Between 2000 and 2005, colour revolutions swept away authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes in Serbia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. Yet, after these initial successes, attempts to replicate the strategies failed to produce regime change elsewhere in the region. The book argues that students of democratization and democracy promotion should study not only the successful colour revolutions, but also the colour revolution prevention strategies adopted by authoritarian elites. Based on a series of qualitative, country-focused studies the book explores the whole spectrum of anti-democratization policies, adopted by autocratic rulers and demonstrates that authoritarian regimes studied democracy promotion techniques, used in various colour revolutions, and focused their prevention strategies on combatting these techniques.
The book proposes a new typology of authoritarian reactions to the challenge of democratization and argues that the specific mix of policies and rhetoric, adopted by each authoritarian regime, depended on the perceived intensity of threat to regime survival and the regime’s perceived strength vis-à-vis the democratic opposition.
This book was published as a special issue of Democratization.