By Michael McFaul, Valerie Bunce, Kathryn Stoner-Weiss
This quantity brings jointly a exclusive staff of students engaged on jap Europe and the previous Soviet Union to envision intensive 3 waves of democratic swap that happened in 11 varied former Communist international locations. Its essays draw vital conclusions concerning the upward push, improvement, and breakdown of either democracy and dictatorship in every one kingdom and jointly offer a wealthy comparative standpoint at the post-Communist international. the 1st democratic wave to brush this quarter encompasses the speedy upward push of democratic regimes from 1989 to 1992 from the ashes of Communism and Communist states. the second one wave arose with accession to the ecu Union (from 2004 to 2007) and the 3rd, with the electoral defeat of dictators (1996 to 2005) in Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. even supposing those 3 waves came about in several international locations and concerned diverse thoughts, they still shared a number of overarching commonalities. foreign components performed a task in all 3 waves, as did electorate tough political switch. extra, each one wave printed not only positive democrats but in addition hugely ingenious authoritarians. The authors of every bankruptcy during this quantity learn either inner and exterior dimensions of either democratic good fortune and failure.
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Extra info for Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World
When applied to the issues of interest here, diffusion refers to a significant shift in mass political behavior – that is, mobilization against authoritarian regimes in the streets and during elections – in one country that then moves to neighboring countries. In our view, diffusion always involves a conscious decision by local actors, sometimes in collaboration with international allies, to copy innovations introduced by actors in other contexts – a decision that flows from their values and interests and that takes into account expanded opportunities, incentives, and capacity for change.
Finally, these two waves provide an excellent opportunity to explore systematically the causal dynamic of central interest in this book: that is, how international influences and the activities of everyday citizens and opposition groups interact with each other to shape regime developments. Our analysis begins by defining diffusion and outlining some of its core properties. We then provide a summary of the two rounds of popular confrontations with authoritarian rule, providing somewhat more detail with respect to the more recent and less fully studied electoral challenges to authoritarian politics (from 1996 to 2005).
Just as “inevitable” changes are usually the product of long struggles that combine with actors willing and able to exploit short-term shifts 12 13 14 See, especially, Bookman and Eyal, “Eastern Europe as a Laboratory for Economic Knowledge”; Jacoby, “Inspiration, Coalition, and Substitution”; Muiznieks, “The Influence of the Baltic Popular Movements”; and especially Tarrow, The New Transnational Activism and Tarrow and della Porta, “Globalization, Complex Internationalism and Transnational Contention” on both “rooted cosmopolitans” and the critical role of trust.