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Discusses why since 1996 some authoritarian rulers have been ousted but in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus opposition failed (in two successive elections in each case).
Discusses electoral defeats of authoritarian leaders from 1998 to 2005 (Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan), but also unsuccessful movements in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Analyses local and international actors and draws comparisons with other parts of the world.
Cooper celebrates this under-reported 'velvet revolution' that 'boiled up from the streets' and was not influenced by outside forces. He notes that although there had been limited protests in the previous decade on specific economic, environmental or gender issues, no one expected a major political revolt.
See also: Avedissian, Karina, 'A real revolution? Protest leader Armen Grigoryan on what's happening in Armenia', Open Democracy, 30 April 2018.
Feldman attended a conference on anti-corruption organized by the new government in 2018 with judges, prosecutors and investigators. The focus of the article is an examination of how far the nature of the rebellion (and its wider context) might be expected to promote a more democratic government committed to end corruption. After making comparisons with other countries, they provisionally conclude that the prospects for a transition to a government respecting the rule of law are positive.
Grigoryan argues that a ‘kleptocratic regime’ has been ousted by the revolution, but a more radical conservative agenda is being promoted in this new context.
The article compares the 2018 revolution with earlier unsuccessful political protests in Armenia since 2003-4, to try to determine what made success possible. Grigoryan also makes comparisons with some other examples of regime change, and considers the implications of the nature of the 2018 revolution for post-revolutionary politics and society.
The author argues that comparison with the 'Colour Revolutions' are misleading since these were promoted by civil society organizations and opposition parties and focused on regime distortion of elections. Success in Armenia did demonstrate the power of civil society, but relied on 'grassroots organizing via social media' rather than on official NGOs, which are widely distrusted. The 2018 revolution drew on experience of earlier protests focused on limited issues. Hoellerbauer also speculates about future prospects for democracy under Pashinyan without a strong civil society to hold him accountable, and in the light of Armenia's dependence on Russia and the problem of the 'frozen conflict' over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Critical assessment of western support for civil society groups, noting that it can create a backlash and needs to be considered in the historical, social and cultural context of the country involved. Also makes comparisons with other post-Soviet states.
The authors, both from the National Endowment for Democracy, note that political revolution in other post-Soviet states have been followed by 'back sliding'. But they note how Armenia differs from Georgia and Ukraine. After exploring the background and context of the 2018 revolution, they conclude with a relatively optimistic assessment of the prospects for the Pashinyan government after the December 2018 election.
A Guide to Civil Resistance
The online version of Vol. 1 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). ICNC is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide.
For more information about ICNC, please see their website.
The online version of Vol. 2 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of The Network for Social Change. The Network for Social Change is a group of individuals providing funding for progressive social change, particularly in the areas of justice, peace and the environment.
For more information about The Network for Social Change, please visit their website.