Zhordania was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, and joined the Menshevik faction of the State Council ("Gosudarstvennaia Duma") of Russia.
In 1918 he became the leader (Head of the Government) of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG), the first Republic of Georgia. From 1918 to 1921 this state was recognised by various countries including Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Russia.
In 1921 he was deposed by Russian Red Army forces, which re-occupied Georgia and incorporated it into the Soviet Union as part of the Transcaucasian SFSR. In March 1921 Zhordania was exiled to Paris. He died in 1953.