Boris VARGA, Ph.D.
KNJIGA: “IZBORNE REVOLUCIJE” U BIVSIM SOCIJALISTICKIM DRZAVAMA, 2012, Novi Sad: Vojvodjanska akademija nauka i umetnosti (VANU)
Abstract: In the research, the author analyses large political changes that appeared as a result of the activities of wide peaceful mobilization of citizens, civil society, independent media and opposition political parties at the area of certain republics from the former socialist federations of Czechoslovakia, SFR Yugoslavia and USSR, in the period between 1998 and 2005, known as “electoral revolutions”, or “color revolutions”.
Key Words: Electoral revolution, Color revolution, hybrid regimes, authoritarianism, electoral authoritarianism, democratization, democratic transition, Third wave, transition, former communist countries, Slovakia, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, consolidation, electoral democracy, liberal democracy
Description: The research is focused on six former socialist countries – Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan – where, during the process of transition, after the fall of socialism, a type of undemocratic hybrid regime was developed, known as an electoral authoritarianism. Hybrid regimes tied up the development of democratic institutions and interrupted the democratic transition of those states: the elections were forged, administrative resources were misused, the violence was often used by the regime and civil society, media and opposition were marginalized. Forging the elections by the hybrid regimes created the conditions where neither regime nor the opposition regarded the election results as final, which opened the road to out-institutional activities of the civil society and the opposition which then led to political changes and in certain countries to the changes in the type of regime.
In all six listed countries, the country, civil society, media and the opposition followed up the electoral process and election regularity; some of them mobilized voters to participate in elections (Slovakia and Croatia), while in certain countries with the “stronger” hybrid regime (Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan) electoral manipulations led to the mass mobilization of voters with the aim to invite them to join street protests and utilize peaceful means to ask for regular elections and transparent vote counting. Thus, the model of “electoral revolutions” was created and then spread along the region by diffusion.
The author concludes that the “electoral revolutions”, with the help of electoral model, present a legal method of political struggle with the intention of establishing democratization in the countries in transition. The “electoral revolutions” were utilized to completely tear down the undemocratic hybrid regimes in former federations of Czechoslovakia and SFR Yugoslavia. Slovakia consolidated to liberal democracy, while Croatia and Serbia to minimal – electoral democracy. Even though “color revolutions” in former USSR (Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan) brought clear improvement in democratic values, none of those countries abandoned the electoral authoritarianism. The author believes that the strongest long-term variable influencing the quality of democracy after the “electoral revolutions” is the strength of a country’s ties to the West (EU and USA).
Share this postTweet