Color Revolutions in Eurasia by Julia Gerlach

By Julia Gerlach

Why have large-scale protests and mass demonstrations in a few post-socialist Eurasian states resulted in the autumn of autocratic leaders, while comparable different regimes succeed? This e-book addresses the query by means of delivering an summary of 8 situations of so-called colour Revolutions, and explains elements of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ by way of discussing the cutting-edge within the political technological know-how discourse on colour Revolutions. It concludes through summarizing and contextualizing the result of the research and highlighting open examine for political technology at the topic of colour Revolutions.

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The academic literature has not yet presented a comprehensive framework on oppositional strategies for change in Color Revolutions. Although Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik have elaborated on what they call ‘electoral strategies’, the opposition’s strategies are inherent in the electoral model. ). The framework of the opposition’s strategies presented here borrows from the electoral strategies approach, and combines it with approaches that focus more on campaigning for protest in order to increase pressure on the regime.

In Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia the regime was only willing or capable to introduce measures of low-intensity coercion. In Belgrade, Tbilisi, and Kiev, the capacity to utilize police and security forces eroded during the course of the Color Revolution. When protesters stormed strategically relevant buildings in the capital, they did not face resistance. However, Russia is the only country that was able to cope with public pressure without using high-intensity coercion. Low-intensity coercion proved to be sufficient to dry out large-scale protests after a period of roughly seven months.

This may be for various reasons: general voters’ apathy and resignation; fear of repression by the regime; or a perception that there is no viable alternative within the political landscape. Evidence also indicates that large-scale political protest has been the exception among countries in which Color Revolutions finally occurred. However, in election campaigns, coalitions are more likely to be successful if they adopt a campaign style that is distinct from the regime’s campaign. In all the successful cases, the opposition campaigns made many public appearances throughout the country.

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