By Lincoln A. Mitchell
From overdue 2003 via mid-2005, a chain of peaceable highway protests toppled corrupt and undemocratic regimes in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan and ushered within the election of latest presidents in all 3 international locations. those movements—collectively often called the colour Revolutions—were greeted within the West as democratic breakthroughs that would completely reshape the political terrain of the previous Soviet Union.
But as Lincoln A. Mitchell explains in The colour Revolutions, it has due to the fact turn into transparent that those protests have been as a lot reflections of continuity as they have been moments of radical switch. not just did those pursuits do little to spur democratic swap in different post-Soviet states, yet their effect on Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan themselves used to be relatively diverse from what used to be at the beginning anticipated. in reality, Mitchell indicates, the colour Revolutions are most sensible understood as levels in every one nation's lengthy post-Communist transition: major occasions, to ensure, yet a ways in need of real revolutions.
The colour Revolutions explores the factors and results of all 3 colour Revolutions—the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan—identifying either universal subject matters and nationwide adaptations. Mitchell's research additionally addresses the position of yank democracy merchandising courses, the responses of nondemocratic regimes to the colour Revolutions, the impression of those occasions on U.S.-Russian family members, and the failed "revolutions" in Azerbaijan and Belarus in 2005 and 2006.
At a time whilst the Arab Spring has raised hopes for democratic improvement within the center East, Mitchell's account of the colour Revolutions serves as a important reminder of the hazards of complicated dramatic moments with lasting democratic breakthroughs.
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Extra resources for The Color Revolutions
While Kuchma allowed serious opponents to run against him, he also used state resources to ensure they would not defeat him. The OSCE/ODIHR report (1999b) describes “allegations of obstruction, illegal arrests of campaigners, illegal seizure of campaign materials, the circulation of vast numbers of anonymous and defamatory materials, falsified versions of newspapers, biased media coverage and involvement of state officials in the campaign,” as “true” (11). This type of election fraud suggests the need for the government to become more involved as the election approached, indicating a more open, if far from democratic system, than Akaev’s Kyrgyzstan.
In Georgia, the process was somewhat different. The parliament that emerged from the 1999 election only had three parties: the CUG and two parties that were neither democratic nor strongly oriented toward the opposition. Thus, the parliamentary opposition that emerged, and eventually developed into the leadership of the Rose Revolution, came from within the governing CUG. This occurred because the CUG, while a dominant single party during the last years of the Shevardnadze era, was not cohesive.
Although Akaev had been a high ranking Communist leader, he was able to win support in the west because he seemed open to political, and particularly economic, reform and had been supportive of similar reform during the last days of the Soviet Union. As president, Akaev initially pursued a course of “radical reform,” with Kyrgyzstan becoming the first Central Asian state to create its own currency, in 1993, and to join the World Trade Organization, in 1998 (Spector 2004). S. S. ’ And then it careened off wrong, badly” (CSCE 2005).