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CfP: Colored Revolutions

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  • fbieber
    The Hannah Arendt Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism http://www.hait.tu-dresden.de/ext/homepage.asp is preparing a special number of its journal €
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 22, 2007
      The Hannah Arendt Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism


      is preparing a special number of its journal € '³Totalitarianism and
      Democracy€ '´


      Focusing on the coloured revolutions happened in Eastern Europe and
      former Soviet Countries (see the rationale below).

      The issue will come out in spring 2008 and the deadline is the 20 of
      October, 2007 (for the first submission, articles will then be
      reviewed and the final submission date will be the 25 of November)

      Interested authors are invited to send an abstract (max 500 words) by
      the 17 of August to

      Prof. Donnacha Ó Beacháin
      donnacha@... , (back up address donnacha_1@...)

      Abel Polese

      Abel.Polese@...-dresden.de (back up address abelpolese@...)

      Authors of accepted abstract will be notified by the 22 of August 2007.

      English is preferred but articles in German can be accepted as well

      Towards a theory of democratic revolutions? Some evidence from Eurasia

      (NB contributions focusing on previous protest movements such as those
      in Czechoslovakia or the Baltic are very welcome, as long as they can
      show a connection between them and those that form the primary focus
      of our analysis)

      Since 1998 the Eurasian geopolitical landscape has been affected by
      what have been labeled the € '±colored revolutions€ '², referring to
      a number of socio-political transformations attempted, but not
      necessarily achieved, in a number of countries, namely: Slovakia
      (1998), Serbia (2000), Belarus (2001 and 2006), Georgia (2003),
      Ukraine (2004), Kyrgyzstan (2005) and immediately sedated in Russia,
      Uzbekistan (2005), Azerbaijan (2005), Kazakhstan (2005).

      Those events have certainly some elements in common with the second
      wave of revolutions, which occured in Germany, Poland, the Czech
      Republic and the Baltic Countries in 1989 but they also some
      completely new features like the growing use of the Internet, humor
      and art to deliver a message, and the significant involvement of
      grassroot NGOs.

      In some cases these € '±revolutions€ '² have led to a radical
      political and social change in the country, in other cases not. It is
      our belief that the € '±people€ '² factor is decisive in determining
      the nature of a revolution and popular attitudes are crucial for a
      successful movement. However, it is up to leaders to create the
      conditions for people to become aware and motivate them to act. How is
      it possible to create the conditions necessary for a revolution to
      happen and to be successful?

      To answer this question one should
      go beyond the vision that sees economic and logistic support to the
      opposition as the main elements of a successful revolution. Likewise
      the opinion that € '±people stood up and fought for democracy€ '²
      should be examined and analyses should try to understand the relative
      importance of external aid and popular attitudes in determining the €
      '±success€ '² of a revolution. A revolution is € '±successful€ '²
      if it leads to a substantial change in the country. The easiest
      indicator of this change is a political one, however a social change
      might also be employed as an indicator of success, when it is

      All the opposition movements made use of protest techniques developed
      over the years and often based on Gene Sharp€ '²s theory of power
      (1973) and his a

      guidebook € '±from dictatorship to democracy€ '².

      Some theoretical questions we want to answer are:

      Why did the use of revolutionary tools not lead to the same result
      all over the post-communist spaces? Is it because those tools were
      used correctly in some cases and incorrectly in others or because €
      '±geography€ '² matters?

      What was the role of the ruling elite in preventing the development of
      civil society and stymieing protests and to what degree was the role
      of the political opposition, external actors and NGO networking

      Is there a saturation point for the € '±colored revolutions€ '²
      after which all attempts to use such techniques will be futile ? Or is
      it the case that some € '±revolutions€ '² were not attempted in the
      right place or at the right moment?

      By exploring these questions above and drawing from the experiences
      of these € '±revolutions€ '², we seek to spell out a theory of €
      '±colored revolutions€ '² that can provide some common points for all
      the social changes that have occurred between 1998-2006. To do this,
      we welcome theory generating contributions that focus on a country as
      case study or propose a comparative analysis of a number of countries.

      Contributions should analyze one or more elements that have to be
      encountered when € '±organizing a revolution€ '². In particular we
      might divide the topics in the following way:

      (the list is not exhaustive and potential contributors are welcome to
      discuss with the editors a possible focus)

      a) Ideology and a theoretical framework

      The role of previous waves of revolutions

      The reference texts of a revolution

      The role of Gene Sharp€ '²s € '±theory of power€ '², € '±from
      dictatorship to democracy€ '² and other ideological sources

      b) The will to set up a revolutionary apparatus

      The work of the Einstein Foundation in Eurasia

      The role of foreign and domestic intelligence forces

      The legacy of previous protest movements

      Democratic ideology in regional context

      Existence of a team of revolution makers at national and international
      level that has been operating in Eurasia and is extending its field of
      action to other regions

      c) Fundraising

      Relations with foreign foundations

      Domestic fundraising: contact with local businessmen

      Door to door fundraising: gathering goods other than money (labor
      force, commodities, ideas, services, ideological and physical support)

      d) Training of activists

      Contact with other successful protest movements

      Relations with foreign foundations

      Domestic trainings of activists

      e) Coordination and cooperation of forces

      Relations between the political and NGO forces before, during and
      after the political crisis

      Networking between domestic NGOs

      Relations between the political forces, national based and grassroot NGOs

      f) Containing the influence of hostile actors

      The role of external forces such as the EU, Russia and USA and their
      influence on civil society

      Coping with an hostile environment and limiting the influence of the
      current regime

      Alliances of the opposition and civil society with some major
      personalities of the ruling elite that subsequently/thereafter
      support the protest movements

      g) Involving and motivating people

      The People€ '²s attitude, in a comparative historical and/or
      geographical perspective

      Communication between the leaders and people to motive them

      The relations between NGOs and € '³ordinary€ '´ people

      Communication between active and passive strata of the population

      h) Capacity to choose time and modality to carry out the revolution

      The logistics of a revolution

      How to prepare scenarios (optimistic and pessimistic) of a revolution

      The right time to carry out a revolution
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