Post-communist democratic revolutions have, so far, taken place in six countries: Slovakia (1998), Croatia (1999-2000), Serbia (2000), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004) and Kyrgyzstan (2005). The seven chapters in this volume situate these events within a theoretical and comparative perspective. The volume draws upon extensive experience and field research conducted by political scientists specializing in comparative democratization, regime politics, political transitions, electoral studies, and the post-communist world. The papers by Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik, Henry Hale, Paul D’Anieri, David R. Marples, Taras Kuzio, Lucan A. Way and Steven Levitsky, as well as Anika Locke Binnendijk and Ivan Marovic explore different regime types and opposition strategies in post-communist states, the diffusion of opposition strategies between states in which democratic revolutions were attempted, the strategic importance of youth NGO’s in mobilizing oppositions towards democratic revolutions, the use of non-violent strategies by the opposition, path dependent, theoretical and comparative explanations of the sources of successful and failed democratic revolutions, and the factors that lie behind divergent post-revolutionary trajectories.
The volume represents a breakthrough in our understanding of why and how democratic revolutions take place in the post-communist world. It provides an integrated analysis of why such upheavals succeed in some, but fail in other states. The contributions point to, among other issues, why the post-revolutionary breakthroughs in Serbia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan have encountered obstacles, the ousted regime was never fully defeated and its representatives were able to launch counter-revolutions, as well as why, in Serbia and Ukraine, the political forces of the ousted regimes have returned to power in free elections held after democratic revolutions.
Post-Communist Democratic Revolutions in Comparative Perspective will be important reading for scholars and policy makers alike.