Debating the Color Revolutions: An Interrelated Wave

Issue Date January 2009
Volume 20
Issue 1
Page Numbers 74-77
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In contrast to the arguments of those who study the color revolutions as an interrelated phenomenon, Lucan Way’s highly structural account considers the failure of authoritarian consolidation causally sufficient, something that obviates the need to explain opposition mobilization against the state and its role in the collapse of these regimes. Yet for scholars who take the politics of mobilization seriously, such arguments fail on several accounts. First, authoritarian weakness alone cannot address the contingencies involved in the process of mobilization. Second, it cannot explain why these revolutions assumed similar forms across diverse contexts. And third, it does not tell us why attempts at revolution rapidly proliferated across so many different contexts during a compressed period of time.

About the Author

Mark R. Beissinger is professor of politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (2002) and is currently working on a book about the politics of empire.

View all work by Mark R. Beissinger