its citizens, and they all – from Moldova to Turkmenistan – deserve to join the club of democratic nations. The essence of the idea of democratic security is that democracy is not merely desirable, it is of existential importance to the peoples of the region.